As the end of the year is drawing to a close, and deadlines are passing us by, we tend to get excited for our time off and we’re “finally going to get to finish that book!”
If, like many of us SWEsters, you are looking forward to disconnecting from social media and giving your eyes a break from all that screen time, if you cannot wait to cozy up on your favourite chair by the fireplace (or maybe you will be sitting on a beach somewhere under a palm leaf umbrella) with a good book over the holiday break, we have a couple recommendations to get you through the holidays, laughing it off, getting angry and fired up, feeling powered up and ready to tackle a new year of wonderful achievements in the workplace. We have also squeezed in some lighter numbers for those of us who want to take a break from being a bad-ass women in engineering to just being themselves; sometimes we need to take that hat off and give ourselves some down time.
So without further ado...
Day 1-2: For the bad-ass women who want to get fired up and bring in the new year with a bang
FIRST ONE: FEMINIST FIGHT CLUB by Jessica Bennett
SECOND ONE: DEAR IJEAWELE (or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions) by Chimamanda Nzogi Adichie
THIRD ONE: DARLING YOU CAN’T DO BOTH (and other noise to ignore on your way up) by Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk
DAY 3-4: For the thinker who wants to contemplate #MeToo and other 2017 moments
Day 5-6: For the feminist woman historian
FIRST ONE: JOINING THE DOTS (A Woman In Her Time) by Juliet Gardiner
SECOND ONE: A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN by Mary Wollstonecraft
THIRD ONE: A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN by Virginia Wolfe
Day 7-8: For the woman who wants to laugh it off and come back stronger
Day 9-10: For the business savvy woman who wants to level the playing field
FIRST ONE: ORIGINALS (How Non-Conformists Move the World) by Adam Grant
SECOND ONE: RADICAL CANDOR by Kim Scott
THIRD ONE: NEW RULES OF THE GAME by Susan Packard
DAY 11-12: For the woman who needs a break, with a strong female lead
FIRST ONE: THE RADIUM GIRLS (The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women) by Kate Moore
SECOND ONE: MADAME CURIE (A Biography) by Eve Curie
THIRD ONE: YOUNG JANE YOUNG by Gabrielle Zevin
Thanks for reading everyone!
Please let us know what’s on YOUR reading list this winter! COMMENT below!
Have you read any of the above? Leave a REVIEW for your fellow SWEsters :)
From everyone here at SWE we hope you have a happy holidays and we’ll see you in the new year!
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Many thanks to Alessandra our resident book nerd. Learn about Alessandra.
We come from all walks of life, but we have one thing in common: a common passion. We have a drive to create, to solve problems, and to make the world a better place. And thus, we became engineers. Each of us had a unique route here. Perhaps you always knew you wanted to be an engineer, or perhaps you only learned about the profession at a career fair in high school. Regardless, you ended up here.
For many of us women in engineering, we thrived in the classroom; solving problems and learning calculus and physics (or whatever your subjects of preference were). We were thrilled to enter the engineering world and start actually applying all our hard-earned skills to make a difference. Yet, things did not work out quite like we planned. No, it wasn't all the meetings and documentation and red tape that threw us off - yes those can be annoying, but they are simply parts of the profession we love. It was the attitude we faced. The invisible barriers that kept us down and prevented us from making the impact of which we were capable. We were often left questioning our abilities. Meanwhile, many of our male colleagues seemed to be thriving. And thus we would think, "it must just be in my head" or "I guess I'm not as good as I used to be."
Perhaps the struggles you faced were blatant: outright sexual harassment in the workplace or vocal dismissal of your ideas because of your gender. But for most of us, it was quite a bit more subtle: people talking over you in meetings, no one listening to your ideas until a male colleague repeats them as his own, or constantly having to prove your capabilities and qualifications while male colleagues were just assumed competent. Each slight in and of itself is minor and easy to write off. But think of it this way. Imagine that every time something like this happens, it is like someone flicking you on the arm. If it happens once then it is a little annoying, hurts a little, but goes away pretty quickly and is easily forgotten. What if that started happening multiple times a day, every day, in the same place. That spot would probably get pretty sore. And you would probably get pretty frustrated about it. And imagine if every time your tried to tell people about it they would dismiss it ("oh, it doesn't sound as bad as you're making it out to be" or "it didn't mean anything, no big deal, just move on"). But these built up over time and eventually, you just can't take it any more. And thus, a significant proportion of women in engineering end up leaving the profession mid-career. Not only is this troublesome and demoralizing for the women facing these problems, it is also a huge loss of wonderful talent from the engineering profession.
Now, people are not typically entering the workforce with the intention of committing these minor slights, but they happen just the same. It is called implicit bias and we all have it. Often times, your implicit biases came from general ideals and values that were instilled in you when you were just learning to talk. You didn't even know it was happening; it was simply how your brain was wired by the world to which you were exposed. And the vast majority of the time, you are completely unaware that you have these implicit biases. And thus, completely unaware of the effect that these biases have on the world around you.
Here at SWE Toronto, we found each other through our shared experiences in this field and through our desire to try to make a difference. To help ourselves, to help other women facing similar problems, and to improve the field of engineering at large. Day by day, we are working to inform, to connect, to build a community, and to help. If any of this resonates with you, we hope you reach out to us and join our community! We are continuously working on new initiatives to try and improve the engineering world and we would love for you to join us in our quest.
Thank you for your time and welcome to our website!
Many thanks to Kate for this post.