Being a Female Engineer

Well I thought I would have more time to blog while I was in San Francisco, but it ended up being a really busy trip. Tuesday I was at the conference for about 12 hours, and then went back to my hotel to shower, watch The Amazing Race, and stitch. Wednesday I spent all day at the conference again with a brief break to go up to Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghiradelli Square to get some gifts for DH and DS. I never even went back online after Monday night; I was so busy or worn out. Wednesday night was really fun, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

I made some observations during the conference. Despite the 1 female to every 10 males in my engineering classes in college, the ratio at the conference was more like 1:50. I actually felt out of place at first. No one talked to me and I was treated differently at the vendor booths than my male counterparts. Well okay, not at *all* of the vendor booths, but at many of them. On the upside, there was never a line in the restroom.

I am not used to being ignored; I’ve always gotten along well with male engineers (since I spend so much time around them IRL) so it was strange to feel left out. That changed Wednesday morning when, out of loneliness and boredome, I started talking to two guys behind me at one of the training courses before the class started. They were talking about cell phones and maybe switching to Cingular, and I have Cingular, so I butted in and we started chatting. It turned out they were from the Sacramento area; one of them lives near my Grandmother actually. They both were married with kids (the one has two boys, 2 and 4, and my son is 4) and it was nice to have someone to talk to. Later in the day I ran into him on the exhibit floor and he invited me along to dinner with the rest of his co-workers so I wouldn’t have to be all alone. So I went out to dinner with 5 other engineers and then three of us went to a bar afterwards where we talked about our kids, spouses, church, and neat technology. The one with the two kids is coming to San Diego with his family in a couple months to go to Legoland so we’re going to try to go then too and meet up so the kids can play together.

It was interesting going out to drink with them; it was so much more fun than the stress of going out when you’re single. We all took turns to go outside and call home, say goodnight to the kids, etc. It was so comfortable and I was so happy to meet other people that really had a lot in common with me. It also made me realize how happy I am to be married and done with the whole trying to hook up with someone thing. We were laughing at some of the other people at the bar, all glad that those days were behind us! I don’t mean laughing in a malicious sense, more in a “been there, done that” sense.

Well, it was a wonderful trip overall. I am now back home and working on Alpine Garden Seasons. My kit came while I was gone and I’d been anxiously waiting for it!! It is my favorite Chatelaine design to date and I’m so excited that it’s finally started.

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2 Responses to “Being a Female Engineer”

  1. Christine Says:

    Jill, I’m glad to hear you were able to meet a few people and enjoy your time at the conference! I agree that it’s frustrating that there’s still so many guys who have that “old school” thought that women can’t be engineers. Fortunately, I haven’t encountered that too much. I hope your DS and and your friend’s boys get along!

    As for the not having to hook up thing, while I’m not married, I’m very happy to be with Dan! It’s so nice to know that there’s always that someone there for you. 🙂

  2. Christine Says:

    This post has been removed by the author.

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