March 24th is an Internet declared holiday of Ada Lovelace Day. It is meant to gain awareness that there is gender inequality still present in technology and draw attention to women excelling despite it.
Normally I'd pass these things over. The Internet doesn't really declare a holiday, but this one resonated too strongly. The mention of the need for female role models, the hidden discrimination, and more all are things I've seen. It hit me too deep in the gut to let this go.
But I'm not here to dwell on the past. I try and let that experience go and hope that things get better.
There are a few women I do admire in technology. Many of them are FIRST Judges. They are the movers and shakers in technology that I have had the opportunity to talk to on a level that without FIRST I would not have had the chance. Some of them have been told nice girls don't do science. Most of them are now high ranking engineers. All of them are amazing people. Helen, Deborah, Sherra, Joann, Cindy, Leann, Sue, Peko, Alex, Elaine, and more I know I'm forgetting. Every one of them is amazing in their own right. Chief Engineers, Program Managers, Professors, Deans, World Conquerers, Robot Builders, Entrepreneurs, Scientists. They are out there as the role models I missed out on.
There are astronauts too. Sunita, Sally, Shannon, Eileen. One day I may be crazy enough to join them. You are the superstars that helped drag me into engineering, the others have just kept me here.
There is finally Amy. I've never met someone with as much drive and resilience. She has shown me that anything is possible and gender does not matter. She's also been the kick when I'm stuck and need a hand. Thank you.
I really cannot say enough about the women in technology I look up to. They come from all over the country, and every industry. But each one of them is proof that it is possible to be a successful female engineer despite everything that tells you no.