Ever wonder what it’s like being a female engineer in the male-dominated tech industry? How did these women get to where they are in their careers, and what path did they take to get there? While more schools are offering and encouraging STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs to get girls interested in science and engineering, the truth is, not many women actually pursue a career in engineering. The US Dept. of Commerce reports there were 2.5 million college-educated working women with STEM degrees in 2009 compared with 6.7 million men.
The encouraging news is while there are still reports of bad behavior in Silicon Valley, more tech companies are working to promote diversity in the workplace.
So, if you’re contemplating a career in engineering, you may be wondering how do you make that happen, what degree do you need and how do you find a mentor to help guide you? We reached out to female engineers at various stages of their career and asked all those questions and more. Over the next few months, we’ll be featuring a 6-part series; Cyber Coders Conversations with a Female Engineer. These are conversations with women working in the world of tech, sharing their journey and career path with us.
We’re kicking it off with a conversation with Lorraine Bardeen from Microsoft.
I’d attribute a lot of my journey to my commitment to seeking the highest level of impact I'm capable of reaching. I am passionate about having real, meaningful impact on people, and in order to get there, I have to hold the bar high for myself. I make sure I don't ever get comfortable. If you let yourself get too comfortable, you start displaying behavior that is not helpful to your peers, customers or employees. By maintaining a level of discomfort, I can keep myself growing.