Three Keys to Success for Women in Civil Engineering, Shared by ASCE Convention Speaker

July 22, 2016
Carolyn Emerson

Carolyn J. Emerson has made it her life’s work to empower women with the skills to take ownership over their careers – and lives.

As one of the Distinguished Lecturers at the ASCE 2016 Convention, Emerson will bring that passion and expertise to her talk on women and leadership in STEM fields, Friday, Sept. 30. She also will be participating in the Convention’s Women In Engineering Workshop, Saturday, Oct. 1.

Her book, Becoming Leaders: A Practical Handbook for Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology, is a bestseller for ASCE Press, and she continues to empower women around the world through various workshops and with the WinSETT Centre (Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology).

Emerson shared with ASCE News her three keys to success for women in civil engineering:

1. Lead Wherever You Are

You can develop and show your leadership abilities at any stage of your career – as part of your work team, as a project lead, as a conference or seminar organizer, or in your professional organization.

As you succeed, you also show the way for others and influence those around you, helping to create a supportive work environment for everyone.

2. Develop a Career Plan

It is important to include both short- and longer-term aspirations and actions as you map out your career plan.

Developing and implementing a plan means that you are proactively taking responsibility for your own career. The plan should also be flexible, however, to deliberately adjust for important events in your life – children, gain/loss of a job or significant other, relocation, etc.

3. Learn and Practice Specific Leadership Competencies

These may include among others:

• Effective communication skills (helping you to be heard, effectively convey your ideas and solutions, exchange information, and gain recognition and self-confidence)

• Negotiation skills (for opportunities, resources to enhance productivity, recognition, financial benefits, promotions, access to networks)
• Developing networks, mentors and sponsors (to mutually benefit from information, support and potentially access to opportunities in support of your career goals)

Learn more about the ASCE 2016 Convention, Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 in Portland, OR.

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