don’t get burned

“I’m going to try to hit on this redheaded engineer. Think I’m playing with fire?” – a text meant for his friend but instead sent to me…said redhead…

The scene: I’m standing at a drilling rig in the middle of a soybean field in North Dakota. This geologist and I had just met each other and were slated to log soil samples together for the next several months.

So I texted back “Don’t get burned.”

Sometimes the oblivious, impudent sexism trope is painfully accurate. And because I’ve been a #womaninSTEM for a long time, my brain asked itself “was that an accidental text goof or was that a power play?” After months of getting to know him, I believe deep down that he didn’t conscientiously try to alpha-dog me. But his callousness was belittling. So I wasn’t about to trivialize the mistake, “It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”

Instead I wanted to say, “this is your opportunity to define your own gender role.” Yes, as a fresh 24yo female engineer, I wanted desperately for my new coworker to like me. I learned that day that it’s possible to be consistent with your ideologies and still get the respect you deserve. Even in the workplace. Especially in the workplace.

So for all my #glassceiling shattering ladies out there, we don’t have to bra burn to be heard. Advocacy looks like this: standing up for yourself and not apologizing for doing so.

Now, when it’s -15F outside, the soybeans have frozen over and we’re conducting an all night pumping test…we build a bonfire to stay warm and I get to remind him “Don’t get burned.”

#andiPE #thewatermark #womeninSTEM #womeninengineering #womeninscience #femaleengineer #feminist #steminist #dontgetburned #advocacy #femaleengineer #geology


Reading: Feminist Fight Club. Super fast read and super amazing. Giving me lots of good advice for navigating in the workspace.

Listening: The Art of Seduction. Must read for figuring out how to jive with a world full of male leaders.

Working: Inputing well logs into a program called gINT to show the changes in the lithology and where the well is screened in the formation.

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