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February 21, 2024

Haley Callahan: Paying it Forward on Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

Haley Callahan

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day traces its roots back to 2001, when DiscoverE dedicated one day of its Engineers Week program to fostering a spirit of inclusivity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Since then, the day has come to be known as Girl Day and has helped show girls around the world that although engineering is a field numerically dominated by men, women can and will continue to make their mark through valuable workplace contributions in engineering.

Over the years, Girl Day has grown in scope to include events, panels, and biopics of female engineers to inspire young women worldwide to pursue a career in engineering. Several organizations even host on-site events, so that girls can gain valuable insights into a day in the life of an engineer. 

Blazing Her Trail

Haley Callahan started her engineering journey testing various products for safety certification with UL Solutions as an intern while earning her degree in textile engineering from North Carolina State University. Upon earning her degree in 2016, Callahan returned to UL Solutions as a full-time engineer, eventually joining UL Standards & Engagement as a Standards Development Engineer. 

Callahan was drawn to engineering because the field offered a vast array of avenues to pursue. Counter to what many told her about engineering while growing up, she has found that the possibilities afforded to her in engineering are virtually endless. In fact, this is one of Callahan’s favorite aspects of her role in engineering: an ever-changing landscape with plenty of opportunities to explore new ideas and pursue new interests. 

Callahan also notes that even with events such as Girl Day, the pool of female engineers isn’t deep, often leaving gaps in experience and input that are challenging to fill.

“Statistically speaking, women are in the minority when it comes to the field of engineering, which can be a challenge,” said Callahan. “I’ve sat in many meetings where only one or two women have been in attendance. However, being included presents the opportunity to provide a different perspective that otherwise would not have been heard. There is a great deal of value added in having different voices at the table. While it may be difficult, overcoming adversity in any situation, whether it be in your career or elsewhere, always benefits you in the end.”

In her current role, Callahan uses her experience in engineering to guide the process of developing safety standards. Her ability to interface with industry experts on their level as well as manage complex projects give Callahan the edge she needs to be an efficient and leading contributor to any team she’s partnered with. Further, her in-depth understanding of technical concepts allows her to contribute meaningful and thorough enhancements all through the project cycle. 

Get Involved!

Introduce a Girl to Engineering is a time for female engineers to engage their communities and act as role models, hosting engineering activities and forums to show girls how engineers change our world. 

“My advice to any women interested in engineering is to pursue it and never sell yourself short! Know that there will always be challenges along the way, but don’t let that stop you. If you are willing to put in the work and persevere, it is a worthwhile endeavor,” said Callahan.