Lisa Stine, CE’10, a transmission engineer with Mesa Associates in Denver, was featured in a June 15 interview at Career Contessa, a career website for women. The question-and-answer-style interview focused on Stine’s ability to forge successful relationships with clients in engineering despite the challenges associated with being a woman in STEM.
The article covers her time at Missouri S&T, her first job as a field engineer for the Arkansas Department of Transportation and how skills she learned in the workplace are as important as the ones she learned in school.
Stine’s advice for women interested in engineering is to not get discouraged and to ignore perceived stereotypes.
“I think one of the biggest misconceptions — and something that unfortunately draws a lot of people away from the industry — is that everyone is super weird and introverted or that you’re entering the land of pocket protectors,” Stine said in the interview. “These stereotypes couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re normal, fun people! Maybe we get really excited about everything math and science — but hey, the world is a fascinating place!”
In her current position, Stine works on the design and structural analysis of high-voltage power line structures.
Initially, Stine thought getting respect from seasoned coworkers as a young female engineer would be difficult, but instead she sees advantages.
“For me, it’s been an incredible experience,” Stine said. “Walking into a meeting with men who have been in the industry for years, owning the floor, and holding your own is so amazingly empowering. … As women, though, we tend to be more empathetic. We form relationships, and we have sincere interests in others and their lives. This is so advantageous in working with clients — they start to look forward to seeing us, share milestones their kids have had, talk about their weekends. When projects have mishaps or schedules get behind (which will always happen), these genuine bonds can be a saving grace. You are much more likely to get some compassion and that additional change order from those whom you share connections with.”