Women Engineers Share Experiences and Vision for the Future at UCI Applied Innovation

Past Tides
November 30, 2018 By Ethan Perez

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Orange County Branch recently presented at the Cove @ UCI Applied Innovation “The Future is Female — Championing Women Engineers,” an event dedicated to promoting women engineers.

Sponsored by Gannett Fleming, a leader in global infrastructure solutions, four female panelists shared experiences from their careers as engineers and answered questions from the audience. The panelists included Jeanet Owens, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Derya Thompson, Gannett Fleming; Karen Sepulveda, Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority; and Kristina Swallow, ASCE 2018 president.

Aileen Santos-Redman of Gannett Fleming moderated the two-hour event, where the topic of inspiring women to pursue an engineering career by providing a female role model sparked much discussion among the audience and panel. Many stated that they never had a role model and had to pave their own ways.

“To me, there weren’t women that I was seeing up ahead,” said Swallow, with agreement from the other panelists. “From what I’ve learned from women engineers is that we’re all pretty stubborn and pretty persistent, right? At some point we decided we were going to do this and we figured out how to do it.”

The panel also discussed hot-button topics like finding and becoming a role model, encouraging diversity, educating male counterparts on advocacy within the office, balancing work and life, and paving a career path while uplifting those who are new to the industry.

To learn more about the American Society of Civil Engineers Orange County Branch, visit www.asceoc.org.