Women within the field of engineering are at the forefront of innovation. From designing and evaluating infrastructure to developing solutions that help our society grow, women engineers have an important role in the future of our communities and the way we live. This International Women in Engineering Day, Horrocks wants to help raise the profile of women within the industry and celebrate their contributions by highlighting five engineers on our team and their advice for aspiring female engineers.
Celeste Low, PE
Celeste is a Professional Engineer (PE) working out of our Meridian, Idaho, office with over 25 years of civil engineering experience primarily involving airport projects, both air carrier and general aviation.
As the daughter of a contractor, Celeste grew up with respect for the knowledge and expertise needed to build successful projects. She says, “I enjoyed driving around town with my father and seeing the structures his company built. Now, when I fly into an airport, I get to look out the window and see some of my work; sometimes I’ll even land or take-off on a runway I designed.”
“Engineering is a great career choice for women; it can be very flexible and accommodating, depending on what stage of life you are in. There are so many different types of engineering and career choices available, depending on what interests you.” — Celeste Low
Jennifer Goldman, PE
Jennifer is a Hydrology/Hydraulics Engineer in our Denver, Colorado, office with seven years of experience specializing in hydraulics and hydrology.
When asked what challenges she has faced as a woman in engineering, Jennifer replied, “I have struggled with imposter syndrome over the years, which I think is very common for women entering the engineering industry. I have overcome these challenges by surrounding myself with supportive peers and mentors and joining a team that values my experience and sees my potential.”
“It is paramount to the success of our projects to include voices from all walks of life, particularly on projects that impact our communities. It is important to have women represented in engineering because we bring a unique set of skills that can make or break a project. Specifically, women are often strong communicators, which is a skill that applies to every aspect of our industry.” — Jennifer Goldman
Karie Gullickson, PE
Karie is a Transportation Engineer and Project Manager working out of our Spokane, Washington, office with nine years of experience specializing in roadway and stormwater design.
Karie says, “Throughout my career I have seen quite a bit of change in terms of gender diversity. I have witnessed growth in representation of female leaders in our industry, which is important when it comes to encouraging future generations of women pursuing careers in engineering.”
“There are a lot of incredible women working in high-ranking roles within transportation, way more than I realized, and it’s amazing and inspiring to see. I've noticed an increase in the intentional celebration and acknowledgement of achievements women have been making throughout their careers, and that advocacy is so important. It provides a sense of inclusion and support, while showcasing individual’s skills and capabilities.” — Karie Gullickson
Cindy DePonti, PE
Cindy is a Drainage Engineer in our Phoenix, Arizona, office with 23 years of experience performing hydrological and hydraulic analyses for flood control and transportation design projects.
From a young age, Cindy was inspired by her father, an electrical engineer, to stay curious about the world. She says, “I remember sitting next to my dad at his workbench in the garage while he was repairing a TV, and I would pretend to build something with the screws, brackets, and hinges he gave me to play with. I also remember going to the open houses at his work and seeing these giant turbine engines he’d worked on. I was in awe.”
“Encouragement starts in the home. I think letting your daughter see how you solve problems and showing her that she can, too, is important. Show her the construction documents you made, let her play with the software you use, and go into the field to see the structures in place and operating, if possible. Help your daughters with math, let her get ahead of her lessons, and don’t let the notion that “math is hard” enter her mindset. Give her a sense of wonder about the world; ask how things get built and what problems need to be solved. Be that influence on her and let her see how close she is to the engineering world already.” — Cindy DePonti
Alli is a Telecommunications Design Lead working out of our Denver, Colorado, office with nine years of experience in the workforce.
“When I first started my career, the gender gap was much wider and men in top roles weren’t sure if women could perform the required skills for engineering. Now, it is rare to find people that look past you because you are a woman — we all hold each other up as people.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions and request what you need. If you are struggling with something, going to those in high places and asking questions is not off-limits. Seek out answers and speak up if you don’t like what you see. You will be surprised how open people are to receiving you.” — Alli Bone
Happy International Women in Engineering Day
The presence and perspective of women within the engineering industry is critical to our continued growth and success. Thank you to our engineers for sharing their insights and inspiring future generations of women to pursue careers in engineering and create a more diverse and inclusive workforce for all.