Erin Brooks has engineered diesel engine parts and turbochargers, but for 11 years she wore glasses, a blazer, and her hair back at work to fit in better with male colleagues. She even took speech lessons to deepen her soft voice. Now, as a strategic sourcing manager of core technologies at Tesla, Brooks finally feels comfortable being herself on the job. She writes about her experience of being a woman in a male-dominated profession for a fascinating piece in Fortune.

"Only as I've gained seniority and become more professionally successful, have I become more comfortable with letting my blond hair down, figuratively and literally," Brooks wrote in the article. She first felt the stigma against female engineers at 16. It was her first day of a summer internship at Ford, and she was catcalled by workers.

Brooks also discusses the serious need to get more young women into science and engineering professions. She suggests that the recent #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign on Twitter points to the future of a more accepting workplace for females and lists Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and tech entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes as two women who are changing the public definition of what it means to be female and capable. Brooks' editorial column provides a personal perspective on someone finding their identity and pushing for the same experience for others. It's well worth a read, and if you want to see many, many more female engineering faces, scrolling through that Twitter hashtag will prove that it doesn't take a Y chromosome to tinker with tools.

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