El Cerrito, Ca
Megan Lo is currently a R&D Engineer working in the Medical device industry. She also is a Social Media Educator @Mech.e.megan, encouraging more women to go into the field of engineering. When it comes to overcoming adversity, Megan proves that she can defy the odds and achieve in a career that still is very male dominated.
She never let that stop her though and continue to put her heart, mind and passion in her work, proving that a woman can do it too. Megan is inspiring so many, using her experiences and knowledge to help others achieve success in the field of Engineering.
Let’s get to know our Petitegrl, Megan!
Q: What certain challenges have you faced being in a male dominated field?
A: Besides struggling a bit to relate to my male peers in terms of hobbies, understanding some of their jokes, and things to talk about, the biggest challenge I have is finding the confidence to find my voice. Being the only female entry-level engineer among male and more senior engineers, I often find myself having to really try to voice my opinions and sometimes will get my train of thought cut-off by someone with a louder voice. I’ve also noticed that men tend to be more confident and stubborn than women, and sometimes it’s hard to get a point across or change one’s opinion.
Q: As an R&D Engineer, what do you do?
A: I’m currently working on designing a medical device that gets implanted into the heart to fix blood regurgitation, or backflow of blood in the heart. This is the first generation of our device, so I get to actually be creative and help design this device from scratch. This type of job (designing medical devices) was my career goal from the start of becoming an engineer, and I love the work that I’m doing!
Q: How do you overcome adversities?
A: I generally try to look at things in a positive light, but when things get hard, I like to take a step back and ask myself how I'm feeling and what I can do to feel better. I’ve learned that mental health is important and having “me time” to de-stress and feel better is more than okay. I sometimes like to look back at previous challenges and adversities and I tell myself that if I could overcome what happened in the past, then everything will be alright and I definitely can overcome this current challenge. And if anything, this experience and challenge will only make me stronger in the end.
Q: What personal challenges have you faced as a petite woman?
A: I believe it’s a combination of being shorter than my male peers, being a female among my male peers, and being more entry-level than my more senior-level male engineers at work, but I sometimes find it hard to get my voice across.
Q: What do you personally feel like petite women struggle with the most?
A: One think would be feeling comfortable standing up to those taller than us and being taken seriously. Many people see petite people as small and cute, and I’ve seen many memes of angry short girls being compared to cute characters that you can’t really be scared of because they’re adorable, even though they’re angry. It’s easy for smaller women to hide away and be unnoticed, so I think it’s even more important for petite women to share their voice and emphasize their presence! It’s a lot harder said than done, but I strongly believe that this MPW movement will encourage and empower petite women to go after what they want and to take up space.
Q: What piece of advice can you give a petitegrl who struggles with accepting her own height/body?
A: This may be the hard truth, but realistically and unfortunately, we can’t really change a lot about our natural bodies like height. However, we can change our opinions on them and there’s a lot to celebrate being petite! It’s easier said than done, but try looking at the positives, like how petite women can wear super tall heels and fit in tight and small spaces.
As a female who studied mechanical engineering in college and continues to work as a Research and Development engineer, I’ve experienced what it’s like to be a female in a male-dominated field, and to put it generally, a minority in a majority group. Even though it gets difficult at times, I highly encourage others to look at things in a positive light! As there will always be cons to some things, on the flip side there will always be pros.
Since noticing the large gender gap in STEM and specially engineering, I’ve made it my mission to encourage other females to go after their dreams in engineering. I started by creating an Instagram @mech.e.megan to share educational and career tips on becoming an engineer, in hopes of showing that females like myself can go into engineering. Change can start with one person, and if I’m able to inspire other girls to pursue and stick with a career in male-dominated fields, then maybe in a couple decades, we’ll really see the gender gap start to close in fields like engineering.