Upping the Numbers
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Mary C. Mattis
Chapter 10: Developing Career Commitment in STEM-related Fields: Myths versus Reality
10. Developing career commitment in STEM-related ﬁelds: myth versus reality Helen M. Madill, Rachel G. Campbell, Dallas M. Cullen, Margaret-Ann Armour, Albert A. Einsiedel, Anna-Lisa Ciccocioppo, Jody Sherman, Leonard L. Stewin, Stanley Varnhagen, T. Craig Montgomerie, Cynthia J. Rothwell and Wendy L. Coﬃn Karen1 knew by the time she started high school that engineering was high on her list of career options. Throughout high school, summer positions with her father’s engineering ﬁrm gave her a good idea of the extent and variety of engineering careers, so she knew she wanted to enter civil and environmental engineering in university. She did well in her course work and did a co-op year with one of Canada’s leading engineering ﬁrms. There she gained experience that was directly related to her studies, made good connections, and developed her technical skills. Karen graduated with the professional engineering association’s leadership award, found an exciting job with a large civil engineering ﬁrm, and was soon engaged in a major project. She quickly became immersed in the real-life issues of civil and environmental engineering and, despite the long hours, thrived on the challenge. She continued to enjoy being part of a team and although sometimes colleagues might question her abilities, she did not perceive any genderrelated discrimination in the workplace. Karen had always believed in her abilities and presented herself with conﬁdence. She received a number of promotions within her ﬁrst ﬁve years with the ﬁrm and was now poised to take the lead on a...
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