Hoping to challenge the status quo as a woman engineer

Morgan_250Being a successful leader is more than just being followed by a group of people. A great leader is someone who can gain trust, someone who can guide but not push, and someone who can inspire others to be better in all aspects of their lives. I aspire to be a great leader. I want to succeed in something that few people have done, and for me that something is challenging the status quo as a woman engineer and ultimately as a female executive leader.

My parents have been pushing me toward the engineering field since I was a child. They sent me to summer engineering camps, signed me up for youth engineering courses, and even coaxed me into taking an engineering design course in high school. I always pushed back. I had no interest in pursuing a field so dominated by men. It wasn’t until college, however, that I realized why they pushed me. Not only did engineering fit my proud-to-be-nerdy personality but by pursuing a field so untouched by other women, I have a great opportunity to show myself and other people that everyone can be intellectually competitive.

Being a woman engineer is a great accomplishment because it is something that challenges me every day. One of my greatest weaknesses is being assertive. As a woman in a male-dominated field, I am constantly challenged to be assertive to communicate my ideas and establish and maintain my credibility. This challenge allows me to grow, but can sometimes be disheartening. Statistically, about fourteen percent of engineers in the US are women (Crawford). Additionally, about thirty-eight percent of women who hold engineering degrees leave the field or do not enter it at all (St. Fleur). This fact means that the number of role models who are passionate about their work enough to continue it until retirement is very limited. The reality of these statistics can be intimidating, but they also give me a great sense of satisfaction. I have the opportunity to be a leader who can inspire others not to fear pursuing their desires.

If someone told me when I was a child that my parents were right and I would pursue engineering, I would not have believed it. As time passes, and I gain new experiences, however, I learn more about what I want to accomplish in my lifetime. Then again, outside of work I believe that my final and most critical goal is to find something to enjoy every day. I know that in my chosen profession I will face skepticism. I also know that if I can find at least one reason to enjoy every day, I will show others that they can achieve whatever they aspire, and I will succeed both as a leader and a happy person.

Works Cited

Crawford, Mark. “Engineering Still Needs More Women.” ASME. American Society
Of Mechanical Engineers, Sept. 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.
St. Fleur, Nicholas. “Many Women Leave Engineering, Blame The Work Culture.”
NPR. NPR, 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

We are proud to announce Morgan Kleissler is one of the current JustJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

Email This Page
Print Friendly

  • Darlene Rees

    CONGRATULATIONS, Morgan, on a great essay. We thoroughly enjoyed reading “Hoping to Challenge the Status Quo as a Woman Engineer.
    It has been our pleasure to observe Morgan’s growth from childhood through high school and now college. Morgan has always been an independent methodical thinker and an avid conscientious student striving to do her best. Morgan was also a competitive tennis player and swimmer. She is constantly thinking of her future and how she can make life better for those less fortunate.
    Morgan has enjoyed and gained knowledge from her summer internships with Whirlpool, Inc. and Larson’s Windows. Presently she is employed with an internship with Polaris.
    We know she will be a great engineer when her college education is completed. Her ability to analyze situations will prove to be a great asset in her future work as an engineer.
    Again, CONGRATULATIONS on being considered for this prestigious justjobs.com scholarship.

  • Dixie Rees

    So proud of your accomplishments to date and your determined attitude! Good luck in all you do in the future!!

  • Bronwen Kleissler

    Go Morgan!

  • Emily Judd

    As a female engineering student, I understand all too well the challenges that face women in engineering. It is difficult to always stand up for yourself, so good luck! Morgan, I wish you the best in your endeavor to be a leader and role model in the engineering field!

Top