Celebrating Women Engineers

June 23, 2020


Baker, Reyes, and Bailleul
(L-R) Mariah Baker, Tiffany Reyes, and Ann Bailleul

June 23 marks International Women in Engineering Day—a campaign to raise the profile of women engineers like Poets Mariah Baker '21, Ann Bailleul '17, and Tiffany Reyes '15. 

Baker's passion for pursuing a career in engineering stemmed from her desire to learn math and science at a young age. 

"When I was in the first grade, I won an award for having the most math points in my school," said Baker, who is majoring in engineering and minoring in mathematics and is also a member of the Whittier Track & Field team. "Since then, I’ve pushed myself to excel in all of my math courses and understand how it connects to other topics within STEM."

Baker encourages other women interested in pursuing a career in engineering to believe in themselves. 

“There were many times in my classes that I was the only woman or the only Black woman there and it would make me feel defeated and that I didn’t belong,” she said. “After gaining my confidence, I realized that just because I am the only woman does not make me less capable than the other students. I learned to take advantage of all of the opportunities being handed to [me] and be unapologetic about it.”

Bailleul is celebrating two big milestones in her engineering career—her three-year anniversary at Raytheon and earning her master's degree in cyber security engineering from USC.

Bailleul, who majored in mathematics at Whittier, grew up with a fascination for how important technology is to our lives. Her advice to other women pursuing a career in engineering is to be ready for constant learning, problem-solving, and teamwork. 

"Every new project demands at least some level of learning and if that’s something you enjoy, as I do, it is very exciting," she said. "If you’re willing to put in the effort and collaborate with others, the end products can be highly rewarding and even life-saving. It’s amazing what creative minds can do together."

Reyes also majored in mathematics and is currently a system engineer at Northrop Grumman. Her love for math led her to a career in engineering. 

She offers the following advice to future women engineers: "Don't be afraid to be wrong. The best (and some days, the hardest) part of my job, is that I’m constantly learning. Also, use your voice! Both in terms of being assertive, as well as asking questions. There’s so much to learn from the people around you and they can learn a lot from you too, but only if you speak up."