STEM for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. We feel a tendency to inflame the feelings present in these “hard” women that they are not there. Around the world, women feel this discomfort.
Talent was never my first choice. For me, engineers were men, welders were men, builders were men and I was not. Therefore, it never occurred to me to pursue a career in this field.
I enrolled in commerce at CEGEP, but without enthusiasm. Last year, to my surprise, a recruitment officer of the Gina-Kodi School assured me that I could enroll in engineering. He was so confident that I dared to take the pledge.
However, both my men and women admitted that engineering was a man’s business. So much that I finally convinced myself. If I was never prevented from becoming an engineer, they encouraged me to do so. But I persisted.
At first, I was suffering from impostor syndrome, I was sure that I was out of place. The transition from business to engineering had become more difficult than I expected: I had most of my classmates lack science fundamentals and on top of that, barely 10% of students in my courses – and then! – There were girls. It was disappointing.
When the university renamed the Gina-Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science to its former faculty and computer science, my outlook changed dramatically in the first term. I was finally a woman as a model! I suddenly realized that this brilliant engineer not only succeeded in life, but was fed under the names of all the students, girls and boys of the school. From then on, I too had the right to make this field suitable. I was fascinated to see people wearing Cody’s name counted on my T-shirt.
With this renewed confidence, I wanted to join the Women in Engineering Association and move forward. It is with this great team, that I was able to get my place in engineering. I understood that sexist prejudices have hindered my decisions and my subconscious distracted me from the engineering profession ever since I was little. Many fallacies prevent women from owning STEM; Consciously or not, these biases undermine their faith and overcome them.
It is not about good to see face or filling administrative quota. Yes, girls are as smart and capable in technical matters as boys, and no, they will not get any job easily because they are women. We have only one ambition: to work on our work.
From STEM to Self-Esteem
Let us encourage young women to study in STEM and ensure that we overcome the invisible barriers that come in their way. The more visible women who choose these subjects, the more we girls will develop a sense of belonging. This is capital.
I appeal to my male colleagues. You are part of change internally. Women are a minority in so-called difficult subjects. We will not be able to change the situation on our own and moreover, it will not be fair. We need you
I am extremely proud to be an engineering student at Concordia University, where professors and students value gender equality. For young women who are considering careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, I say, “Don’t hesitate, you’ll be right there.”
* Alexandra McMullin is a member of the Board of Directors of the Student Association Woman in Engineering.