To submit a question, please email Women in Engineering (WiE).
Are men allowed to attend WiE events?
Yes! Men are welcome to participate in WiE events! Come out and support your fellow classmates.
How can I find out about WiE events? How do I join WiE? How can I become more involved in WiE?
When you sign up for the mailing list you get information on WiE opportunities at Waterloo as well as nationally. There is no WiE membership, WiE is an open organization for anyone interested in supporting female engineers at the University of Waterloo. To be more involved in WiE, come to an event, volunteer or join the mentorship program.
Who can I contact if I am experiencing sexism or harassment?
What are some good strategies for maintaining work life balance as a female engineer?
I don't like the term "work-life balance" since it seems to be about giving up one thing for another, I prefer to think about "work-life integration". For me, as for many people, it's not a case of working for a solid block of 8 hours per day, then doing non-work things for the remainder: I like to bring the two together so that I can maximize the enjoyment that I get from both. As a consultant, I work from a home office most days, which gives me some degree of flexibility in my schedule. I still have calls and meetings with clients, but on days when I am working from home, I try to take an hour away from my desk to do something that is not work-related -- go for a walk, attend a yoga class, or work on a charity project -- in the middle of the day. This has the effect of clearing my head and making me more able to concentrate on my work when I get back to it. I check email and take calls outside of usual "working hours" since I have clients in other time zones, but the total number of hours worked per day is the same as if I sat at my desk from 9 to 5, and I'm more relaxed about it since I'm not struggling to fit it all into a specific time period. I travel for business frequently, which makes for a very hectic schedule during those times, but I have started adding on vacation days to my longer business trips (especially the ones to more exotic locations) to take a break and visit someplace new. Sometimes my husband joins me on these trips, and sometimes I meet up with friends or travel alone. The ability to enjoy a guilt-free break for "me time", whether a mini-break of an hour during the work day, or a long weekend in Europe after a conference, is essential to integrating my desire to do the best possible job for my clients with my other interests.
- Sandy Kemsley | Kemsley Design Ltd.
What attracts high school girls to pick engineering for undergrad?
Why don't more girls pick engineering as their undergrad program?
I believe that the reason that there are not more girls in engineering is lack of interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) due to lack of exposure. In the early years of elementary school, the introduction to STEM is limited, and to be honest, not very enjoyable. This is supplemented with the concept of female play – toys that are designed to promote imagination and nurturing opposed to building and creating. Between school and play, girls see such a limited portion of STEM when they are young, which in turn affects their course and program choices in the later years.
-Laura Bingeman, Systems Design Student
What's it like to join the engineering workforce?
People ask me all the time: 'What is it like to be a woman at Google?' I'm not a woman at Google, I'm a geek at Google. And being a geek is just great. I'm a geek, I like to code, I even like to use spreadsheets when I cook.
-Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, former engineer at Google