This is an international announcement. Today, I urge all women to let go of perfection, to let go of self-doubt, and to close their eyes and imagine themselves, their daughters, and the next generation of women as female Engineers.

Engineer. Designer. Developer. Inventor.

What do all of these positions have in common? You…

You are the answer. You are the solution to the world’s most challenging, complex problems. Imagine right now, all of the world’s most pressing issues are poverty, education, clean food & water, inequality, and knowing that so many issues currently exist in a day and age where leaps and bounds in scientific discoveries and technological advancements occur.

The world needs more engineers, more programmers more computer scientists, more problem-solvers, more big thinkers. The world needs more creativity and more diversity. The world needs you. I believe that women all over the world deserve a seat at the tech table. Every day, high school students and college students walk away from the opportunity to sit at the tech table because of stereotypes and fears of math. Instead, we have chosen to dominate every other field: Law, Health, Fashion, Accounting, Marketing and more. Our potential is unlimited but when it comes to Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science, the field where the first programmers were actually women. Women today, girls today, are not choosing to pursue careers in this field.

Did you know that revolving buildings exist? What about computers that are programmed by the mind? Most are familiar that energy can be produced by nature now. Our international society has witnessed a rise in robots, self-warming clothes, smart homes, electric cars, bionic body parts, 3-d printing, artificial intelligence and more. It’s important that the teams designing these technological break-throughs are equipped with diverse engineers. Perform a quick google search or YouTube on "breakthrough technological advancements in 2018" and prepare to have your mind blown.

My issue is that I want women to take part in this revolution. The world right now is an ugly place. I say that because there is a huge gap between the possibilities of what the world can become and the technology that we currently have. The beauty of engineering is that we can develop the skills to design anything that we want. It’s important to know that the journey is going to be complex and challenging. But, isn’t that life? Do you really want the easy route?

Women have been pushed and stereotyped into others careers that are less technologically challenging. You can listen to several Ted Talks that brilliantly and eloquently explain the different reasons for women and girls not pursuing STEM fields. From "Learned Technological Helplessness" to "Women having Underdeveloped Spatial Skills", To the "Lack of Mentors in The Stem Field". Additionally, if you are a woman of color or impoverished, that brings to light a whole new level of economic challenges that can make the journey to becoming an engineer difficult.

Engineering includes multifaceted disciplines such as mobile app and web development, artificial intelligence, and electrical engineering.  Technology is always changing, therefore, job titles are always changing. Software Developer, Computer Programmer, Coder, Web Developer, it’s all interchangeable. The workload and responsibilities will change and vary, but overall, the concepts and principles of Software Engineering and Computer Science are true and tried magic that can bridge the gap in our understanding of networking, security, information technology and all of the other related fields that typically scare women away from this field.

Let’s get real. Do you want to make more money? Do you like money? Do you agree that money is a tool and a resource that can provide you with experiences? Wouldn’t it be nice to have disposable money? You could vacation and travel more, you could put your children in private school, and you could invest in property, stocks, and overall, enjoy a better quality of life. Would you like to have a career that offers security, stability, and flexibility? What about a career with prestige, with honor, with purpose? Do you like to organize and plan? Do you like to design? Do you have a vision? Can you see the big picture? Do you like the details? Even if you said no to all of these questions, if I time traveled and asked your 10-year-old self these questions, or even better, observed your 4-year-old self at play, I would see for myself, that you do indeed, have a natural talent and desire for all of above.

The world as it exists today is filled with inadequate solutions. While we are riding a wave of technological advancements, we are also going to see a lot of technological breakdowns due to lack of security and networking education that current computer engineers have. Combine this holistic skills gap with the lack of diversity that exists in software development environment and it's no wonder that companies are always looking for new engineers. Today, the same engineers with similar class and backgrounds are hired at the best and brightest companies to design solutions. If it's the same group are working on products and solutions then there is a limit to the innovation.

How much money have you spent in your life on technology? How much time have you allocated daily to technology? The answers to your reflection show that technology is a major part of your life. In fact, women utilize technology way more than men. The ironic part is that little boys are encouraged to play with legos and computers as kids. In middle school and high school, they are encouraged to pursue scientific and engineering fields. Meanwhile, girls are told to play with barbies and princesses. We are encouraged to become nurturers and communicators and most of us are natural born leaders. But, we are never programmed to program. My intention is to change that. I want you to believe in your abilities to learn the challenging parts of Java, C#, Python, Javascript, HTML5, and CSS, along with various frameworks, software engineering, and computer science methodologies, so that you can become a force to be reckoned with. It’s not enough to have the technical skill set. But the good thing is, you already have the other amazing parts. The technical skillset is what’s missing. Now it’s time to close that gap.

Are you ready to start programming? Well first decide when and where you are going to learn. Pick a place, create your space, and own this time. Your attention and your focus are so valuable. Next, I want you to pick a language. I don’t care which language you choose because my personal development advice for you as a computer engineer is to learn a new language each year. As a computer engineer, you have to solve complex problems, and the fun and creative part are that several paths exist to solve an issue. As an engineer, you have to use your advanced knowledge to design solutions in various ways. So pick a language and stick to it. Next, I want you to find your favorite way of learning. Everyone has their own opinion here. You can find an online course, an app, a book,  or YouTube tutorials. You can enroll in a class at a college or local university or watch a class or lecture online.  I want you to explore all of these methods and become familiar with them. Get started with the medium and delivery that you are most comfortable with then commit to project-based learning. In the future, you will utilize the other resources as secondary resources to help you understand the knowledge from various perspectives.

Now that you know where you are going to learn, what you are going to learn, and how you are going to learn, the next part is to decide why you are going to learn. This is fundamental. The "why" is everything. The "why: is the magic. The "why" is the purpose. It’s your drive. The "why" is going to be the reason that you keep going even when you want to quit. The "why" is the reason that you are going to keep going no matter how tough it gets and no matter how much those inner voices may doubt you.  It will be the reason you push through the technical jargon and content and it’s the reason why you will network and interview and subject yourself to environments with professionals who have technical competencies beyond yours or stereotypes and outdated practices. It’s all so that you will develop mental toughness and emotional intelligence. What is the "why" behind your engineer journey? The answer is personal and it purposeful. Figure it out and now you’re ready to program.