Clemson University leaders lead by example for gender equality on International Women’s Day

CLEMSON, SC (FOX Caroline) – Tuesday is International Women‘s Day, where we celebrate women’s achievements and empower them through representation.

Construction and engineering are two predominantly male-populated fields, but at Clemson University, some female leaders are helping take steps toward gender equality.

Stephanie Cooper is Executive Director of Planning and Construction at Clemson.

“There certainly weren’t many women when I went to architecture school,” Cooper said, “In fact, I remember one of the professors telling me he was glad that I’m in the studio so it’s less of a locker room.

Delphine Dean is the Ron and Jane Lindsey Family Professor of Bioengineering Innovation. She says there wasn’t much female power in her classes either.

“It was, usually, a huge class of 100 and five other women in the class,” Dean said.

According to the census, women make up about 15% of engineers. And OSHA says about 10% of construction workers are women.

If you didn’t know, the COVID testing system at Clemson University: there’s a woman behind it.

“We performed COVID tests for the university and for free for the community,” Dean said, “During the pandemic, we performed over a million tests.”

Also, the construction of the new one, Daniel Hall: there is also a woman behind that.

“I oversee all planning and construction projects on campus,” Cooper said, “It’s everything from a small renovation to a lecture hall, to, we have a 130-square-foot science building. million dollars that we’re working on.”

Dean and Cooper both hope they are the change they want to see.

“As a teacher, what I want to do is mentor young women who want to get into engineering to see that there are others like them,” Dean said.

The goal is to challenge girls to dream bigger.

“Obviously, women are capable of doing anything they want to do. And there are so many opportunities in construction,” Cooper continues, “I have the ability to mentor other women. who might not have thought they could hold a position, like me.

Other industries where we need more women: agriculture, truckers, managers, pilots, software engineers and automotive, to name a few.

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