International Women in Engineering Day – Amee Meghani
International Women in Engineering Day 2022
International Women in Engineering Day is celebrated annually on June 23rd, to raise women’s profile in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry. By shining a light on the women in engineering throughout the world, it gives us a chance to celebrate outstanding achievements across this industry.
Whilst we’re always looking to champion outstanding people in the engineering space, this day is an ideal opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements in engineering, raise awareness about the types of careers available, and share stories of inspiring women.
Figures as of June 2021 showed that 16.5% of engineers are women, this is a 25.7% increase in women in engineering occupations since 2016.
For this IWED, join us in celebrating just some of the inspirational women in our community and the empowering work they do for women everywhere.
Director of Engineering, South Region – GoEngineer
Amee is a huge advocate for STEM and aims to show young children the variety of career options available in STEM fields. After choosing STEM herself when she was in high school, she can see how much the opportunities for students in this field have grown.
Following her early education, Amee studied Mechanical Engineering & Product Development at The University of Texas before going on to succeed in many engineering jobs for companies such as Siemens, Smith System, Progression Technologies Inc. and GoEngineer.
Starting out as an Applications Engineer at GoEngineer, Amee is now the Director of Engineering for the South Region, developing new talent and encouraging innovation.
She is also a certified SOLIDWORKS expert, among many other impressive skills widely known in the manufacturing industry.
We originally featured Amee in our International Women’s Day blog series earlier this year where we put a spotlight on women across our network who are leading the way.
“I want to make sure that STEM is an option, show them that itâ€™s fascinating, show them that thereâ€™s so much yet to discover and solve, and that STEM is for you if you want it.”
Where did your initial interest in STEM come from?
“Honestly, I chose STEM out of process of elimination. STEM fields were the only ones remaining after I eliminated many other career paths (and I shouldnâ€™t have eliminated themâ€¦ we really donâ€™t know enough about career options when we are in High School, right?). I liked to figure things out, puzzles, logic, brainteasers etc.”
“Also, I liked taking things apart and learning how they work together and I enjoyed fixing things. But, I did not enjoy calculus. My dad, who is an engineer, told me not to get discouraged by the academics. He said â€˜You learn everything you need to on the job, just get through school.'”
What is your current role/involvement in STEM?
“I collaborate with our local library for Tween STEM activities and also Elementary-aged STEM activities. I also am a guest speaker at my kidsâ€™ Elementary school to talk about all of the things that Engineers can do. I like to specifically mention things that appeal to them, like those silicone pop-it toys that are so hot right now, or Legos, roller coasters, robots, cars, and the recently trendy Twisty Pets, etc. When I mention things that they love and relate to, I know Iâ€™ve captured their attention, and that is the best most promising way to show them what is possible!”
Tell us a bit about your background and how you ended up in this role
”When I was growing up in the 80s and 90s, you couldnâ€™t be interested in fashion and makeup but also be interested in science and math. You were either â€˜a beautyâ€™ or â€˜a brainâ€™, and you would never see these two groups sharing a table at the cafeteria. I have a daughter and by age 4 she was already compartmentalizing interests as girl toys and boy toys. I had this idea of introducing young girls to STEM fields and met with the library to develop a plan that is fun and educational.”
“I wanted to equally push reading and creativity, and so my curriculum included that as well. Itâ€™s not that I want to steer kids toward STEM exclusively, itâ€™s that I want to make sure that STEM is an option, show them that itâ€™s fascinating, show them that thereâ€™s so much yet to discover and solve, and that STEM is for you if you want it. If your talents are elsewhere, if thereâ€™s a drumbeat inside you that is leading elsewhere, then you should obey that too.”
What is your favourite thing about working in STEM?Â
“Every day is different, the field evolves so quickly with new technologies. My favorite thing in recent years has been to develop new talent, watching them achieve and innovate, and perform in the spotlight. I know that if I give new talent the right tools, and if they are open to connection and feedback, they can really impress.”
What advice would you give to young women interested in pursuing a career in STEM?
- “You can change your career trajectory and focus at any time â€“ you just need to be bold enough to do it.”
- “Request feedback often.”
- “Work for leaders who want you to succeed.”
- “Donâ€™t be discouraged by slow growth with an organization (promotions, etc). If you are working for a great leader, you are gaining much more than just a title. And then your time will come and it will be amazing, because your excellent leaders have set you up for success.”
- “Take note of good and bad leadership and make your own cocktail of awesomeness when itâ€™s your turn.”
- “And finally, avoid toxicity – Donâ€™t let anyone crush your spirit. This is good advice if youâ€™re 6 or 106.”
What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?
“Iâ€™ve had a lot of good advice, but cannot pinpoint one at the moment. However, the things that have been most critical to me was when someone gave me feedback that was hard to hear. Those are the moments that change you and the moments that make you grow exponentially faster. But, you have to agree to ask for it and/or listen to it, and they have to be willing to tell you. If you can â€˜be realâ€™ with anyone at your workplace, you should feel very lucky to have that in your life.”
Who or what inspires you?
“Optimistic and happy people energize me. They help me focus on possibilities and growth, and my current workplace is flooded with them!”
Thanks so much Amee for sharing with us. It was amazing to hear what an advocate Amee is for young women in STEM, encouraging them to explore the wide spectrum of careers available to them and providing invaluable advice everyone.
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