Women at Webb
By Katie Whalen ‘11
Engineering historically has been a male-dominated field. The Society of Women Engineers estimates 20% of all engineers are female — and Webb’s numbers are reflective of this percentage. While the stats show my fellow female classmates and I are a minority at Webb, it certainly hasn’t been a hindrance to our Webb career.
The Webb family atmosphere plays a vital role in preparing women for the engineering industry. Webb females spend almost every waking moment surrounded by their male classmates – whether in class, working on projects, playing sports or even traveling in foreign countries. When Lidia Mouravieff ‘11 was once asked by a visitor how it felt to be the only woman present at a meeting, she realized it hadn’t even occurred to her — or to her male classmates. And as Jenna Ferrieri ‘11 told me: “Just being with guys all the time has prepared me for working in a male-dominated industry.”
But there are a few Webb traditions privy only to females. The Girls in Naval Architecture meets occasionally for time away from the males to play girl’s dalai (floor hockey), bake or watch movies. An annual Women’s Sea Term Meeting is held to prepare the underclasswomen for their first Winter Work terms. And, of course, as some of the males are quick to point out, the ladies have very nice single dorm rooms!