At school, I used to enjoy science as a subject, and I was generally good at it. So when it came time to decide what I would continue my studies in, the obvious answer was science, which led me to studying Physics/Astrophysics at university. However, I hadn’t any idea what career I wanted until I spoke to a careers advisor. That was where I first learned what a patent attorney was, and just over a year later, I was at Dehns!
I feel like, unusually, I haven’t. It never occurred to me that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do. And funnily enough, I didn’t realise I had picked a male-dominated course (Physics/Astrophysics) or a male-dominated profession (Patent Attorney) until I was already studying and/or working.
If I had stopped to worry that it’s usually men who study Physics/Astrophysics or who become Patent Attorneys, I might have hesitated at doing either of those things myself. So I think it’s important for young women to see other women in engineering roles – they need to see that they can do these things too.
It’s important to have an inclusive and diverse workforce, as men and women bring different ideas, perspectives, experiences, dynamics etc. to the workforce. Having a workforce that leans too far one way or the other has the potential to become bland and stuck in its ways.
Don’t be worried that engineering is seen as a male profession or as male-dominated – the only way it will become less of either of these is if more women join – so join!