Did you know that June 23rd is International Women in Engineering Day (INWED)? It’s okay if your answer was no because you won’t be able to say that after reading this blog! Don’t feel bad because according to Days of the Year, it’s also Let It Go Day, International Widow Day, Typewriter Day, and Public Service Day — all of which I’m sure you didn’t know about either. Try asking your friends or colleagues about those special days and see if they know about them!
While it might be interesting to talk about the history of typewriters and how that culminated into a day dedicated to them, we’d like to tell you more about INWED. INWED is a day to celebrate women engineers and their achievements. It is an international awareness campaign to recognize the work of women in engineering and encourage young girls to consider careers in engineering. INWED actually originated in the UK as a national initiative by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) in 2014, but it has gained more and more momentum each year and grew into an international campaign in 2017.
INWED’s goal is to help individuals as well as governmental, educational, corporate, and other types of groups with running events that further INWED’s mission of promoting engineering as an attractive profession for women and girls. Go to the INWED website to see the list of events held in honor of this day so that you can be a part of INWED! This year’s theme is engineering heroes. After all, anyone who knows a woman in engineering can personally attest to the heroic acts they perform each and every day at work and at home.
Personally, I admire the courage of those who were the only women in their engineering classes, who were the first women to graduate in their engineering schools, and who didn’t care that they were the only female voices in the room. As I look back at my career in tech, I realize how important it was to have a mentor to learn from, to feel that my voice mattered, and to see other women in leadership. Representation matters! Today, I’m proud to see growing numbers of girls in STEAM, in engineering schools, and in our application pools. But let’s continue fighting for equality in tech until the faces around the tables look more like the world we live in.
In honor of INWED, we share some thoughts from around the company about women in engineering and our engineering heroes.
“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” —Verna Myers
— Linda Kato, Vice President of People
My engineering hero is Donella “Dana” Meadows, who helped pioneer the field of system dynamics, a field devoted to understanding the non-linear behaviors of complex systems. As a systems design engineer, I really appreciate what she’s done to pioneer and advance the systems thinking processes and methodologies for modeling systems, and her book “Thinking in Systems” (published posthumously) is still the best introduction to system dynamics. On top of that, her work pioneering the whole sustainability movement continues to inspire me and many others to this day.
— David Gorbet, SVP, Product
Because of the relative numbers of women on most engineering teams, I think most women engineers are heroes by sticking it out, advancing their craft, and holding their own with the guys.
— Marilyn Hollinger, Senior Director, Design & User Enablement
I’ve always been really proud to work at MarkLogic where we’ve had a lot of women in key tech positions – whether it be in product engineering, solutions engineering, consulting, or product management.
— Alicia Saia, Senior Director, Solutions Marketing
“I think a hero is really any person intent on making this a better place for all people.” —Maya Angelou. My hero, who definitely made this a better place…
— Philip Miller, Senior Sales Development Representative
Be your own hero – “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” —A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh
— Abika Chitra, Senior Software Engineer
I’ve grown up loving STEM and have always tried taking as many STEM classes as I can. In nearly every single one, I’ve been outnumbered by guys. Whenever I see another girl in class, I think of her as my hero — someone who encourages me to stay in a field where I might feel outnumbered. Seeing her makes me feel hopeful that more and more girls will join STEM.
— Jade Burns, Technical Web Content Intern
I’m very happy and proud to be leading a team with a majority of women engineers!! I enjoy every conversation I have with my team members and I learn a lot from them! On this ‘International Women in Engineering Day,’ I want to take the opportunity to recognize and thank all the men in my family (including my 12-year old son) who have always encouraged and supported me to be successful at what I do.
— Mahalakshmi Srinivasan, Senior Manager, Development
My engineering heroes are the other women engineers who I get the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with. They show incredible dedication to making our product better every day.
— Andrea Levy, Senior Engineer
My engineering heroes are all the engineers, women and men, who are respectful to women, proficient at their jobs, and inspiring.
— Vanessa Zhang, Senior Engineer, Development
I wish I can shout from the rooftops that the tech space has so many opportunities for so many people with different backgrounds. You don’t have to be a CS major or become a software developer.
— Trinh Lieu, Senior Manager, Training and Community