Thought Leadership

Inspiring future female engineers to rise to the top

By Steve Hartman

It’s true, women are enrolling in STEM graduate studies more than men (50.6 percent) and far outpace them in health and media sciences (77.9 percent).

Unfortunately, when it comes to women enrolling in the engineering part of STEM the percentage is extremely low: 25.2 percent.

Even as the numbers increase and more women enter STEM fields, it’s been a consistent challenge to inspire women to head into the engineering field.

In fact, over 32 percent of women switch out of STEM degree programs in college and only 13 percent of engineers are women.

The Global Engineering Dean’s Council and the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies wanted to develop a way to encourage women to pursue their education and career in engineering. Recognizing the challenges and turnover, they found that they could inspire women by showing the journeys that those women before them have forged and how passion can translate into a rewarding career.

In the book, Rising to the Top, thirty-two women share their journeys to professional success, including Brenda Discher, the Senior Vice President of Business Strategy & Marketing at Siemens Digital Industry Software.

Brenda’s insight into her decades of engineering success can show that anyone who has a love for STEM can pursue a career in engineering.

Check out Brenda’s journey amongst many other success stories in Rising to the Top.

Download the free eBook here.

Download a PDF version here.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at