International Women in Engineering Day: Growing Through Mentorship
At Flatiron our objective is to not only build innovative projects but also to develop industry-leading engineers through career development. June 23 is International Women in Engineering Day, an opportunity to celebrate “the amazing work that women engineers are doing to support lives and livelihoods every day.” Meet Flatiron Field Engineer Samantha Hernandez, a new team member who lives and breathes that mentality. In this post, she talks about a college mentor who inspired her to adopt a leadership mindset.
By Flatiron Field Engineer Samantha Hernandez
As a University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) student, I was a member of multiple construction and engineering organizations. During my first year, I met senior Victoria Mendoza at an event hosted by one of these groups.
Victoria mentioned that she saw my involvement in these organizations and suggested I create an organization for women.
Starting a new group wasn’t easy, but I am very grateful for her support. She guided me through the whole process. I started thinking about the struggles and obstacles that women go through in the engineering industry, so I wanted to create an organization for female students to have the ability to grow their knowledge.
I ended up starting the National Association of Women in Construction at the University of Texas at San Antonio which is affiliated with the NAWIC professional chapter in San Antonio. So many female students came out to the woodwork to say they were thrilled about the organization’s startup.
Victoria provided advice throughout my time at NAWIC, making the learning curve easier. Not only did she help with the chapter, but she also offered me career advice, helped me when I was struggling in class and just pushed me to be better. She would always advise that being a woman working in the construction field means working 10 times harder, but it will all be worth it.
She always mentioned how brave and confident I was which really helped me a lot mentally to get my degree and career. To this day, she is my most outstanding mentor and remains my support system.
And just like she was always there for me, I want to be there for other women.