March 8, 2022 is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is “Break the Bias” which asks participants to imagine a gender equal world. Simpson Strong-Tie Engineering Supervisor for the Southwest United States, Rachel Holland, shares her story of being a woman in engineering and how she works to create change in her field by mentoring young women interested in STEM.
When I was young, no one mentioned how rare female engineers were. Perhaps I didn’t do my research to figure that out on my own. In fairness, though, there tended to be an equal number of female and male students in the classes I took in high school. However, by day one as an architectural engineering freshman at Cal Poly SLO, I could already tell the vast majority of my classmates for the next five years were going to be boys. Therefore, that was a big change — and a telling clue about my future career path.