WISE Practitioners: Kristen Hurtado Sets Professional Development Goals

Oct. 6, 2021
Kristen Hurtado discusses the multiple paths women take through engineering careers.

In this WISE chat, Machine Design chats with Kristen Hurtado, assistant research professor at Arizona State University. One of Hurtado’s many hats is to manage an immersive online Professional Development and Training program, covering facility management, operations, lifecycle and energy management. She also mentors professionals and coaches them to achieve their professional development goals.

In industries such as engineering and construction, Hurtado argues, women are used to being the only female in the room—in meetings, networking event or day-to-day work. “It is something they need to be prepared for and comfortable with,” Hurtado said. There are unique challenges for women; for instance, there’s no room for bringing babies to the construction site. Employers create jobs based on their needs without consideration for systemic industry-wide challenges, said Hurtado. Visibly improving the presence of women to increase levels of comfort and improving infrastructure for working parents are among the changes needed, she said.

Editor’s Note: Machine Design's Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) hub compiles our coverage of gender representation issues affecting the engineering field, in addition to contributions from equity seeking groups and subject matter experts within various subdisciplines. Click here for more.

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