Over the last few years, I've gotten a lot of requests to discuss what it's like being a "woman in engineering." I'm always a bit conflicted about this, since I don't think of myself as a "woman in engineering." Rather, I think of myself as an engineer. In fact, I'm almost embarassed at how little I thought about my gender as a student because, bluntly, there weren't many other women around. I was the only woman my year in my major (Ocean Engineering) at MIT, and in my 9 years of undergrad/grad training, I had only one female professor, and that was for a music class. Thus, I sometimes feel ill-qualified to discuss what is "best" for women in engineering. (Someone once told me that most women engineers, when asked about their experiences, start by saying "I have an unusual story." ) Definitely, there are some questions that should be addressed: Why aren't there more women in engineering? Are women choosing not to go into engineering because they're not interested, or because they don't consider it an option.
For more of my thoughts on this topic, please see a guest editorial that I wrote for Make: magazine.
Recently, PBS and TPT launched a new show titled SciGirls. In the past, I've turned down opportunities to be in reality TV. This time, however, I found the show too compelling to say "no." Thus, my daughter and I can be seen in the episod "Puppet Power." (I served as the engineering mentor to a group of girls building a puppet for the Heart of The Beast's May Day Parade. My daughter served as "cute baby girl inspecting the puppet." The episode can be found here.