Tell me about the women engineers you respect professionally

Undisclosed Charlotte
Aug 2, 2018 28 Comments

I am struggling with female role models in tech. Opening this post for constructive, helpful advice. Can people please share their experience with women engineers whom they respect and whose advice they value? How did the woman engineer earn your professional trust and respect? When she gives her opinions that may be against popular advice or against your gut feeling, what compels you to stop and listen? What about her communication style is able to reach you?

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TOP 28 Comments
  • LinkedIn Pretakalpa
    (Male here) Female engineers/Professors have always been instrumental to my career so far. My Research advisor was a newly minted PhD from MIT when I joined her group, and she is easily the smartest person I have seen in my life. My best friend (female) is one of the best engineers I have seen in my life- she helped me prep for internship interviews and took review sessions for all the classes we took together in grad school (kind of owe my degree to her). The smartest person in my internship at LinkedIn was a female (ML engineer).
    I love to be mentored by females because unlike (many) men, they don't treat you as competition and are very kind hearted.

    However I feel a little uneasy with your question. What does gender have to do with role models? I am a male but consider Marissa as my role model (still trying to pull off that 130 hour week) apart from many other males and females.
    Aug 2, 2018 5
    • Undisclosed Charlotte
      OP
      Thanks. That is one good measure.

      On a side note, Is faster thinking always better? Maybe a person who is slower to speak up is just hesitant, less confident, or running through corner cases in their head?
      Aug 2, 2018
    • LinkedIn Pretakalpa
      That's a nice question I totally forgot. The girl I met during my LinkedIn internship is very soft spoken and speaks only after I finish (and I talk a lot lol). But she would often come up with some really deep insight that I couldn't ever have. Also I noticed she asked super detailed questions that makes me appreciate her thinking process.

      So yeah not just fast thinking. But even insightful comments help establish smartness.
      Aug 2, 2018
  • Apple Tim'sCock
    I am a man.Half of my bosses have been women.They were awesome. Best bosses I have had. One of them white American the other one Asian. Both were hardcore engineers, so they earn respect because they could solve problems and had great insight and experiences. Managerially wise, same as the men bosses I have had, sometimes BS sometimes honest, but I thought they were better than men at motivating me.
    Aug 2, 2018 1
    • This has to be my first time seeing “white American”
      Aug 2, 2018
  • Microsoft UMbR31
    Male here. Infrastructure architect I once worked with, sort of my mentor, was an Indian woman. She completely owned her area of work - knows how to fix, makes suggestions to improve, answers questions immediately. No nonsense communication.

    She, in turn, considered Neha Narkhede a role model. Never met her, but apparently used to read her responses on the Kafka forums/groups back in the day, and the engineering rigor of answers was more than enough to admire her.
    Aug 2, 2018 2
    • Undisclosed Office123
      Neha from LinkedIn I think
      Aug 2, 2018
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      Yes. Same.
      Aug 2, 2018
  • In my experience, the women that are respected are usually pretty hands on and connected to day to day projects. Women who try to emulate “strategic” leadership styles (ie more delegation) don’t always pull it off.
    Aug 2, 2018 2
    • Kronos / Other f8
      Why is that do you think?
      Aug 8, 2018
    • Undisclosed howdu
      Ugggh. This is totally because they get no support at an executive level.
      Aug 14, 2018
  • Microsoft / Product frkC42
    Why not go to the next Grace Hopper to meet some women in tech and hear their stories?
    Aug 2, 2018 1
    • Undisclosed Charlotte
      OP
      I did go there. There are random women there, I am specifically looking for women engineers that people respect professionally and trust their professional judgement. If she told you to do something that you were not sure of, you would do it her way because you respect and trust her advice.
      Aug 2, 2018
  • Undisclosed
    Gaga926

    Undisclosed

    PRE
    Adobe
    Gaga926more
    All of them? I respect all of them because they’re human beings and everyone deserves respect. However, a few, about 2, lost my respect. But that’s a different topic.
    Aug 2, 2018 1
    • Undisclosed Charlotte
      OP
      Thanks. I am specifically asking about professional respect and trust for their professional judgement
      Aug 2, 2018
  • Google dwqO63
    I had tears in my eyes when I ran into Radia Perlman at a conference. I had so few technical women in front of me, for essentially my entire career. It's great to identify with someone, to see that it was/is possible for women to create amazing things.
    Aug 2, 2018 1
    • Flagged by the community.

  • Undisclosed / Other 13Jija
    I cannot comment about women engineers but I can give you an example from women in IT consulting world. I am a male and my first mentor in the consulting world was women. She had immense experience of the industry and applications that everybody stood and listened to her. I credit her with all my success in my career. She has very plain sense of dressing and very normal communication style. But, she always lead by setting examples herself. IMHO, I will respect person who is humble, has rich industry experience and very straight forward way of communication. Also, I will not listen/like male if that person will throw attitude and speak BS.
    Aug 2, 2018 0
  • Signifyd baby2351
    Hedi Lamar
    Aug 2, 2018 0
  • Apple / Eng appsrus
    There are quite a few women in my org near me, though not on my team. I don't work with them directly, but they're all extremely competent. One started a month or two before I did, in a more junior position. I really like how fierce she is in attacking a problem. She doesn't give up or make excuses, even when a solution seems impossible.
    Sep 1, 2018 0

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