“Big Firm Abilities, Small Firm Agility”

What’s New

Visit our Calendar of Events for all the latest News & Events!

Visit Now

K&A celebrates Women’s Equality Day – and contributes to further progress

Women’s Equality Day, which is celebrated on August 26 every year, represents the day women secured the right to vote in the US and UK. This year marks 101 years since that date in history. (It’s important to note Black women didn’t have the equal right until the Voting Rights Act in 1965.)

While reflecting on the significance of that day in history, we should recognize women still don’t have equal representation in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. According to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), women make up 29% of the STEM workforce. But representation is increasing; it’s been shown at the top. The number of women in board positions in STEM-related industries increased 18% from 2019 to 2020, according to MSCI Research.

K&A is committed to gender equality

K&A understands the importance of contributing to continued progress of gender equality in the engineering industry. We support early education initiatives and offer internships to expose students to the possibilities of an engineering career. It’s ideal to expose them to these opportunities early on so they consider engineering careers as an option growing up. According to Society of Women Engineers (SWE) research from 2019, women choosing engineering degrees is headed in the right direction. From 2012 to 2017, there was a 58% increase in bachelor’s degrees in engineering and computer science for women (compared to a 40% in total bachelor’s degrees in the same subjects).

This year on International Women in Engineering Day (June 23), K&A celebrated some of our stellar female employees. Anna Hanley, K&A’s Marketing Director, said she heard a woman scientist speak to her class and it turned her to consider a career in chemical engineering. She used her degree initially to design petrochemical plants and biopharmaceutical processes, then moved into project management for industrial waste-water treatment and power delivery projects. She now leads technical proposal efforts and markets engineering services to utility clients. “I have loved the wide variety of cool projects that I have been a part of throughout my career and continue to love collaborating with intelligent colleagues to solve challenging problems,” she added.

How to support women in engineering

To ensure the gender gap in engineering continues to close, there are a few things you can do to make sure momentum for change continues.

  1. Support early education programs, such as visiting elementary and middle schools during career days, and volunteer in the classroom to share your love for science and its importance in the world.
  2. Offer internships to help expose college students to the options for an engineering career and what the day-to-day of life in this field looks like.
  3. Encourage stretch assignments so women in engineering have the inherent ability to continue growing their skills in the field. It’s important to encourage growth and upward mobility to make room for female mentors who can guide other women through the space.
  4. Pair women in the workplace with other women at your organization in engineering who can support and encourage career development.
  5. Consider starting a female-focused employee resource group (ERG), which is a voluntary, employee-led group who comes together based on common interests. When women feel supported by other women (and the organization), sky’s the limit.
  6. Look at your recruitment processes to ensure gender diversity is a priority. Unconscious bias training and diverse candidate slates can go a long way to ensuring women are part of the pipeline.

While Women’s Equality Day is an occasion to celebrate the progress not only made on that day but all the days since then, we must continue to push forward for gender equality in engineering. If we all work together, it can happen. K&A is certainly committed.