RK&K is proud to support Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, or Girl Day, a movement showing girls (and all children) the fascinating world of engineering—and how engineers are changing our world all the time.
DiscoverE created “Girl Day” in 2001 as a call-to-action and outreach platform to encourage girls to discover engineering.
A recent survey found 92% of girls are thinking about their future careers. And 69% of the girls who attended a Girl Day event said that the role models inspired them to consider engineering as a career.
Happy Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day! #GirlDay2023
DiscoverE’s Girl Day is a time when volunteers, educators, and others act as role models, facilitate engineering activities, and show girls how engineers change our world. Tell us how YOU are celebrating! #Eweek2023 pic.twitter.com/fMHFkYexSK
— DiscoverE (@DiscoverEorg) February 23, 2023
While multiple studies look at why women leave engineering and technology paths, “Girl Day” aims to turn this around by asking: “What are the common factors that motivate girls to pursue—and then persist—in engineering education and careers?”
As part of Engineers Week, a few RK&K engineers said while they enjoyed STEM courses growing up, the support and guidance of mentors helped them pursue engineering careers.
“I was always good at math and science in high school and adamantly knew that I didn’t want to work in healthcare or teaching but didn’t have any clear direction of what I actually wanted to do,” said Project Engineer Rhiannon Dodge, PE. “I had a couple of teachers who supported me and encouraged me to enter engineering in college. They had a huge impact on my career, and I still talk to them today.”
“I had a couple of teachers who supported me and encouraged me to enter engineering in college. They had a huge impact on my career, and I still talk to them today.”Project Engineer Rhiannon Dodge, PE
“I wanted to use my passion for these subjects to work in a field that makes a difference in the lives of people around me,” said Associate Engineer Brittany Ayers, PE. “My elementary and high school science teachers inspired me by instilling in me a passion for the environment, and confidence in my own ability to successfully obtain an engineering degree.”
“Civil engineering appealed to me because the projects we work on are tangible things that affect everyday people. It’s a large impact even if it isn’t something that everyone thinks about when they interact with our work. We have all helped way more people than we even realize,” said Senior Project Engineer Amanda Barrett, PE.
Each engineer we spoke with shared the importance of paying it forward and how their volunteer work with children of all ages inspires the next generation of engineers.
“Most people don’t know how many different types of engineers there are or what specific niches you can find yourself in when you enter the industry. It’s important to show interested students what kind of work is out there,” Ayers noted.
“Giving young people access to learn more about our field is key to ensuring this important work continues to be done by bright, passionate individuals.”Senior Project Engineer Amanda Barrett, PE
“Role models are crucial for encouraging future generations to enter the engineering field,” Dodge added. “We have been fortunate to have some really great college interns in the Keyser (West Virginia) office in the past few years, and I am involved with Garrett County Commission for Women which has given me the chance to talk with different groups of young women in the County about the possibilities within engineering.”
“Giving young people access to learn more about our field is key to ensuring this important work continues to be done by bright, passionate individuals. I love talking about my work with young engineers and students – do it every chance I get,” Barrett said.
For more resources to inspire young engineers, click here.
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