'Can I have it all?'

Tracy Kijewski-Correa

I am often timidly approached by bright and promising female students who ask me a simple yet powerful question: "Can I have it all?"

Some days I feel ill-equipped to answer, as I often find myself stumbling through the minefield of motherhood as a professor of engineering. The quest to "have it all" nearly broke me and makes me wonder if "all" may explain why, from study to study, women remain the minority in our engineering classrooms and even a greater minority in the field’s workplaces.

Nonetheless, I have a ready answer for young women who come to me with that question: "Yes, as long as you are the one that defines ‘all’ — not them."

Read the full opinion piece by Tracy Kijewski-Correa, the Leo E. and Patti Ruth Linbeck Collegiate Chair and associate professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences