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Female Jewish software engineer thrives in male dominated field

This Jewish woman working in the software engineering field shares her work experiences and what it is like to be a woman in a field dominated by men. She enjoys creating things, which makes her job particularly exciting, but that desire to create has also lead her to a career on the side as a writer.

Q: What is your job title and what industry do you work in? How many years of experience do you have in this field? How would you describe yourself using only three adjectives?

A: My job title is Software Engineer and I work in the Information Technology field. I have approximately 17 years of experience developing and deploying software systems. I would describe myself as driven, intelligent and kind.

Q: What’s your ethnicity and gender? How has it hurt or helped you? If you ever experienced discrimination, how have you responded and what worked best?

A: I am a Jewish female. Being a Jewish female has helped in some positions, but has definitely been a roadblock in others. I have experienced discrimination in the workplace, mainly for being female. However, I am not sure that this could be considered true gender-based discrimination. When I was starting out, the males in my field in the mid-1990’s were simply not accustomed to working with females. Everyone had to adjust when the influx of women began in traditionally male industries. Today, however, I do not feel that I am a victim of any kind of discrimination.

Q: How would you describe what you do? What does your work entail? Are there any common misunderstandings you want to correct about what you do?

A: The position of Software Engineer is really defined by the company. As a Software Engineer, you may be tasked with development of software applications, or you may be asked to be a member of a design team. The design team specifies the requirements of the software product, as well as how they will be met by the software team. Software Engineers may also be members of Deployment or Testing teams, responsible for installing or testing the application.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What might need to change about your job to unleash your full enthusiasm?

A: On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate my job at about a 7. No job or company is perfect. However, in general in the workforce, the politics and personalities are usually the main cause of my frustration, and not the job itself.

Q: If this job moves your heart – how so? Ever feel like you found your calling or sweet spot in life? If not, what might do it for you?

A: Actually, I am a writer in my heart. I know that my calling is writing. However, because software development and writing actually utilize opposite sides of the brain, or so I’m told, there is a different satisfaction I get from working as a Software Engineer. Writing is something that comes so naturally to me, but application development is not. I get a lot of satisfaction being able to master something that does not come easy for me.

Q: Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments?

A: In addition to being a Software Engineer, I am also a freelance writer. I write mainly technical pieces, but have been known to opine on occasion.

Q: How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change?

A: I was introduced to programming when I was in graduate school. I was actually working on a PhD in Sociology at the University of Illinois. I discovered HTML programming and was able to instantly pick it up. I just looked at HTML code and immediately understood it without any explanation. I took this as a sign.

I did not go to school specifically for Software Engineering. This was most likely because in the early 1990’s, the Information Technology industry was still very new. Colleges did not offer very many classes in Computer Science, much less in Software Development. Over time, this has changed and now, most schools have a technical cirriculums that incudes programming and software engineering specialties.

Q: What did you learn the hard way in this job and what happened specifically that led up to this lesson?

A: I learned that I may be smart, but I am never the smartest one in the room. However, I have noticed that many folks who work in the IT industry are very impressed with their own intelligence and knowledge. Not only are you constantly having to prove yourself, but dealing with all those egos is tiring at times.

Q: What is the single most important thing you have learned outside of school about the working world?

A: Life is hard and not everyone is a liberal thinker. When you get out into the “real” world, you deal with all kinds of people, cultures and ideas. I feel that I was sheltered while in school, and I experienced a somewhat rude awakening after working in the workforce for about a year or so.

Q: What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in this job?

A: The strangest thing that ever happened to me in this field was having the opportunity to make great money before the field caught up with the demand. IT people were hard to come by in the mid- to late- 1990s. If you were good and had experience, you were golden. This changed in the new millennium, however. The field has become very competitive.

Q: Why do you get up and go to work each day? Can you give an example of something that really made you feel good or proud?

A: I love to create. The idea that I get to create every day of my life, whether writing or developing software, is amazing to me. Just to sit and make something from absolutely nothing except your own thoughts just thrills me every time I think about it.

Q: What kind of challenges do you handle and what makes you want to just quit?

A: Without a doubt, the thing that makes me want to quit the field is politics. Because software jobs are generally well-paying, there are a lot of corporate politics that swirl around positions, promotions and the corporate culture in general.

Q: How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable or healthy work-life balance? How?

A: This is a complicated question because the job itself is as stressful as you allow. I could, and have, let a development project totally take over my life. I’ve sat in the same chair for 24 hours straight, and maybe even longer, to avoid stopping and then having to pick up the project later and figure out what I was doing when I stopped. This does not promote a healthy balance, but I’ve gotten to where I will only do this now about once or twice a year. To maintain a healthy balance, you absolutely have to set boundaries for yourself. For example, I have a standing rule that I do not ever work on Sundays, no matter what is happening. There have been rare occasions when I have to break my covenant with myself, but maybe only two or three occasions.

Q: What’s a rough salary range for the position you hold? Are you paid enough and/or happy living within your means?

A: The compensation for a Software Engineer is quite attractive. The salary range for my position is between 80 k and 200 k per year. The upper end of the range applies to those in network and system security. However, a person just entering the field probably could not initially command an 80 k salary. However, with some experience and a few successful development projects, you can achieve some pretty hefty compensation goals.

Q: How much vacation do you take? Is it enough?

A: I rarely take vacations, and I need to take them. In the past couple of years, I have taken at least a month off during the year. However, the month “off” usually entails taking on a full-time writing assignment and utilizing the other side of my brain.

Q: What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field?

A: At this time, you need at least an Associate’s degree, but this would be to simply get your foot in the door in a low level position. For a substantial job with some status and good pay, you really need to have a Bachelor’s degree. A Master’s will put you ahead of the crowd.

Success in this field is much more dependent on your aptitude and personality. What you learn in school will most likely be obsolete in a few years. If you can learn how to learn technical processes and procedures in school, this will take you far in the field.

Q: What would you tell a friend considering your line of work?

A: If I feel that my friend has an aptitude for the field, I would encourage them. However, if my friend is simply looking for good money and is not particularly interested in Information Technology, I would advise against it.

Q: If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years?

A: I would like to develop some amazing piece of software and retire on my laurels. Think Facebook!

  • swain12

    This career story really stood out to me. As an African American female pursuing a degree in Secondary Math Education, I understand what it is like being the minority. I take many upper level math courses where I am the only female in a room of fifteen males. I am grateful that I attend a university where everyone is included. I have not received any discrimination as being the only female in the classroom, but I am seen as an equal.

    I noticed this woman’s dedication to her job and her work ethic, and I can relate to that. I am always striving to be the best in whatever I do. I love learning, especially about math. I hope I can be a role model to all people, but specifically to females. Math is my favorite subject, and I have a passion to teach others about it. I hope that through my teaching I am able to one day pass this passion for math on to my students.

  • Hannah

    I am looking at entering a male dominated field as well. I am currently working on an electrical engineering degree and find that there is some gender based discrimination among the faculty and my peers. I loved reading about how you make sure that you don’t let you job become your life.
    I am, like you hinted, very passionate about what I am studying. I am hopeful that I’ll be able to make a positive difference in the world once I have finished the degree. I think that since STEM fields are what keep our society advancing technology wise, that it’s so important that we put as much brain power towards these fields. I have known many women who start off with these degrees and then quit when it starts to get difficult or when they encounter prejudices.
    Thank you for your post, it was very inspiring to read.

  • mariana mbemba

    This is truly an inspirational story. There are 3 factors being dealt with here: Gender,Religion and Intellect. She’s a Jewish woman who worked upon getting a phD, imagine what she had to face trying to stand out amongst a male dominant environment. However, she didn’t choose to back down which is something similar to what I went through of being the only female in my chemistry lab and also the only woman of coolerl the way from Africa. Indeed it was difficult mingling with my colleagues but towards the end I made a few good friends and two hilarious lab partners, I will miss them. I am definitely going to fight and work harder towards my goal of being a successful biomedical engineer and pretty soon I might be the next lady sharing the same story and inspiring other women to carry on with the chain.

  • Julianne Kerr

    Her difficult climb to where she is now is inspiring. My own experience as a female has built me up in a similar way- some have told me not to do something simply because it was a job “reserved for men.” I did not give up, however, and have continued to pursue my career despite the many protests I hear. I plan to dive headfirst into the business world when I graduate from college and work hard to prove that I can do just as well as anyone else.

  • Madison R.

    This is a fantastic blog post. Really inspiring and quite relevant to my experience. While I’m still a student trying to pursue a career in the sciences, I have worked full time in the past in the corporate world. Regardless, I know that the sciences are saturated with predominantly straight males. As a queer female, I never fully thought I would “make it” in this industry. It wasn’t until more recently that I finally came to realize that just because I’m scared to pursue something, doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t at least try. I am confident in myself and my skills and I will do my best to make my career goals come true. That’s why I’m currently going back to school to pursue the career I have always wanted and I’m no longer letting my fear of being the “minority” (and thus labeled as inferior) determine my choices. Of course I can do it, and so I am.

  • Daisy Reyes

    Career wise, most people go for whatever is the fastest, easiest, or brings in the most money. It is rare to come across someone who wants to take on a challenge and is passionate about it. I am currently majoring in Family Studies and I have found that many go into this field because they believe it is easy and not because they are truly passionate about the subject.

    I thought that it was interesting that she was working on a PhD in Sociology when she was introduced to programming. I find it admirable that she would take the risk to go into a different field once she had gotten so far in sociology, not many people would do that.

    I enjoyed reading this career story because despite her success, words feel humble and genuine. It was refreshing to read that application development does not come naturally to her and that she gets satisfaction from mastering the challenge.

  • sfsyunus

    This story stood out to me for two reasons. Firstly, she talks about her experience as a member of two intersecting minorities in a field dominated by straight, white, men. I am choosing to enter the field of physics knowing it’s a male dominated community. I’ve noticed going into my upper division college courses that the ratio of males to females has changed. I have not faced any explicit discrimination in my department however there have been cases brought to attention at my university that make me wary about this field of study. I have faced opposition in my ambitions from people of my home country, Pakistan however I have also received a lot of support from my family.
    The second thing that struck me is that this woman is determined in her ambitions and has not let the imbalance and unfairness of her workplace environment to deter her. I believe myself to have a similar passion and I intend to pursue my interest in physics regardless of the challenges I will inevitably face.

  • N

    This is a very inspiring story, that teaches that being passionate, strong, but humble towards yourself is what is required to overcome challenges, build your personal brand and make it where others may not have even dreamed about. Certainly, very relatable story, I could also envision coming to the States from Tajikistan and becoming a strong individual and professional in a foreign country, but at first I had passion for making a difference in a developing world, I worked hard, I was humble about my own achievements and merits, but stayed true to my goals in challenging situations.

  • GILINE8

    When I was a senor in high school I was the only girl on the quiz bowl team. I was the science expert, but being the odd gender out led to me being benched more often than necessary and left out of socialization. despite that I worked to be the best one on the team so that I could rival my team mates. my hard work payed off and I was able to be an equal, ad a friend. I love how professional and oriented she is with her work. she recognizes who she is, and where her background can be detrimental, but she looks past that do do her best everyday, and I daresay even makes the best of a bad situation! I find this inspiring as I am a woman from a similarly persecuted religion seeking to become a chemical engineer and that is of course male dominated… I love science and math and want to use that passion practically, as can see this woman has! she proves that we can work past the stereotypes!

  • Breanne Haskins

    I am very impressed with her work ethic and can relate to it. I also will spend many hours doing homework in college and give myself few breaks, so it is important for me to relax sometimes as she does and go do something outside to ease my brain.

    I am also planning on going into the STEM field, which is male-dominated, and I hope that I will do well because of my work ethic but I do have to admit I am a little scared for how it will effect my experience. I admire her strive to do well at her job even though it is male-dominated and I wish to do the same.

    I also agree with her in the terms that she likes to succeed at something she is not the best at. I love science, but it can be very difficult to understand, and I love pushing myself to learn complicated things. I get a sense of satisfaction, just as she does, when I complete or understand something complicated.

    Overall, thank you for the inspiring article that is very relatable.

  • Erin L Gray

    It’s great to read about a creative software engineer! The field is frequently confused for one in which technical skill is all that is required, but I find it not to be so. Creating a really elegant piece of code is not a “plug and chug” type problem; it requires thoughtfulness, ingenuity, and the desire to create.

  • Snow Bai

    Her story is really inspiring and I feel I can relate to her at some extends. I have been told to major in business when I expressed my interest in engineering. Simply because engineering is a male dominated fields and it is supposed to be “hard”.
    However, I love challenges. And just like her, I get a lot of satisfactions to be able to master things that I wasn’t good at. As an Asian engineering major female, I experienced miscommunication between men and women in work place. Nonetheless, I think remaining a positive attitude and open to others act as a bridge for this kind of problem.

    In addition, in my opinion, if someone has passion and put hard work into something, nothing is impossible.

  • Dasiane Jones

    I admire her strength and determination to succeed. Reading her story helped to empower me, both as a woman and as someone who may work in a field that is male dominated. She is truly an inspiration.

  • Ezihe Chikwere

    It is evident that she is very diligent and determined to succeed in this economic system that obviously favors men. I truly admire her determination to enter a field that is very challenging for most people and also her persistence to continue working hard even when her assignments got tough. Her story is very inspiring to me because many times I have wanted to give up but it is the success that keeps me going. Although I do not want to pursue a career in Software Engineering, the field in which I want to study is International Studies and Political Science which is very broad but competitive. In addition to this, I am not only a woman but I am Nigerian-American. These two minorities could pose a threat to my success in regards to my career because not many women work in the state department which is the career path I wish to pursue.

    -Ezihe Chikwere

  • Emmalee M

    I love her story and completely relate to it because I am a female and I hope to go into an engineering and a male-dominated field. While I am not in it yet, I am guessing that I will have a very similar experience. Any and all of the STEMM fields are male-dominated and while this is intimidating, it is a powerful thing to have the courage to do what one loves and become the type of person to go into something as an underdog. Ultimately, I hope to be an astronaut for NASA and I know that I have become the epitome of an underdog since NASA has not been sending out as many astronauts into space. However, I will be doing what I love and I hope that I am able to accomplish my goals. I will believe in myself and what I am capable of to pursue a career in NASA.

  • Kweku Mills-Robertson

    This mentality and hard-work can be applied to any field and will guarantee success. Even though I am not a woman or considering software engineering, this experience is applicable because I am majoring in Physics. In a field which is dominated by Caucasian men, the presence of an African man will definitely turn some heads. Whenever I tell strangers I am a Physics major, they are always amazed and wish me a lot of luck. Even though I know they may be wishing me well because the ‘real world’ is tough, I know they may be wishing me luck because they know I constantly have to prove myself worthy of my Physics qualifications. Physics in itself is a difficult area of study to master, so being part of a group which is under represented in the workplace will be a challenging task. Physics is a subject where individual’s minds are always pushed to the limits because the next law or theorem will not be discovered by mere luck. Physics is at a point where incredible thinkers are in demand. If your mind is lazy, you will most likely not qualify for any positions in the field. This article shows that hard work and dedication will help me overcome challenges I face. Thus with constant practice and a bit of talent (hopefully), I will succeed in helping to further the discoveries in Physics.

  • Britanee

    “I get a lot of satisfaction being able to master something that does not come easy for me.”

    Throughout this article, the female radiates dedication and determination. I have found in my own life that what gets you furthest is a positive attitude when faced with obstacles. An attitude that allows you to keep pushing when you are exhausted and frustrated. There are many disciplines in education I do not feel come easily to me, but by changing my thinking from “Its just not for me” to “I will work hard at it” I have succeeded in so many realms of study. Many of these realms are ones I had preciously felt were impossible to master. She states “Success in this field is much more dependent on your aptitude and personality” , and I feel this logic is so applicable in many fields career wise and in life as well.

  • Articles like this are just so beautiful. Women like this are just so inspiring. And I just cant help but be inspired by her and her accomplishments. I am a total feminist, and this to me is why I became a feminist. As a women we deserve the same respect as men, because we have worked just as hard if not twice as hard as they have.

  • Apurva Bhogale

    I clicked on this link because I thought I could relate to the woman in the story. I am a female majoring in computer science, a major that I guess she didn’t have much access to. I clicked on this link to learn more about the CS world, but it seems I already had a similar understanding. In my classes, and with my TA’s I have to deal with the same egos that she speaks of. Furthermore, I run into so many people that don’t even understand computer science and are just in it for the money.
    EX:
    “I’m done taking math classes in the first semester of my sophomore year. CS barely requires any.”
    No honey, computer science IS APPLIED MATHEMATICS. There are many people that enter engineering in general just for the money, and are not into innovating etc. It upsets me that the woman in this story isn’t passionate about information science, because I sure am. I save my comp sci projects for last (As nerdy as that sounds), but I am glad to have a perspective of the “real world” before entering it.

  • Jasmine Nicole

    As an African-American woman, I can definitely relate to the author’s piece. Currently, I am an undergraduate student and am double majoring in both Psychology and Molecular & Cellular Biology. I enjoy wearing makeup, wearing dresses, and shopping, so when I tell strangers or even friends what my majors or interests are, they often understand the Psychology aspect but ask follow up questions about my Molecular & Cellular Biology major such as: “How are you doing in the classes?” ,”Do you want to change majors yet?” , or my favorite “Do you find the course work extremely challenging?”. Similarly to the author, I feel that I constantly have to prove myself. I have to show people that I am more than just another woman who is interested in nothing but clothes and looking pretty.

    This need to prove myself, however, has only furthered my desire to work hard and be better than most of my colleagues. There is a famous quote that says “Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself,” and I try to live by it on a daily basis. Eventually, no one will wonder if I am smart enough or capable enough to be a science major because they will see all of the progress I have made.

  • Allison S

    Similar to the woman mentioned in the above article I have found that my gender, like her religion, has been beneficial in certain situations, and a challenge in others. I applied for and got a position as a staff writer for a Dallas Stars hockey blog back in October of last year. After receiving the position and going through the necessary steps to complete my initiation I posted my first article. The typical readership of the blog interacted with my article and tweets associated to it far less than those of my male counterparts, and while I understand that my relative inexperience with the blog could have played a role in that I immediately began to think that I was judged based on my gender.

    Over the last five years or so I have gone to hundreds of hockey games and there has never been someone who has assumed I know the game, the players, or the rules. My being a teenage girl also prevented them from taking me seriously because they were under the assumption that I only cared about the sport because the players are attractive. This would not be the case if I were a teenage boy because sports are something they are “supposed” to be interested in according to society, while girls are expected to love fashion and beauty. These repeated instances in my life as a legitimate female hockey fan have been difficult to understand, especially when I was younger, but they have made me a stronger, more independent person nonetheless.

  • Kimberly Perlman

    This interview really put into perspective the struggles that I have not only faced in my youth, but will continue to battle in my education and career path. As a third generation Holocaust survivor. it is a part of my identity to be proud of my Judaism. I have faced anti-semetism on social media when I replied to an anti-Zionist tweet. It seemed simple to brush off, as it was over a screen as opposed to a more personal interaction, however this made me start to see the immense hatred towards Jews. Her interview also explores the endeavor of being a women in the work force. She had to work above and beyond just to be at the same level as her male coworkers, which is very inspiring and motivational.

  • Courtney DeYoung

    Judaism has played a huge role in the person that I am and i really admire you for connecting your Judaism and your work success. Unfortunately, we live in a time where people often disconnect from their religion with the fear of facing discrimination, You have remained dedicated to who you are and have not felt the need to hide it. I truly admire you and hope that you will continue to do incredible things!

  • cmmerritt

    I am a young Cuban Female pursuing a degree in Physics, a major much more common amongst males. Being a female truly sets me apart. Because women and men’s minds work differently, it would not be unusual to misunderstand or misinterpret words or gestures.

    I can relate to being a female in what feels like a man’s industry. Even in my courses at university, the ladies are widely outnumbered by the guys. I know that being a minority and being a female can make others in my major feel like it is difficult to relate to me, but for the reason of having the same major as others in my field, there are more than enough ways to relate to each other, discussing the things that are intriguing about physics.

  • Chanel Fargesen

    I admire you and your work ethic! You are an incredible example of how women in the work place dominate and succeed. Keep up the amazing work!!

  • Pilar Vergeli

    I admire how her tenacity, honesty and the desire to create fueled her
    to
    conquer each challenge she faced in the corporate culture. As a
    Haitian-Argentine woman about to plunge into a new career track in
    Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, I found this interview reassuring
    about my future in a male-dominated scientific community. There is
    ongoing improvement to close any disparity assumptions between men and
    women in the work force. Empowerment for women in science is
    exponentially rising and I feel that today, I have supporters from
    across the world because I am striving to do what I am passionate about.
    I have the highest respect for the women that have grievously paved the
    road for us, the newest generation of female scientists. In my career, I
    hope to empower women just as many before me have done for myself. I
    want to see more young and older
    women pushing the envelope for harmonious and intellectually-based work
    environments so we can push humanity forward.

  • Tierra MAYah

    This interview is truly inspirational and highly relatable. Women comprise a seemingly infinitesimal percentage of engineers, and in addition to her gender, she is a minority. Like myself, she represents a small portion of the field she has pursued and has faced hindrances for simply being who she is. Her religion presented occasional roadblocks, but she overcame them and remained dedicated to her career.

    Although she does not feel that she is a victim of any kind of discrimination today, many others have, and it is still very prevalent. I have had to overcome racism and discrimination as an African American female in the competitive, predominately white, male field of psychology. Similar to the interviewee’s roadblocks, I will overcome the hindrances I encounter and use them to offer a wider perspective to the children, adolescents, and families who will become my patients.

  • Christine

    This was a interesting story. As a female pursuing in Biomedical Engineering filed, I see that their are rarely other females in my classes. Even though I am not discourage in continuing my filed of study, I still like to hear other female (in engineering) input in working as an engineering and know what to expect as a women going into the work aspect of engineering. The story was encouraging and aspiring. 🙂

  • Rebecca Nagurney

    I really enjoyed reading your story.Being a female in the engineering field, I have also experienced some of the same things you have. In school, I am the only female in some of my engineering classes and experienced opposition from some males.
    I connect with her in the way that we are both very dedicated to our fields of interest. I like how you are proud of and love what you do! I also share your love of creating. That is one of the best things about engineering because you are free to be creative and design things that have never been thought of before! Because we are all innovators, we must stay on top of the newest technology to keep developing and help others with our skills!

  • Rebecca Nagurney

    I really enjoyed reading your story.Being a female in the engineering field, I have also experienced some of the same things you have.

  • Charlyn

    Such an inspiring story! I can relate to this as I feel this is what most women deal with, in male dominated fields like engineering and business. I plan on starting my own organization in sub-Saharan Africa, and I have no doubt that it will take the same type of resilience and determination as her

  • As a Muslim Egyptian-American woman who’s career is specialized in political reporting, I can completely relate to this story in regards to being a working minority in a male-dominated field. It’s not just a matter of doing as well as others, but excelling to the point where you are no longer recognized by your religion or your ethnicity but merely your incredible work ethic.

    I think the biggest challenge one faces when stepping into an industry as a single representative to their ethnic or religious background is the fact that all stereotypes fall on you and it is your job to change them. It’s a struggle that is difficult but highly necessary to overcome if one wants to continue changing hearts and minds.

  • Ahbz Stewart

    This is very similar to what I believe I will face in the engineering field being both a minority and a female. Although I know it will be tough, especially based on her experiences, I welcome the challenge with open arms. I admire her strength, commitment, and passion for doing what she loves regardless of the issues she comes across.

    She is a truly inspiration for me.

  • vernazia

    In the interview the female software engineer talked about how software engineering wasn’t the original path that she had in mind, but she took a class and understood it in a flash so that to her was a sign. I can definitely relate to this situation This summer I will be a freshman at college studying biology to go on to pursue a career in the medical but that wasn’t always my dream. I originally wanted to be an accountant because I loved number and that was what ran in my family. But I then realized that I was not only good at math but had a yearning interest for all things science. I was able to grasp information in my science classes fairly quickly and found myself intrigued after every lesson. From chemistry to anatomy. That was when I realized that there was a career that had a great deal of math; which I excelled at and science which was what had become my passion. It was a career in the medical field so that is my new plan that gives me all the things I love.

  • Itxel Molinuevo

    Being a Hispanic women
    pursuing an engineering degree I understand the pressures. Though I have not experienced any discrimination
    yet I know I will in the future, there always be need to prove yourself in a
    field dominated by males. Her dedication and perseverance is extremely
    inspirational I hope to one day obtain the same level of success that she has.

  • jchoi93

    She shows a ton of dedication. While people and groups are trying to bring in more women into the engineering/computer science world, they show the most dedication. They feel privileged as a minority to be able to experience and learn, and that’s the dedication everybody should be feeling when they’re a student.

  • Walter Ritchey

    I think this is a very powerful message here. She has so much dedication and is very self motivated – enough to pick up html coding and software design as a career. What stood out the most to me is that she pointed out that writing was her calling, but she chose a career doing something that is difficult for her, because it is satisfying and challenging. I wish more workers were like this! Within my own area of interest I strive to challenge myself by taking courses or design jobs that I’m not sure if I’m capable of doing, but I love the challenge and sometimes they turn out really great.

    I also enjoy the fact that she is a Jewish female working in a dominant christian and male working field. She is doing herself a lot of good and is keeping her mind very sharp. I’d suspect she still loves writing in her free time, and the mix of analytical and creative energy flow is a really proactive way to live and work. This is really impressive and motivational.

  • Beth

    This interview really brings to light the motives of this woman’s career path. She wants to be doing something that is satisfactory, but also challenging; interesting, but also motivating; career-driven, but also likable. Although she mentions the salary and benefits of the job, I can see that although this is motivation, it is not the sole thing that she is focusing on with this job. This is admirable to me in that the money is not the deciding factor in her career.

    I am also in the engineering field as a female, so I can relate to much of what she says. It takes effort to prove yourself, and learning how to fit in with the culture of the male-dominated industry can be a challenge. As she says, engineering is a field with a lot of people who are smart and definitely know it, so working with people who are very self-assured in their own skills can be a difficult thing to do. I hope that in the end, I too can end up working in a career that gives me personal satisfaction and allows me to make the world a better place, including being a part of ending job discrimination in relation to women in technical fields.

  • Janae Kirkmon

    One day, women and men will be equal in any workplace. There would be no such thing as a mans job, or a woman’s job.

  • c4x8paws

    Hhhhmmmm… simply amazing…. I am in awe of the Q and A article I just read. It is as if I was reading my own interview…really weird. Your answers, almost verbatim, were straight out of my head. The ONLY difference is that I am in the process of completing my software engineering degree. I was just thinking of writing something, anything (a novel, a book, a screen play, a children’s book, etc.) because I am naturally good at it, like you, and love to create, big time, in whatever ever form that maybe! I just turned 41 and am kind of in a place in my life where I have to push harder and over come more obstacles in order to finish getting my bachelors degree. I was feeling a bit discouraged and lost, and misguided by my emotions lately. This Q and A about your life in your field gave me hope as I read on in this familiar daze as if I was reading about me, in sheer disbelief of the similarities between your attitude, thoughts, and inspiration. I feel better and more encouraged now having read this. Thank you and have a great… everything you set out to do…God bless you and yours’ always.
    Sincerely,
    Danielle S. Preston 🙂
    c4x8paws72@gmail.com (If you have any advice for me, I’ll take it gladly. lol)

  • Krista Ayala

    It’s amazing to actually get to hear and read about women
    taking positions in male dominated roles. This woman and her story is admirable
    with how well she handles her job, the challenges she faces, the reoccurring issues
    like corporate politics, and stress. Despite the issues and dilemmas it’s
    amazing that it doesn’t stop her from remaining within the software engineering
    field or altogether leave the field to pursue writing alone. She strives in the
    field she works in and continues to obtain satisfaction from her occupation.

    Her story is relatable I myself feel that there is definitely a challenge with
    being involved in a field that is dominated by males. Currently I myself am
    studying towards a degree in architecture and find it challenging to strive in
    classes that are male dominated where my courses can be very competitive and
    are designed to be that way. Architecture is a male dominated field and
    requires that I be able to work and cooperate with others and will need to be competitive
    with other architects and firms. Although it is a challenging and very
    demanding I do receive satisfaction from designing structures and hope to
    continue being satisfied with this career after completing my degree.

  • Railene

    I think what she is doing is really awesome, i know that once i get out into the work force i will be working in a male dominated field, and so I find it very encouraging that a woman could be thriving in a male dominated field because it makes me feel like if she can do it then so can I!

  • Krystina Scott

    I think your story is amazing. It’s admirable how you understood that entering your field would be a challenge filled with hard work, but you faced it and now your thriving in it. I feel like I can relate to this story, because I love to create also. I’m a female African American Student majoring in Motion Pictures at the University of Miami. I plan to use my degree to work with interactive media. There is a small percentage of women working in this field, and the African American population is even smaller.

    Before college I thought I was the smart kid. I would always earn A’s and B’s and I learned the class lessons relatively quickly. However, I got a rough wake up call my freshman year of college as a Computer Engineering major. My life was basically all about math, and I couldn’t really focus on anything else. I always felt like the outcast because I was the only African American female in all of my classes and I was the last one to understand the lessons for my PreCalculus class. During my second semester, I had to take Calculus for engineers. It was a five credits class. Along with Calculus, I also took a programming class. Programming was stressful, but I enjoyed it because I was able to create something from it. I didn’t have to follow specific set of rules or steps like math requires. I could develop my own way of solving the problem with programming.

    My first year of college made me become a more humble person and more open minded. Calculus for Engineers was a nightmare, but I persevered and passed with a “C”. I was tired of feeling down about myself and wallowing in self pity so I decided to “woman up” and create a plan to solve my Calculus issue and focus on developing my strengths and talents into something that can become a practical career. I always had a talent and interest in science, graphics, video editing, and animations so I switched to a Motion Pictures major. I plan to add a Computer Science major as well. I hope I can be a source of inspiration like you and encourage other women to accept challenges and pursue their goals.

  • Ebone

    I think its amazing that women are starting to make their own difference in this worlde . The start is working in fields that are normally dominated by men. This helps get rid of certain sterotypes embedded in the world. I , myself wish to join the set of women in the world making a difference. I am majoring in civil engineering now in college.

  • Devan

    I applaud you for taking on a career in a not so friendly women field such as engineering. I myself am trying to pursue one as well. I wish you best of luck.

  • Cuyno

    I am able to connect with this story on a personal level because I have faced many adversities as a Filipina immigrant. Being able to adapt to an environment where the odds are against you is admirable, but she was able to do more than adapt, she was able to excel in this field. What I admire the most from this story is where she tells us how she ended up in a career which was not necessarily her strong hold; it’s difficult for many people to step out of their comfort zones and master something different. Her accomplishments and work ethic are praiseworthy. I especially admire how she does not let her career take over her life.

    I can connect to this story because when I first immigrated to the US in the 6th grade, I had a difficult time adapting to my environment; it was extremely difficult to make friends, excel in school, and be comfortable with who I was in this new setting. But, I was determined to become successful in every aspect of my life possible. 7 years later, I am a high school honor graduate headed to UCLA, I have many friends who I spend and cherish my time with, and most especially, loving the life that I am living. I am not yet close to my ultimate goal of becoming a biomedical engineer, a field that is heavily male-dominated, but I know that I will be able to overcome all the challenges and obstacles ahead of me and fulfill the goal I set for myself in the 6th grade.

  • Kayla Nicole

    She’s an exceptional woman. She’s brave to work in a men related field. Most women can not survive in such a male dominate field of work. I relate to this quite so because my major is Audio Production and it is also a male dominated field. To be in this type of place you need to know you limits and have thick skin. Nothing is worse then being terrorized by men who think they know everything. She strives to do her job the best way she can and I hope one day I can be just like her.

  • Hayley

    I find this woman quite impressive. She seems to be open-minded, given her desire to be a writer, but taking on a new challenge. I love that she found a new skill and built upon it. Not only that, but her skill required her to be a part of a male-dominated field…she looked past this, fought through the discrimination, and seems to enjoy doing her job. I agree with her on her only reason for quitting…politics tends to dominate the work place in today’s society…however her answer to the last question proves that if she did quit, she would still want to challenge herself and leave a legacy.

    I can relate to her motivation and her challenges. I’m pursuing a degree in Meteorology, and though females are becoming more accepted in this field, there is still discrimination. Despite this, it is my goal to climb to the top of the ladder and become a Meteorologist in Charge for a National Weather Service Office. I am currently a student volunteer for the NWS and have been told by several people in the office that my motivation is going to get me places and that they wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up working for me. This leads me to another quality I respect and can relate to with this individual…her desire to maintain a humble personality and acceptance of new knowledge and advice. Despite being told that I have the capabilities of becoming a leader in the world of meteorology, I know that I’m not the best and have so much more to learn…I’m willing to accept criticism and advice, knowing that it will be better for me.

  • Sean Ganther

    I know exactly how this feels as well. I am currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology with a minor in chemistry with hopes and aspirations of attending professional school for dentistry. I have noticed a very apparent trend as i’ve progressed through my first two years. As classes became more advanced, more minority groups began to disappear especially African Americans.

    These stereotypes and stigmatizations are all derived from the social construct derived from humans, which means that humans also have the capability to transcend above these prejudices.

  • Adrienne

    Being that I am striving to be a part of this field when I graduate, I can relate to her story. I am an African American female and I feel that every time I walk into a group project that I am the only woman in the group my statements and my opinion does not matter. Its hard sometimes and I do want to scream because when another person repeats what I say, the others agree and do it because it did not come from me. I have shown that I am very knowledgeable of the subject at hand and I commend her and all her accomplishments.

  • isdiaz

    What a great story!

    As a female minority I know how it feels to try and be a professional be sometimes you can get over looked because you are a women or from a different cultural background. I believe that these differences empowers us as women as makes us stand out even more. No professional job is out of reach for us and as long as we work hard we can accomplish anything.

    The good thing is that times has shifted towards a more progressive direction and though we aren’t in the exact same position as men, things have been getting better and more accepting, now we just have to make as much as men in the same fields.

    Great to hear stories of women in the STEM Fields, I am working on becoming a doctor!

  • I can relate to this story in the sense of knowing what it feels like to be involved in a field dominated by men. I am currently an Optical Science and Engineering student where more than 90 percent of the enrollment is males . I have decided to see the lack of female representation in the field of Optical engineering as an opportunity and challenge to be better at what I do. My responsibility is to show the next generation of females that we are as
    capable of working in the engineering field as men are. When I sit in a classroom full of men I do not even think of myself being less or more important than my male classmates because I believe we are all equal.

  • Viviana Llano

    I can relate to this story in the sense of knowing what it
    feels like to be involved in a field dominated by men. I am currently an Optical
    Science and Engineering student where more than 90 percent of the enrollment is
    males . I have decided to see the lack of female representation in the field of
    Optical engineering as an opportunity and challenge to be better at what I do.
    My responsibility is to show the next generation of females that we are as
    capable of working in the engineering field as men are. When I sit in a classroom full of men I do not even think of myself
    being less or more important than my male classmates because I believe we are all equal.

  • Jean Merone

    As a Haitian American, I see the value of Jewish or other minorities in the field of science and technology. It advances ourselves from the old prejudices of the past and proves our self worth. I commend that a woman is entering a male-dominated profession. I love when women take on positions they were previously denied or discouraged from joining. With the advancement of technology, we cannot afford to discriminate minorities who are willing to take on technological jobs, much less women. If I weren’t focused on mathematics and were on the computer on the time I would consider joining software engineering.

  • Alexadner Luke

    What originally pulled me into this article was how much I
    related to the author. I’ve been going into Software engineering with a minor
    background in writing, much in the same way her life has been turned out. I
    understand that drive to create in both fields and how different they are, yet
    the same all together a field of creation. More so I feel connected to her
    dedication and refusal to be held back. She never stops pushing to her dreams,
    never backs down, never gives up, and lastly does not complain. Her minority status
    is not a crutch that weakens her; it is simply a fact. That inner strength I
    admire and hope to emulate.

  • Her story is superior to read how a female is thriving in male dominated field, and her dedication to go for her dreams is so empowering to any new student. I work in a field such as her, and in reality there is no difference from male to female. I look at them as a team mate, and they look at me the same. I was impressed to read that she was attending school for Sociology, and she found passion for a new field of work. So many students get stuck on one carrier with out never looking at any other options out there. I was glad to here her thoughts on needing a Bachelor’s degree instead of a Ass. degree, this helps me with my choices on the degree I choose.

  • As a African Man it was first a very big challenge to come to the United States .Secondly to venture into the Engineering Program which is normally what most Africans don’t major in here .For me this story inspires me a lot because i have always believed that in life you can become anything so long as you have the determination.

  • JonathanFlores

    I am of Hispanic heritage. People don’t usually picture Hispanics as being doctors and engineers, but being an engineer is the only thing I can picture myself as. This interview inspires me to dive into a field that not many Hispanics enter.

  • Anita

    As an African woman, I can truly relate to the story of this woman, for men dominance over women is still very much rooted in our culture. I feel very much inspired by this interview, for she stayed determined and devoted despite the adversity she faced. A true role model!

  • It pleases me to see a hard working, strong, and determined woman working in an important field. This article is very inspiring to me because it shows me that, as a woman, I don’t have to hold back being sophisticated and strong in the work place. In my opinion more hard working women, like this Jewish woman or Erin Brockovich, should be recognized so young girls like me can have excellent role models to inspire us to want to gain as much education as possible and work hard to have successful lives.

  • Or Chay

    There is no room to discrimination in the work place. As a Jewish male I hope that this example represent a mile stone in work places everywhere. People should be evaluated by their abilities and not by gender or faith. I am very proud that we improved as a society to put those things a side , and I am proud of the female in the article that is proving she is worthy.

  • jr18

    I am very inspired by this interview. I feel that i can relate in many ways, and it’s very comforting to know that one can succeed despite challenges. What she said about no workplace being perfect made me realize that the key to finding a good career is not about it being perfect in every aspect, so long as you are challenged and happy.

  • Dionna Janay Littles

    I really enjoyed reading this interview because she was very honest about the challenges she experiences in the workplace. She understands that her work environment will not be perfect and she has to remain positive and grow from her experiences. As a black female majoring in chemical engineering it is difficult for me to integrate myself into a field that is male dominated. In all my engineering courses, I am usually 1 of 3 black females in a class of 60. I have experienced discrimination while working in groups, during which others have doubted my intellectual capabilities based on the color of my skin. However, I have also met a lot of great people that treat me as an equal and give me lots of support in my coursework. Like this story, I have also learned to see the positive aspects of my situation and thrive.

  • Sami

    This is really inspiring. In the field I am studying there are few women. By reading this I feel more encouraged to continue on my career path. Women need to be more represented in career fields and you are a great example of a hard working woman.

  • cp12

    As I progress through my education career I have learned about so many things, but the most important things that I learn are the stories from successful women. I can relate because I am a woman going into the IT field, and I am serious about having a successful career in this field. I think its important for women in male dominated fields to share their stories with other women and men. It is not about the gender in the field, if you have a passion for it and love to do it you can be successful. I think it is also important to share the stories like this to prove to society that women can do the same things as men and are equal to finally erase discrimination.

  • ljackson

    I can relate to this woman’s experience in that I too am a Jewish female in a male dominated major – geology. I think what really stands out about her experience is the fact that as soon as she was introduced to HTML programming she knew she could be successful in it. As a geology student, I feel what really makes me stand out is my love for my major. I too, knew I could be successful in my field as soon as I was introduced to it, and I feel that this fact is what will drive my continued success. It is such a wonderful feeling to discover something that one is good at and enjoys – those who are passionate will go farther.

  • KristiFarrell

    I am always amazed by the perseverance of us women, especially in engineering and other male-dominated, technical fields. It is kind of fun to show the gentlemen that we are just as smart and capable as they are, regardless of what the ratio says. We can make big accomplishments too. I am inspired by you. Keep up the hard work!

  • Stephanie

    Not only is this inspiring for other women seeking to thrive in man dominated work fields, but also admiring in the sense that she has overcome many obstacles to be were she is, never giving up or quitting just because she has encountered descrimination and negativity. You are truly an inspiration.

  • Airis Thomas

    Good, we need more women like you who strive to do their best in everything they do!

  • anburnett

    When I walked into my “Introduction to Engineering” class on the first day of the semester, I knew it would be interesting class. I was one of three girls in the class of at least fifty students. Most people might look at me and see me as just the “dumb blonde”, but nothing gives me more satisfaction than proving them wrong. Sometimes I surprise not only other people but even myself with my intelligence, which the woman says is common in the engineering field.

    I am happy to know that this woman pursued engineering and gets satisfaction out of her job, even though she knew it was not her true calling. Although I have other interests, I am studying environmental engineering because I think it is most appropriate for my knowledge and talents and I think I would get much satisfaction from it.

  • Katrina

    Her dedication and work ethic is what really stands out to me. She strives to do her job, but at the same time, she doesn’t allow herself to be taken over by her career. This is very relatable in that I am also very determined to do my work (in this case, my schoolwork) with efficiency. Sometimes, I do get carried away when it comes to college and the work that comes with it, but I often remind myself to give myself a break every now and then.

    In addition to this, I am also planning to enter a field that is somewhat male-dominated (accounting to be specific). Along with being female, I am also Filipino, which is even more rare when it comes to this career. I’m concerned about how these two factors will affect my work experience, but on the other hand, I am determined to not let it define who I am. Instead, I want people to see me as the person that is dedicated to her job, and I hope this will remain true in the future.

  • MCajayon

    I admire you’re confidence & dedication you put into your work regardless of discrimination. It’s motivating to see someone who could careless about discrimination & just focus on work like you. I can somewhat relate by being an pre-architect student, most of my classmates are dominated by men as well & it’s intimidating. However, I just focus on my work & learn to work with them. Some have high egos too but I just choose not to care & not listen. My calling is art but I chose architecture because I believe it’s a mix of both math & art which are my best suits. I can relate that I can do both in a perfect career choice I’m taking for myself.

  • I’m so happy to hear of a women in the engineering field that also focuses on writing. I was very concerned coming into college, having to choose between engineering, sculpture, and poetry. I didn’t want to give any of it up. I went to architectural engineering because at least it combined my aesthetic mentality and math brain. It’s hard to define myself as just one thing. Now I see that I can be an engineer and writer (poet) and an artist.

  • crystal w oods

    i appericiate that took on a kjob that is chanellenging and not your forte. You show alot of dedication, and it is not always easy to stick to a career that is challenging and frusterating.

  • Kristineny

    As a female going into the world of business is very challenging. This article is very relate able to my life right now. Setting one self apart from the men in the work force is tough. I know from experience that men are very intimidating whether or not one admits it. Articles like this make it possible for women to walk into the office and be acknowledged. This is definitely a touching story that will help me as a person not be afraid or intimidated by men in the work force.

  • I really relate to your story. I am going to go into a predominantly white male field, mechanical engineering. I also love writing. I love to write novels. I haven’t been published yet, but I will be. I am really encouraged by your story to see someone with similar attributes and goals such as mine make it in the field and do so well.

    I love how you are so honest in how you feel about your career and the politics involved. Thank you for sharing your story. You are truly and inspiration.

  • RandiKS

    As a Christian female working in the same field, I understand where she is coming from.
    All the egos can get in the way and you do have to prove yourself a lot. I am
    constantly proving myself to my boss and colleagues. I currently have an associate’s
    degree and am working my way up with experience and continuing my
    education. I like that she is honest in what she likes and does not like
    about her job. I on occasion, have set in the same chair for a while.

  • I want to do what people say or assume that I cannot do. I want to push the boundaries of normal and turn heads when others see me fighting against the flow of society.

    Much like this woman, who chose a job that challenged her and is dominated by men, I want to be an example to others of determination. Throughout my life I have been inspired by many people like her who choose to pursue difficult and at time non-conventional professions.

    I will have a job is the field of Science, which is known to be one of the primarily male dominated areas of work. I am going to be an Astrophysicist someday. I will earn my doctorate and accomplish my goals. I am going to inspire others and throw the doors of ‘social norms’ wide open.

    I am not limited by what others expect, I am capable of achieving great things in a world where mediocre is acceptable.

    Mediocre is never acceptable.

  • Raquel2234

    As a Jewish female i feel that when the time comes to “shine” on a jewish associated industry men have to take the hard working jobs; thinking that female jewish women have to saty at home taking care of the children or the meal. I believe that this styory does not only apply to jewish female,but also to all the women in the world.As time goes by women are getting more prepared and stronger in fields were men can not even imagine.Sometimes women can be more analytic in moost of the different areas ,and still a lot of men think they should stay at home and never develop all of the capacity they have to make the world a better place.

  • MelissaAKing

    As a Christian female engineer I relate a tremendous amount to your story. I believe that it is very important to get more females into the science/technical fields where males are dominating. There is very little, if any, discrimination in the present day companies, however, some men are still not too thrilled with having a supervisor or someone in power being a female. It is my dream to be able to either grow into the management side of an engineering firm or to be able to start my own.
    Also, I relate to you in the way that you like to write and create things. Most engineers do not like to or are not good at writing, but I find that it is something that I enjoy doing in my spare time. Writing in a journal and writing short stories are something that helps clear my mind. Being able to create something that is original and see the ending product is what excites me the most. It is very gratifying when you can see all your hard work and time paid off in a final product.
    Your lesson of “I am smart, but I am not the smartest one in the room” that you learned the hard way in your job, is something that I also learned the hard way when coming to college. At my high school, I was always one of the smartest people, but when I came to Penn State in the College of Engineering I realized that all these students are a lot smarter than me. It was a shock to be in a room of 500+ people that were all as smart or smarter than me. After awhile you start to get used to people doing better than you on tests or accepting that you do not know how to do a problem and one of your peers do. My greatest lesson off of this one learned was that it is okay to ask for help and do not be ashamed of it. That is why we are assigned so many group projects and professors have office hours.
    I hope that you find something that you can create that will help you retire on your laurels!

  • kmarie26

    I admire her open honesty. She did not cut any corners or sugar coat any details, which is admireable. As a Hispanic female in the Engineering field, the ratio of women to men is significantly low, so I understand the frustration that she explains. Her advice about not wanting to do Information Technology for the money is a good piece of advice, as most people wanting to be in technology and programming fields are plainly doing it for the money, even though their hearts lie somewhere else. It is rare to hear about a female that has been in a field when it was first getting started, let alone one that continues to be in it after 17 years.

  • As a female in the Information Technology field with a masters degree I can relate to the authors story. I too started out as a ‘C’ programmer with a major project and experienced frustrating office politics on my way to a successful deployment. The frustrating side of software development and software engineering is the commitment to long hours and not having a dedicated social time schedule. After gaining more expertise, one begins to overcome office politics and the time commitment issues to see the fruits of the high income lifestyle.
    I studied engineering to gain my bachelors degree although one is not necessary for this position mostly. But if one wants to be involved in development of more technical related applications an engineering degree is helpful.The experience of education and the translation of skills from education to work is always complicated. Many times the direct translation was not there, but the education showed up on reflection as I programmed or got familialr with a new application such as a laser.

  • Maryam Abdulmumin

    As a female Muslim girl I find this this story fascinating. In the Muslim World today, women have not found it easy to pursue in jobs of their interest due to the corrupt cultures that many have used to attach to the religion in order to create male dominance in these countries. In the Islamic religion, education is obligatory upon every single person regardless of his/her gender. Unfortunately today, searching for education has been connected to getting a great paying career.

    This has led many to disregard education for women because its not essential to work. This backwards way of thinking has taken my people backwards and can create a magnificent change among the Muslims if we see to it that our women are given careers that suit them. Of course, we are not to break the guidelines of Islam but to create a change for the woman according to the status that Islam has set for a woman. Women are to be protected and respected in Islam and given beneficial education in order to enhance the status of our society.

    As a College freshman, I’ve decided to use my education to create a change and to gain a career not only beneficial for me but to the people around me and God-willing, I will set an example for my people.

  • Jacc_

    Because of my family’s financial standing, I have had to work since the day it became legal for me to do so. I have held jobs in a variety of places from restaurants to gymnastics training centers to pre-schools. This summer, however, I worked full time at a business doing things I knew little to nothing about.
    I was hired as a receptionist at a machining company and at first was not taken seriously in the slightest. The people I worked with were not only all male but also far older than me. They explained things to me as if I was a child and could not grasp the complexities in their field of work. At first, I was very frustrated and it took everything in me to remain calm and professional. After a few weeks, I realized the only way to alter their attitudes and their skewed view of me was to prove them wrong.
    I read everything I could about metal work, anodized material, goods reports, and subcontracting and was able to hold my own in company meetings in no time. I paid no attention to their schocked faces but was more than pleased when they began treating me like one of their own. I have always said there is not use in complaining. If you want something changed, change it yourself.

  • delifrank

    I am impressed that there are women still forging the paths for women of all ethnicity and cultures. I am a vibrant fifty year old woman continuing college student. I have faced and surpassed many obstacles in life that included being the only female in male dominated areas in high school , the military and the work place. I have had to put my ambitions and goals on hold many times, but I go back to my past experiences and how I over came them and it gives me the self confidence I need to proceed no matter where I left off at. This story is inspiring to me because I know now our stories as women and how we are surviving are still being told and I would like to think that I will have a success story to add to this one.

