Each of us at Altieri recognizes the power of women and is committed to spotlighting the many contributions women make in our field and to our firm. Altieri Associate, Joe Renzulli, showed his commitment to these efforts by bringing to our attention an article in The Norwalk Hour about Jamila Lindo, civil engineer, Norwalk native, and the author of the children’s book, “Girls Can Be Engineers.” wom(EN)gineer immediately reached out to Jamila and invited her to share her story. We are thrilled to share the blog post she wrote for wom(EN)gineer!
As an undergraduate student in engineering, I was very much aware of the gender disparity in my classes. With only a handful of female students in my courses, I often felt like an outlier. One particularly striking moment occurred when I was tutoring a female high school student, who was shocked and concerned upon learning that I was studying to become an engineer. I remember her stating, “Why would YOU ever want to do that?” This experience, combined with the fact that there were only ten girls out of over one hundred civil engineering students on graduation day, led me to question the root causes of this gap.
After conducting research, I discovered that one of the earliest images of a STEM professional is often that of a nerdy male. This stereotype can be particularly discouraging for girls, especially those from underrepresented communities, who may struggle to envision themselves in such a career. I realized that I wanted to take action to help change this narrative, using books as a tool to inspire and motivate young girls.
That’s why I wrote “Girls Can Be Engineers,” a book aimed at all young girls. My goal is to remind them that they can achieve anything they set their minds to, including becoming engineers. I want to demonstrate that STEM professionals come in all shapes, sizes, and genders, including themselves. Through this book, I hope to spark curiosity and encourage girls to explore their potential in STEM fields.
I believe that it’s important for all girls to know that they have the power to shape their own futures. With hard work, determination, and the right support, they can succeed in any field, including engineering.