Pamela McCauley, Ph D , CPE is a well regarded female engineer, leader in her field, and is saying, “Don’t go.”
Women still do not represent an equal voice in STEM careers and for African American women that number is even smaller. In a PBS interview, Ms. McCauley says that African American women represent only 2% of the working engineers in our country. And those that do enter STEM careers are leaving because of discrimination, unfair work practices, and a male-dominated work environment.
She says, “Don’t go.”
She is so right. If you have a position in a STEM field you have already survived some of the toughest courses and challenging study/work environments to get where you are today. Why would you leave now?
Young women just coming out of school are looking for other women already in their careers for example. If you leave mid-career, you take away their opportunity to grow and advance in the field. By leaving in the middle of your career, our numbers will never match those of the men working in the field today.
We have to be strong. We have to be there for each other.
“Don’t go.” Not now. Not after you have accomplished so much. Now is the time to stand, stand together and work toward that goal of a more diverse work environment in some of the most important careers for our future.
In the next five to ten years the careers with the most growth and opportunity will be in STEM-related fields. We need to be represented. Seek out a mentor to help you through the rough patches. Consider starting a group for women in your field to help each other out when times get tough. Join Tech Savvy Women and share your lessons, your questions, your insights so that others might learn.
But whatever you do…”Don’t go!” Watch the interview with Pamela.