The latest superhero movie has created quite a bit of stir recently; demonstrating the strength of women and bringing them up to the level of their male counterparts. Although the market is still dominated by men, it’s becoming clear that women have a place and they’re making an impact!
It’s not just superheroes, there are a lot of male-dominated industries that have roles for women, and they’re not quite as scarce as some might think.
The engineering industry has seen an influx of women in recent years but LKPB Engineers has had women in engineering since 1976. Rhonda Smude, Principal, has a two-year mechanical design degree and has worked her way from drafter to project manager to Associate, to Senior Associate and now Principal. She’s worked alongside many women that are designing, engineering and supporting the efforts that help make our projects come to life.
Summer 2017, LKPB has nearly 50 employees, and 20% are women, 16% of which have an engineering-industry background. They come from different programs in college, but have all learned additional electrical and mechanical trade knowledge on the job to accomplish the tasks necessary to design these systems alongside registered engineers.
The degrees acquired by the women in our office include Mechanical Engineering, Architectural Engineering with a Specialty in Building Environmental Systems, Electrical Design, Civil Design, Mechanical Design and Architectural Building Technology. We have also had a woman registered Professional Engineer on our staff, and would welcome another! The women of LKPB have varying levels of experience ranging from 2 years to 41. Some are mothers, others, grandmothers. They travel to job sites, meet with clients, come in early, stay late, work remotely and occasionally send an email about keeping the break room clean!
The other women that help keep the train on the tracks are in our administrative roles. Our specifications, contracts and other day to day documents are completed by Sandy Beckel, with 40 years of experience, she is a licensed Certified Design Firm Administrator and has been a member of the Society for Design Administration for 22 years. She works closely with our marketing and accounting ladies who have 34 and 44 years under their belts to make for a well-rounded support staff.
Each day is a new adventure for the team, a dynamic group of women from varying educational and experience backgrounds, balancing work and home life alongside almost 40 men. A sense of camaraderie can be felt; the softness women can inspire. Then there’s the strength that comes with working with men, in a not-so-soft industry. These women stand tall, speak up and have a lot of knowledge to contribute. They are the Wonder Women of Engineering here at LKPB and we are happy to have them!