From left to right: Lisa Heimbach, Xenia Schäfer, Camilla Marchesini, Charlotte Steinmetz, Caroline Pflieger
Whether in the fields of climate protection, energy, environment, mobility, digitalization or research – it is also female engineers who are designing and developing innovative ideas, processes, and technologies that are helping to change and hopefully improve the world. So maybe a bit superheroine after all?
Traditionally prevailing expectations and perceptions of gender roles can still be seen in today’s society in the engineering profession. Businesses, politicians and educational institutions have been trying for years now to get women interested in scientific and technical professions – not least to counteract the shortage of skilled workers. Girls days are held, and there are separate study programs just for women. Meanwhile, girls are already being encouraged to take up to STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at school. Companies are setting quotas for women and making use of staff development programs, while also giving jobs to women rather than men if they are equally qualified. While the measures are wide-ranging, it is also debatable whether they are effective and useful.
If a woman does decide to study engineering, she will still have more male classmates during her studies. Although the number of women in science and engineering is increasing, that increase is unfortunately only in the decimal point range. In a direct comparison of countries, Germany also tends to be in the lower range.
Women in science and engineering; Source: Statista/Eurostat
Once they enter the workforce, women are in a mostly male work environment, despite the fact that it has been proven that diverse teams achieve better results. As a large engineering consultancy and member of the Fichtner Group, diversity among our employees is very important to us at Fichtner Bauconsulting GmbH. We also boast job variety along with excellent career prospects and income opportunities while seeking to achieve a healthy work-life balance – a topic that should be important not only for women. We offer exciting projects and career opportunities.
We still have vacancies for women power!
This is reason enough to ask our team what motivated our young female colleagues to choose a profession in a male domain, what experiences they can pass on here, and what advice they have for young women who want to become engineers.
Energy and Environmental Engineer
Countries around the world are struggling with climate and environmental problems. For this reason, it was already clear to me during my school years that I would like to pursue a profession in this subject area. So I decided to do a degree in energy and environmental engineering. I was well aware that scientific or technical professions are dominated by men, but this did not influence my decision to become an engineer. What mattered to me had much more to do with the importance that I attach to those problems and my desire for varied and exciting challenges.
Industrial Engineer in Civil Engineering
There are many good reasons to become an engineer. Mine was to strive to unite engineering knowledge with business knowledge in one profession. With this career choice, I was able to combine my interest with my enthusiasm for technology and business, forming an interface between the engineering side and the business side of a company.
What motivated me to become an engineer? When you’re 18 years old, you dream big. Back then, I wanted to save the world from climate change and energy conflicts. But how would I go about that? That’s how I convinced myself to study power engineering. You don’t save the world that easily, of course, but it’s a great feeling to be doing a little something every day for a better future. The work is exciting and you always learn something new: I would never want to be without it again!
Originally, my interest no doubt came from my father, who is also an engineer. This meant that there were many books about rockets and outer space on our shelves at home. During my school years, however, I always planned to do something artistic and creative. Then, after graduating from high school and spending time abroad, I had my first experience of life without money and decided to take the “safe” option. My degree course was initially an experiment. However, I soon realized that the subject really interested me and that my math grades said nothing about my strengths. The fact that the profession is practiced more by men has never bothered or intimidated me. If anything, I was given encouragement at university and during internships. I think you shouldn’t be put off by the low proportion of women and shouldn’t draw too many conclusions from school grades.
Technical Building Services Engineer
My interest in technology was aroused at a young age, which prompted me to gain initial experience in the field of architecture during my training as a draftswoman. My enthusiasm for building design, technology and physical conditions ultimately steered me in the direction of building services engineering. I then decided to pursue a degree in this field. My interest in technology showed me that it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman. The only thing that counts is the shared fascination with a technical profession.