Next generation of female STEM leaders learn from York County engineer

York

In 2018, engineering is a man’s world. Only 13 percent of engineers are women. 

“When I hear the 13 percent, I’m kind of glad that we have people in engineering. So, it’s a relief, but it’s also pretty sad,” said Morgan Mullins, a 13-year-old York Academy student. 

“I don’t really feel happy when I hear that,” said 10-year-old Addison Markle, a student at Trimmer Elementary. 

“Oh, I think it’s abysmal,” said Kerryn Fulton, a civil engineer with C.S. Davidson, a York engineering firm. 

Fulton wants to engineer a change, teaching girls that, yes, engineering is hard work and is mostly a boys club, but with a little dedication, they can do it and do it well. 

“They need to believe in themselves, to believe they belong in this field, that they have what it takes to do really well in this field,” Fulton said. 

Work that’s more important now than ever. Fulton said nationwide, employers can’t find workers with STEM backgrounds. 

“I’m a little concerned about that moving forward because the demand for really well-trained engineers seems to be getting a little tighter,” Fulton said. 

Some of the girls already had their heart set on STEM. Addison Markle wants to be a biomedical engineer. 

“Basically, we make body parts and create medicines,” Markle said. 

Then there’s Morgan Mullins, who isn’t interested in a STEM career but related to Fulton’s message that in order to survive, women need to build each other up. 

“If you just do it by yourself, then you won’t succeed because if we do one of the missions by ourself, we probably won’t have anyone tell us that we can change something to make it even better,” Morgan said. 

Today it might be Legos, but in the not so distant future, Fulton hopes the girls build on that “abysmal” 13 percent. 

“People are always going to need to flush their toilets. People are always going to need clean drinking water, and civil engineering is such a great career field, and I would love to have some of these young ladies think about joining it,” Fulton said. 

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