International Women’s Engineering Day

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Today is International Women’s Engineering Day 2019, and with women making up just 16% of engineering professionals, it’s important to highlight amazing women in the field, and encourage more young women to consider a career in engineering, specifically data science and data engineering in the process.

We heard from high level engineers in tech companies about being a woman in the male-dominated engineering field. We discussed with them some of the trials they have had to overcome and advice they would give to any woman or girl seeking a career in engineering. Here is a compelling commentary from Joanna Hu, principal data scientist at Exabeam.

“On International Women’s Engineering Day, we celebrate the many strengths of women and the perspectives they bring to technology while encouraging other women and young girls to pursue their engineering passions. As a data scientist, I’ve helped contribute to discoveries and solve real problems in healthcare, energy and now the cybersecurity industry. Demand for data scientists continues to rise as companies seek to learn new insights to make better decisions about everything. But it turns out that only about 15% of data scientists are women, and women continue to be underrepresented in technical careers. I see this as an opportunity: that gap leaves a lot of room for more women in tech. For any curious young women passionate about innovation, I encourage you to pursue a career in the field. It’s important to remember that women bring a unique voice to the table. Know your worth, and don’t be afraid of advancing. And no matter what roadblocks may come, never let anyone limit your potential. During my first business trip to Asia, I was always the only woman at meetings (5-20 people). Instead of blending in, I always voiced my opinions at meetings confidently, and was not afraid to argue with men if I believed in my ideas. I explained my reasons and gave numbers and examples. I was happy to find that I was soon taken to be an expert engineer, and my ideas were implemented into the final product. Our communities and companies need diversity in engineering roles because every person’s individual background also brings a new perspective that can drive the bottom line, culture and overall success of the business. I am proud to be in the tech industry, and feel lucky to live in the information age when both women and men are given many more opportunities than before to improve the world and impact society.”

Contributed by Daniel D. Gutierrez, Managing Editor and Resident Data Scientist for insideBIGDATA. In addition to being a tech journalist, Daniel also is a consultant in data scientist, author, educator and sits on a number of advisory boards for various start-up companies. 

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