International Women in Engineering Day, founded by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), celebrates its ninth year on June 23. It’s a day to profile the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering—the inventors and innovators who dare to be part of the solution and are helping to build a brighter future in their roles as engineers.
At Whirlpool Corp., women in engineering bring a diverse perspective to innovation and improving life at home for all. One way the company fosters its culture of innovation is through developing people in technical career paths and providing opportunities in engineering. One of those opportunities is the Whirlpool Engineering Rotational Leadership Development (WERLD) Program.
My hope for the future is to continue seeing more women in leadership roles and keep building a support structure for others to come behind them and lead.”
For WERLD engineers Jeni Tyler, a senior manager in laundry, and Erica Pinto, sustainability analyst, there weren’t many female engineers to look up to early on in their careers. Data as of June 2021 shows that only 16.5 percent of engineers are women, according to the Women’s Engineering Society (WES).
“When I was getting my undergrad, it was very common to be one of the only ones, so I was used to it,” Tyler says. “Now, I am more aware when there’s a bunch of women in the room. I was in one meeting that happened to have all women, and I said, ‘Wow, this has never happened. This isn’t a Society of Women Engineers meeting or a Whirlpool Women’s Network ERG meeting. This is a business meeting,’ and I joked that we needed to record this moment.”
Pinto says for her, choosing a career path in engineering felt like a risk, since she didn’t see many other women in the industry. She added that women in engineering play an important role in building a community to lift each other up.
“I see more examples of women engineers around me at Whirlpool Corporation than what I was expecting, and that keeps me going,” Pinto says.
Imagining the future
“There are so many rewarding opportunities for making an impact on the world, and engineering is a great career to do that,” Tyler says. “My hope for the future is to continue seeing more women in leadership roles and keep building a support structure for others to come behind them and lead.”
Making an impact in the careers of other women is one future goal for Pinto. She says another part is making an impact on the planet around us.
“I want to go home and see the impact I make at work,” Pinto says, “and continue to improve life at home for people and our planet, making sure all of our products remain inclusive of different types of homes as we innovate. That way, consumers can rest assured that when they interact with our products, they’re not impacting our world in a negative way.”
As a working parent, Tyler hopes to see more innovations in connectivity to help consumers become more and more proactive in tackling their chores.
“To me, improving life at home is making life easier, like using connectivity,” Tyler says. “Connected appliances help me manage tasks. In laundry for example, notifications remind me to move my wet clothes from my washer to my dryer. I hope in the future, we will keep seeing innovations that will continue to help consumers become less involved in daily tasks and get them done even faster.”
To learn more about working at Whirlpool Corp. visit whirlpoolcareers.com.