Kathy Nelson

Principal, West Monroe Partners

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Be yourself. Use your voice.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I'm an electrical engineer working in the utility industry at a consulting firm. I do telecommunication system design, planning, and strategy for electric utilities.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

My dad was an electrical engineering technology professor and my brother in law was an electrical engineer. I loved math and physics, but 31 years ago we didn't learn what engineers did, so I had no idea what engineers did!

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

I wouldn't say it's an achievement, but I wish younger me would have been my authentic self and not try to pretend I wasn't a girl and that I used my voice more. It's ok (and should be celebrated) to be a woman in engineering. There were no other women engineers at my company and so I tried (too hard) to fit in with my male colleagues.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

There's so many different things to do. It's exciting, it's fun, I feel valued and validated. I'm making a difference.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Be yourself. Use your voice.

INSPO / FUN FACT

Science is not a boy’s game it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game. It’s about where we are and where we are going

NOMINATE A WOMAN IN STEM

For multiple nominations, email hi@1mwis.com

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