Carly Friesen

Carly Friesen

Carly Friesen works in project/program management and organizational development in the non-profit sector. She also writes and maintains a blog which focuses on social issues and can be found at www.carlyfriesen.com/blog. She is passionate about women's rights, human rights, and community engagement. You can find her on twitter @CarlyMFriesen.

A Message to High School Students: Ignore Gender Stereotypes and Do What You Love

As a grade 12 student, I can clearly remember the stress of having to decide where I was going to apply to university. Would I apply to schools close to home, or to schools far away? Maybe even outside of Canada? It was a busy time, but one area in which I didn’t have any stress was what major I was going to apply for. I knew very clearly that I was going to study engineering.

You see, I had been told since I was young that I’m good at math and science, and therefore, I should go into a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) related field. I took great pride in the fact that I planned to study engineering. However, there was a negative side to this STEM encouragement. The praise for my early success with math and science courses often went so far as to mock those who excelled in English, sociology, or art.

Where Have all the Women Engineers Gone?

This post has been edited and was originally published on CarlyFriesen.com

I was, as Britney Spears would put it, not a girl, not yet a woman, when I excitedly started my first year of Engineering at the University of Guelph. I thought I was going to become an engineer, change the world, and bust through the glass ceiling Wonder Woman style. I had absolutely no doubts in my mind that I could and would do it.

As time passed, I started to wonder how thick this glass ceiling really was. With each year I began to see gender come into play more and more.