What challenges do you face as a black woman in engineering?

What challenges do you face as a black female computer engineer? Are any of them unique from those of a typical, successful, black woman?
posted by Leeann, Baton Rouge on August 6, 2013

Answer by Erica Weems

Hello,

Sorry it took so long to respond.  As a black female computer engineer, the main challenge I have faced is having my skills and capabilities as an engineer underestimated.  In my current position, I know that on numerous occasions I have surprised my male counterparts, managers and employees in other areas of the business when I have exceeded there expectations on task or project I was given.  I don't know if they had assumptions because I'm black or female or a quiet person, or all of the above, but it's always obvious when they are surprised. You have the ones that will praise your hard work and say job well done, and then there are others that will refuse to acknowledge that my work has been a great success and has benefited the company and try to find ways to tear it down. I also find that it seems I have to prove more so that my white male and female counterparts. However, I have been lucky with my current employer in the aspect of being allowed to participate in and take on projects in other areas of the business that I have expressed an interest in.  Now if they would just pay me more. :-) Hope this helps.

Erica