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We Cannot Be What We Cannot See

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Author: Cieana Detloff

I do not know who coined this phrase, but I can tell you that the sentiment within these words was at the heart of my activities during Engineers Week. Over the last few days, we have shared features of many talented Women Engineers. I love sharing these individuals’ stories with the world because whether we realize it or not, it has an impact!

When people SEE the experiences of others, it opens their minds to more possibilities for their own lives. When we ask children ‘what they want to be when they grow up’, we are inviting them to imagine themselves in a role – this is why having Role Models is significant! This is why SEEING Women Engineers as Role Models is critical!! This is why we have Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day – to SHOW the next generation that they too can become Engineers.

I can’t tell you how my heart soared when I saw that Triangle Fluid Controls scheduled an Engineering presentation / activity this week at a local elementary school; or last year, when A.W. Chesterton Company had a STEAM Partnership with a local elementary school. We may never know how those simple acts could have changed the trajectory of one or more students’ lives (the thought gives me goosebumps!).

I wish I’d had the same exposure at that age to the field of engineering. While I excelled at math throughout every grade level, I was repeatedly told that I would never go to college due to my family’s inability to pay for it. I hated (and still do) when people told me “You can’t….” so at the age of 7, I had my mind made up – I was going to college. Of course, I had no idea what I was going to do once I got there, and I certainly did not have a wide range of role models to help me visualize the possibilities….but I ended up doing something I LOVE.

I am SO LUCKY to be working in a field (and with an inspiring Woman Entrepreneur) where I get to help shine a light and spread the word about amazing Women Engineers – to help girls SEE what they can BE.

Meet the Women Engineers featured on Empowering Pumps & Equipment!

What are you doing today to Introduce a Girl to Engineering? Share in the comments below!

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