What does Empowering Women in Industry mean to you? A safe space where career women can support each other, especially those facing male-dominated workplaces, to discuss challenges and lift each other up, in ways both small and large. I think it's so beneficial to have a diverse group (not just in your industry) to learn from.
How did you get started in your field? I was interested in car safety since I was a child. I wanted to do something that could save people's lives but I also had a passion for cars (unusual for a girl). I pursued Mechanical Engineering in college and joined the hybrid vehicle research team to get my foot in the door of the automotive field.
What do you love most about your job? What are you most proud of? I am a car crash test engineer who develops new crash tests for redesigning cars. I love that my research has a direct effect on people's lives. When projects get slow or bogged down, I remind myself that these are real people that benefit from my research and it keeps me motivated. On a fun note, who doesn't want to get paid to wreck stuff?
What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work? It won't be easy. Being independent and ignoring critics will be essential to your success. You'll likely face critical response from family and people within your industry (where the boys club still exists), but if it's your passion, keep going. Persistence! Surrounding yourself with other women will help you navigate through tough or lonely times.
Anything else you would like to add? Reach out to people farther on their journey than yours, learn from their challenges and triumphs and integrate those lessons into your own plan. Don't be afraid to reach out, you'd be surprised that busy executives are willing to find time to share their story with an up-and-coming professional.