WOMEN PURSUING CAREERS IN ENGINEERING
Find Your Niche at IMS!
A look at any construction zone, or most engineering firms, and it’s obvious, women and minorities are underrepresented. IMS is paving the way to help close the industry’s racial and gender gap by offering employment opportunities to those typically under served. The firm currently employs nearly a dozen females as engineers, CAD designers, case managers and other related fields. At IMS’ Jackson office, we spoke with three young ladies who are pursing degrees and licenses in engineering and bravely starting their career path.
“As a female in this industry, you really have to earn your spot. You have to be consistent, know how to manage your time and let people know that you are taking it seriously,” said Carmen Neal, who is currently working with IMS as an engineer intern. Neal's first project with IMS was surveying land at Alcorn State University. Despite the heat and insect bites, Neal finished the project with other IMS engineers. “I can take the heels off and put on the boots, and be just fine on the field.” Having developed an interest in engineering while in middle school, Neal will graduate from Jackson State University with a bachelor’s degree in engineering this December. “I am able to see for myself exactly what is going on while working at IMS. It shows me what I will be doing in the future.”
Pursuing a degree in a foreign country can be challenging; but South African native Patience Sitole is ready. Sitole was able to take her first step as an engineer intern at IMS. "I am very grateful for this. It is hard to get hired as an international." With the word “patience” in her name, Sitole forces herself to be more patient from time-to-time. "Sometimes I push myself too hard, and my colleagues are very patient. They really help me to open my eyes, not only in engineering, but also general knowledge.” While pursuing her dream as a female engineer, Sitole has another goal on her mind. "Someday in the future, I would like to show the girls in my hometown that any occupation a man can do, we can do. I want to be a role model."
"One thing I love about IMS is the openness and family environment. The supervisors would actually listen to you and take your suggestions into consideration," said Zaliya Morris. The network and opportunities at IMS motivate her to complete the transitioning. "Being a professional is so different from being a student. I am not an organized person in my life, but I have to be organized while working. And this really contributes to my work ethic." As much as Morris would like to identify herself as "fun, free and outgoing” outside the office, she is serious about engineering. "I chose engineering as my career because it is where people come up with ideas, do the research, create it and maintain it. They do every single thing. This is the occupation where you can truly make people's dream come true."
An opportunity for their dreams to come true, that’s what all three say IMS has given them.