Weaving the stories of women’s lives: Catherine Campbell, Mechanical Engineer, Hydroelectric Design Center

The accounts of the lives of individual women are critically important because they reveal exceptionally strong role models who share a more expansive vision of what a woman can do. The stories of women’s lives, and the choices they made, encourage girls and young women to think larger and bolder, and give boys and men a fuller understanding of the female experience.

This year’s Portland District campaign celebrates those stories and the women who share them.

Catherine Campbell
Mechanical Engineer
Hydroelectric Design Center

Catherine Campbell, Mechanical Engineer, Hydroelectric Design CenterWhat do you find rewarding about your job?
It’s a privilege to know that my work contributes to the critical infrastructure of our nation.

Describe yourself, your work ethic, or your career path in six words.
Responsive teamwork expertise accomplishing meaningful missions.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to another woman working for the Portland District?
Female engineers will sometimes have a higher “burden of proof” of competency/credibility.  Just keep doing good work, and you will earn the trust of your teams.

What is your greatest hope for women in the future?
That gender is not used as an indirect substitute for actual job requirements, even when there is a probable correlation.  For example, if upper body strength is a job requirement, let that be directly tested, rather than assuming men can fulfill that requirement and women cannot.

Catherine Campbell, Mechanical Engineer, Hydroelectric Design Center

Catherine Campbell, Mechanical Engineer, Hydroelectric Design Center

What would you tell your younger self?
The hardest part is knowing what you want.  Open your eyes and don’t let vague expectations frame the debate of what to pursue in life.  You are extremely fortunate to have so few true obstacles to anything you want to do or be.

New stories from Portland District’s female employees will be added throughout March. To read them, visit http://usaceportland.armylive.dodlive.mil/index.php/category/womens-history-month-2015/.

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