2018 Women in Engineering Empowerment Essay – Ariana Cobb

Growing up is difficult. Want to know something else that’s even harder? Finding out what you want to do as a career! As a child I never truly knew what I wanted to be when I was growing up, the things I had to look up to were Power Rangers, and Scooby Doo. While these were “unrealistic” role models, they helped me to figure out what I enjoyed, thanks to Velma.

One thing I noticed while growing up from the 90’s era, there wasn’t many “women” influences that enjoyed anything scientific or mathematic. To me, this is disheartening to women and can make us feel as if we aren’t “good enough” or not “intelligent” enough to be a Scientist, which is wrong. Throughout history women have made it very clear that we can do anything and everything a man can do, which should be displayed and portrayed throughout our media and schools. For example; when I was in school I wanted to be in the shop class and the “young scientist” group, but when I went to join the class/group the majority of them were male and I was pretty much laughed out of shop class all because it was unusual for a female in our small town to want to do “boy-ish” things. Honestly, I personally believe that this all stems from the government or schools making women the “picture kid” for science. During this time of trying to discover what I wanted to do as a career, it made a huge impact on the next steps in my life. Since women were portrayed as the more compassionate sex, as well as my family pressuring me, I decided to change my interests and studies into becoming a nurse. After realizing I wasn’t truly happy I decided to go against my odds and do what I truly wanted. And that was work my way up into becoming a scientist!

Throughout my struggles I can see where our peers as well as schools and media could have a great or negative impact on women in STEM degrees/careers. I believe there should be more science labs in schools, for all sexes. They should also bring back science projects, and I say this because I never had to complete one for any of my school years. These increase imaginative and productive thoughts. This could help kids of all ages discover what they enjoy and could make such a positive impact on any of the STEM fields. Letting kids/young adults choose what interests them and follow through with it is the next steps to their successful future.

I believe that if the correct changes are made, we could have a major increase in the interests in a science, math, technical and even engineering careers. As long as we, as a whole, make it normal; no one will ever have to feel as if they are an outcast just for being technical and using their brain and intelligence for their career and future!