WOMEN IN ENGINEERING DORA JACOB, PE
"I believe the more women we have in engineering, the less a woman in engineering becomes taboo. Additionally, it is up to leadership in academics, private practice, or government entities, to create an environment where everyone can contribute equally."
How or why did you choose engineering as a career path or area of study?
I attended Booker T. Washington/High School for Engineering Professions. Originally, I wanted to attend the school because a lot of my older cousins attended, and I wanted to be part of several of the extra-curricular activities (band/step team) that were popular. However, for my mom to agree for me to attend, I had to get into the engineering program. I am thankful that she did because that is where I found what I really wanted to pursue.
What inspires you about engineering?
Being able to have a tangible impact on society. With the major storm events in the last few years, and being impacted by a flood, it makes every design of our storm systems, roads, and emergency evacuation routes that much more important to me. I have heard so many stories over the years and being part of projects that will alleviate and reduce flood risks is fulfilling.
What challenges do women face in the Engineering profession or academia?
First, I don’t think there are the same challenges everywhere. I believe the environment you are in will really impact what you will see as a challenge. I believe the more women we have in engineering, the less a woman in engineering becomes taboo. Additionally, it is up to leadership in academics, private practice, or government entities, to create an environment where everyone can contribute equally. Safe environments will allow the engineering community to grow and really tackle the challenges that are facing our society and can be solved through design and technology.
What would you say to girls in school or college who may be considering Engineering as a career choice or study option?
Ask questions and don’t let your questions go unanswered.
Take your learning beyond the classroom. Participate in competitions and design challenges.
One failure does not mean you are a failure. Get up and try again.
Have fun. Enjoy your journey.
What are your hopes for the future of Engineering?
I hope at some point the focus will not have to be to recruit girls because it will be just as common for a girl to be in engineering as a boy.