  • Stephanie Melendrez

    I am really happy to see that women today are taking challenges that will bring them recognition later in life. Not so long ago, women were not able to go to school or even be considered at a job where men dominated in. It was hard for women to express themselves in ways that it has never been done before. Careers in engineering, business, and in technology have congratulated many women into their fields in the past couple of years. Due to the increasing amount of technology, the demand for diversity in jobs have increased. As a personal experience, I have seen that many women are actually becoming more independent than men. More jobs are searching for creative, outgoing, and professional women who can bring their knew ideas and attitudes into the modern workforce. For example, as a Communications major, I have seen an increase in female broadcasting, public relations, advertising, and fine arts careers through the years. I am also grateful to see the increasing diversity of ethnicities and religion in women pursuing an education that is male dominated, such as the woman in the article. I personally agree with everything in the article and I can relate with the phrase, “I’ve learned that I may be smart, but not the smartest one in the room.” I have learned that there will always be competition between jobs and who gets hired for them. There will always be people with higher intelligence, but it should never be a reason for someone to stop trying or feel intimidated, but a challenge for success.

  • Angela Bonner

    This story is very relate-able for any minority trying to make it in a society that still goes by some old unwritten principles.
    The first time I took an IT related course I was in 9th grade, everything about it excited me and I knew the field I wanted to go into.
    I begin to try and find out what I would need to do in order to go into the IT field and try and narrow my choices down since the field is so diversified.

    I have an uncle who had just moved to Atlanta after getting discovered by an IBM VP who went to Columbus Tech to scout recruits.
    Once he found out my love for technology he begin to share with me his experiences and he worked with very few women at the time.
    I refused to let that discourage me from pursuing what I looked at as one the fastest growing fields that had a connection with everything.

    I graduated with honors and got a scholarship to Columbus State University but at the time I was working 2 jobs to help support my family and as luck would have it I would soon no longer have reliable transportation.
    After losing my only form of transportation I winded up having to drop out of school and did not re-enter until over 10 years later.
    Thanks to the University of Phoenix I am now able to finish what I started and move into the field that I initially had chosen as a freshman in high school.

    I have encountered many obstacles along the way one of the most obvious was what I refer to as the “Good old boy” system. In a male dominated society it can be difficult for any woman who wants to advance. Most women have been described as aggressive or worst simply because they try to show leadership qualities. I believe that a person should be promoted based off of merit not gender, sexual orientation, race, or who they know.

  • I think nowadays there are more females going into the field of engineering than before. They have the abilities to do well and sometimes even better than men.

  • alex rogers

    This is such an inspiring story of a successful woman not in a typical position. What she said about always proving that you are a smart person is very true and it is important to also know that you can learn from there people all the time. She has shown me that with hard work and courage and positivity you can accomplish anything.

  • Success stories like this always inspire and uplift me. This article is relevant to me because I also am in a career field that is male dominated. Public accounting is a white male dominated field. Being a hispanic woman, I have felt the same way at times in my career journey. Over time, hard work will earn the respect of your peers. These challenges teach us wisdom.

  • butturbaby

    I love the fact that even though when she entered in to this field it was male dominated, she still fought through and didn’t give up. Thanks for somewhat paving the way for future generations of woman. I’m disappointed that you have a passion for writing and you are not utilizing that drive. I also feel that you should take more time off for just you, everyone needs a “mind” break. Its not all about money and everyone else, people need time for themselves.

  • WOchy

    The article has many bits and pieces that fits almost every life, albeit to different degrees. For the minority, you get to appreciate that going up the ladder has many valleys and mountains and that perseverance, focus and positivity will always get you across the other side. I am black and have had a great taste of the bitter and the (often short-lived) sweet. Many are the times I go down the valleys and up the mountains, but each time using these experiences as opportunity to reflect and do even greater things. I have the highest degree available and several in between, worked with top institutions, published in and reviewed for scientific journal- but the path is full of thorns. The difference between the great and their opposite, is how they face their daily tasks, how they tackle challenges and whether they can maintain a positive attitude. When you can’t work for someone because of who you are, you can for sure work for yourself and employ others to work for you. When the environment becomes irreversibly poignant, sometimes it is a sign that fresh air is out the window waiting for the bold. That is the energy that keeps me going.

  • rebeccalev

    I loved this article since I found it very close to home for me. I would like to work in Politics which is a male dominated field. I feel as though anything is possible if you refuse to give up. This was a great motivator to a college freshman like myself.

  • Tiffany564

    You inspire me to follow my dreams and of course there will be “bumps on the roads” but you overcame them. I can relate to you. As a child, i had no sisters but grew up with brothers. At first they didn’t like playing with me but over our childhood they came to accept that females can do things just as good as males. Our society is becoming more acceptable to women working a male dominating job.

  • Kiana

    Your story is still so relevant. Regardless of what percentages may indicate, while women are being employed more, there are fields that women are a rare breed in, specifically engineering. Currently, I am an employment at a housing community. Not only is it challenging, but I am trying to find the balance betweeen asserting myself and stil remaining meek. It is challenging because most of my peers are male in my same age group. it is extremely important to me to always watch my behavior to make sure I am not indicating or suggesting anything on a sexual level.
    It is always challenging because while the jokes are not course or vulgar in nature, some humor has to be paid attention to. I am not particularly advocating for women but myself. The hot debate in the work place in Chick-fil-A’s stance on gay marriage. As a Christian in the work place, it is extremely important for me to be tolerant of others, while also remaining uncompromising in my beliefs. I tried to avoid such topics of sex, drugs, alcohol, or religion that could give off the impression that I’m trying to codemn others. Regardless, having conservative Christian views in a very liberal environment can create hostility if not carefully approached. Currently, the job requires record-keeping and other information, but I picture myself growing and succeeding in entrepreneurship as I continue.

  • emilbell

    Thank you for being an inspiration to individuals and especially women who have many different interests. I too am driven by creativity, and so I have found myself balancing my interests in logical reasoning and problem solving as well as writing and music. Like the interviewee I don’t want to put myself in a box and close the door on my other interests. In college this led me to pursue different degrees – Cognitive Science and Music. For my first job after graduating, I thought to embrace my interests like this interviewee – pursue one interest during the day through a career (science) and do the other on the side (music). This did not work out so well as I realized my day job was not providing enough of an opportunity to be creative, so I am entering graduate school for Landscape Architecture. I am so happy to read the story of another woman who makes it a priority to be creative during her day job and take the time to sustain her other interests.

  • Maisha Horton

    I am not currently working in the field of Software Engineering, but I am attend college for my degree. I am one of two females in my class and a very quick learner of the information I do not already know concerning Software engineering. I have an extensive background in home computers fixing and my Assoc. Degree in Computer and Electronic Engineering Technology graduating at the top of my class with a 4.0 GPA. I am trying to further my education so that I can obtain a career in the field as I have not prior job title that included my experiences and most entry level positions require you to have some level of experience or at minimum a Bachelor’s Degree.

  • My mother was doing network and information technology for as long as I can remember. This was back in the late 80’s early 90’s when it was pretty much all male dominated. I remember being very proud when meeting her coworkers and for each promotion I felt that it was a step up for all women in the field.

  • Jocelyn Bleedorn

    I can relate to the story because I also work in a male dominating environment at a Shipyard. As she said dealing with egos, it can be challenging at times. I have found it difficult when put in positions of authority some of the men can become more diffucult to work with. Working hard and showing others respects has helped me to gain my coworkers respect. I agree with her comment that success is dependent on aptitude and personality.

  • Dania Angeles

    As a hispanic woman I feel that I have actually experience some discrimination myself in the work field. However, it is great to see that I am not alone and that there are women still fighting in male-dominated environments and thriving in their field. I loved that she likes her job and creating new things. Very inspiring!

  • Maimouna

    I hope you win!

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