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Women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics roles. It's so well known, that this disparity has become a cliché. Many conferences and hiring programmes have been developed to achieve gender parity in this sector. When women land engineering roles, they can sometimes find themselves sidelined or spoken over. But women can make themselves coveted candidates with a few simple tips.
Put technical and ‘soft’ skills at the top of your CV
You might need calculus, CAD, and code for your next job. But you also probably need good listening, planning, writing and problem solving skills. Put these skills at the top of your CV. Even if employers are looking for a particular format, make sure your ‘soft’ skills stand out. One great way to share them is by describing successes in previous workplaces or courses. Did you manage a group project? Did you write a winning bid? Let your next employer know.
Mentorship is essential
Historically, the least marginalised employees have gotten ahead because of who they know, not just skills and performance. Women and minorities are forced to play catch-up as they're often excluded from all-male or all-white social networks. Develop your career through mentorship, whether this is a formal workplace programme or an informal relationship with an experienced colleague. And when you're advancing in your career, look out for promising new colleagues to mentor yourself.
Speak up, take credit, and ask for what you deserve.
Women often suffer from imposter syndrome – the psychological feeling that one just isn't good enough. That's because social expectations for women demand that women are quiet, accommodating, and give credit to others. Speak in meetings when you have an idea, and label your ideas as yours when referring to them. At annual review time or in hiring, ask for a competitive salary and benefits package.
When you're ready to take on your next engineering challenge, our VERCIDA jobs database can help.