By Riya Shrivastava
Submitted by Keysight Technologies
A 2018 PISA survey found that male students expressed science and engineering career expectations at twice the rate of young women. Then, according to a survey conducted by professors at Colorado State University and San Diego State University in 2016, women are 1.5 times more likely to leave a STEM pipeline from high school than their male counterparts despite 66% of girls being interested in science and 68% of boys being interested in science when they are in 4th grade.
As a woman in STEM myself, it is incredibly disheartening to hear statistics like this. It makes me happy though to see the Keysight – Society of Women Engineers Enterprise Program (KSWEEP) highlighting some of the amazing women in STEM that make up Keysight as part of International Women in Engineering Day. You might have heard the saying, “Empowered women, empower women.” By empowering the wonderful women in Keysight, KSWEEP hopes to do just that.
In a company embracing and celebrating diversity, KSWEEP connected with a diverse array of women engineers around the globe to ask one essential question, “Who/What inspired you to become an engineer and continue to pursue engineering?”
Below are the testimonies from the women we talked to.
First, we hear from Shivani, who works in Program/Project Management in India. Shivani joined KSWEEP once she realized her passion and successful engineering career was encouraging the other women in her family to become engineers too. In KSWEEP, she wanted to continue to inspire other women to liberate themselves through engineering.
Shivani finds joy in pursuing engineering in the freedom it gives you. Technical roles, industrial roles, management, data analytics, and more! Shivani loves how engineers can do it all.
“My journey of becoming an engineer was a bit dramatic, considering, that no girl from my immediate family was an engineer and I always wanted to break that stereotype [by getting] into engineering.
Like other women in our family, I was also admitted to the Bachelor of Science course in a very renowned college of Delhi. I attended that college for almost a month, but there was not even a single day spent when I didn’t think of pursuing a technical degree, something that doesn’t teach me only about a specific subject but teach me a technique of how to learn and how to apply a technical mindset to all the things that we do in our normal lives or in our professional career. Finally, one day I gathered the courage and convinced my family to get me into engineering and that was the day from where I began my journey to become an engineer.”
Next, we hear from Marialuisa, who is an R&D Engineer in Italy. Marialuisa got involved with KSWEEP after the company she worked for merged with Keysight in 2019. She was initially apprehensive to join as she was based in Italy and worried she might not be able to engage with the program. However, upon seeing the materials published for an event hosted by the Keysight Society of Women Engineers Enterprise Program, Marialuisa quickly joined SWE; in her testimony, she says she is really glad that she did.
Marialuisa answered our question:
“Growing up in the 90’s, I was fascinated by technology, especially in products like Video Game Console, Computer and mobile phones. In high school I was very good at math and physics, so a degree in engineering sounded like a natural choice. The moment I knew that in the university I planned to attend they offered an Electronic Engineering major, I knew that would be my future. And 13 years later, I still believe it is!”
Next, we talked to Lip-Jing, a Materials Engineer based out of Malaysia. She was introduced to KSWEEP through one of the other women involved with KSWEEP. Out of curiosity, she attended an information session for KSWEEP hosted concerning Keysight’s delegation to the 2021 Society of Women Engineers annual conference. Lip-Jing distinctly remembers a speaker there sharing, “You don’t have to apologize for things you’ve not done wrong.” Lip-Jing told us, “Coming from a culture where people first apologize for anything, be it your fault or not, I was especially mind-blown and emotional about the statement.” Since then, Lip-Jing has gotten involved with KSWEEP, searching for more empowerment and inspiration.
Here is what Lip-Jing said in response to our central question:
“I would say [I was inspired to pursue engineering by]: My father, who was neither a scientist nor an engineer. Growing up, my father used to repair all sorts of devices ranging from remote control cars, water pumps to TVs and other household appliances. Working as his little helper was a true apprenticeship in electronics, electrical, mechanical and automotive. My curiosity for math and science had developed since then. A strong feeling of ‘wanting to create and solve problem’ drew me closer to engineering. After that, I realized that I want to be a part of this industry.”
After Lip-Jing, we heard from Christine, who works in R&D Management based in the United States. Christine says she was encouraged to join KSWEEP by the inspiring women behind KSWEEP.
Christine gave us a wonderful anecdote of her experience as a woman in engineering and a first-generation immigrant in engineering:
“I chose engineering as a career not because it was what I always wanted to be – an engineer. I chose engineering as a career because I COULD! In short, it was because I excelled at math and science when I was young, and the opportunity was there for me to “start over” on my education after my family immigrated to the US… Mine is a first-generation immigrant story, not a young girl who always wanted to be an engineer story…Yes, I could have pursued other career paths / college studies, but I chose engineering also because I did have a role model – my maternal grandfather. So, I am lucky that I did have someone I looked up to who had a fulfilling engineering career. I do have a unique story and experiences that gave me different perspectives. I’ve always been resilient and unyielding (stubborn) which gave me the courage to ignore challenges and overcome obstacles when I put my mind to it. The competitiveness and rebel in me were the main drivers behind how I became who I am today.”
From these anecdotes of women engineers in Keysight from around the world, we hope to bring to light their stories and celebrate their achievements; most importantly, we hope this reaches someone who needed to hear this. Someone who needed that inspiration to pursue engineering and not let the statistic get the best of them.
Though, today, we highlighted the achievements and the stories of the wonderful women engineers in our midst, International Women in Engineering Day is not a milestone or celebration only for women engineers. We at Keysight strongly believe that this day is to celebrate and empower all women and all engineers across the globe; we need allies and stewards alike to band together as a global community to transform our system today into one that bolsters women and supports them in their journey towards becoming an engineer.
About the Author
Riya is a Marketing and Communications Intern for KSWEEP. She is a senior at Carnegie Mellon University, focused on Marketing & Business Technology
Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) is a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight's solutions optimize networks and bring electronic products to market faster and at a lower cost with offerings from design simulation, to prototype validation, to manufacturing test, to optimization in networks and cloud environments.
More from Keysight Technologies