Thanks to efforts made to address the issues of gender equality in the field of engineering, more and more women are now choosing to become engineers. Still, several women engineers struggle to climb the career ladder due to the limited opportunities available. For instance, in the field of electronic engineering, most of the senior roles are held by men. But that should not stop women from pursuing their career goals. Below, check out some tips on how to progress a career as a woman in electronic engineering.
1) Network with Engineers
Look for a community to connect and network. Meet and talk with fellow female engineers who can offer tips about starting a career in the electronic engineering industry. If there are aspects of your professional career you are having issues with, don’t hesitate to open up and ask for advice. There’s a good chance that another engineer may have gone through similar challenges and can offer advice on how you can best overcome them. Seek a mentor with several years of experience in your field who can coach you about entering an industry dominated by men.
Your network is also an excellent source of new ideas and perspectives, which can help your role. Take advantage of the opportunity to exchange ideas about different experiences, challenges and goals. Exchanging ideas is one of the main benefits of networking since it allows you to gain new perspectives you may not have thought of.
Many engineers love being asked for help. It’s flattering and makes them feel they are doing something good. If you are struggling with making a decision, you can count on your mentor to help you think clearly and make the best decision.
2) Broaden your Skillset
Electronic engineering is a highly competitive career. If you want to stand out, consider broadening your skillset. Having a wide skillset allows you to adapt well to industry changes. Keeping up to date with the latest electronic technologies and learning new skills can help prepare you for industry changes.
The good news is that there are ways to develop your skills without spending money. For instance, you can take free courses online on developing different skill sets. Online training is a convenient option since you don’t have to attend actual classes, and it won’t interfere with your work schedules.
As an engineer, some skills you need to develop are communication, leadership, and creativity. Communication is essential in electronics engineering since every project often starts and ends with a human discussion. You must be able to communicate and listen well to ensure the success of a project.
Sometimes, working on different projects may require you to be a leader. Thus, leadership skill is also essential. Besides, if you want to climb the career ladder, you must be a good leader. Creativity is also important because being an engineer requires you to address issues creatively.
3) Check out Apprenticeships
Electronic engineering is a rapidly changing field. Thus, one of the best ways to progress in this field is to take up an apprenticeship. Engineering apprenticeships refer to programs offering apprentices the opportunity to gain specific skills and experience required for their roles. It usually consists of a combination of classroom discussion and on-the-job training.
You do not need prior job experience to take up an engineering apprenticeship, making it an ideal option for fresh graduates. Most companies will only ask you to show proof of education. In most cases, they only need to ensure you have completed relevant high school coursework or taken up a STEM-related activity.
An engineering apprenticeship can benefit women engineers trying to enter a male-dominated field and is an exciting way to jumpstart their careers after graduation. With an engineering apprenticeship, you will get paid to acquire valuable skills while potentially working towards your career goals.
4) Be Selective
As a woman, it’s not easy to enter a male-dominated field. However, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for jobs you don’t like. You must be selective when applying for jobs, whether it’s your first job, for promotion, or moving to another company. Before sending in your application, take the time to research the company and see if it has values similar to yours. Gather as much information as you can and decide if it’s a company you see yourself working for a long time.
Using specialist recruitment companies in electronic engineering may help narrow your search and make choosing a job easier. These companies have insights into a company’s culture, expectations, and values and will put a great deal into understanding if the company is the right fit for you. It is in their best interest to make the right match for the candidate and the company.
If you have reached a point in your career where you want to get out of your current job, you might be willing to take on any job, even if it doesn’t suit your overall plan. You should avoid doing this. Stick to your ultimate career goal and be incredibly selective with the jobs and companies. After all, the last thing you want is to leave a company you are unhappy with but end up with something worst.
5) Look into Managerial Positions
Contrary to what many people thought, women engineers have an advantage in leadership. The fact they have completed engineering school and acquired a degree in a male-dominated industry means they have what it takes. Women engineers have an innate ability to dream big, challenge assumptions, and inspire others. Best of all, they know how to translate mere ideas into concrete action and achieve great results.
To be a manager, you must have years of relevant experience and training. So, if you believe you have the skills and abilities to lead a team, don’t hesitate to look into managerial positions.
If you’re still new in the industry but have plans to become a manager, develop the skills required to be a leader. Remember, you will manage a team and encourage members to work together toward accomplishing projects. You must have the ability to do these.