WOMEN PURSUING CAREERS IN ENGINEERING
Find Your Niche at IMS!
Many construction zones or engineering firms, women and minorities are underrepresented. IMS is paving the way to help close the industry’s racial and gender gap by offering employment opportunities to those typically under-served.
Women represent 14 percent of engineers in the U.S. according to asme.org. At IMS, women represent about 42 percent of the staff.
Carmen Neal, is a senior at Jackson State University and she is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. Neal spoke about the engineering industry, and how she got started on her career path.
“As a woman in the engineering industry, you really have to earn your spot. You have to be consistent, know how to manage your time and let people know that you are taking it seriously,” said Neal.
Her first project with IMS was surveying land at Alcorn State University. Despite the heat and insect bites, Neal finished the project with other IMS engineers.
She continued, “I can take the heels off, put the boots on and be just fine in the field.”
Patience Sitole graduated from Jackson State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. She started as an intern and now works full time as an engineer. Born and raised in South Africa, Sitole knows the difficulty of being hired as foreigner, but for her, relocating was not one of them.
“I am very grateful for this because of how hard it is to get hired as an international. Jackson reminds me a lot of my hometown so the transition was not that difficult,” said Sitole. Ironically enough, her passion for engineering derived from her mother although her father is an engineer.
“My mother actually inspired my passion for building and designing structures. When I was a child, my first experience with the industry was witnessing my own mother build our home,” said the South African native.
IMS continues to grow in and out of the United States and even opened a new office in East Africa. Sitole thinks working for IMS and her country is an excellent idea and is interested in contributing to a potential project.
She expressed, “I would be interested in contributing to a collaborative project in South Africa. I feel like working in the great continent of Africa is an excellent opportunity, because it allows for cultural exchange.”
Much like her mother, she wants to be a role model for girls in her hometown and show them that women can be engineers too. Her fellow alumna Zaliya Morris is a Jackson native and also graduated from Jackson State with a degree in Civil Engineering.
Morris spoke about the open-minded environment at IMS and her reason for choosing this career. “One thing I love about IMS is the openness and family environment. The supervisors listen to you and take your suggestions,” said Morris.
She continued, “We are the people who come up with ideas, do research, create and maintain. We do every single thing you can think of to truly make people’s dreams come true.”
Neal, Sitole and Morris continue to blaze a trail for the women who will follow in their path for years to come.