Women Warriors Part 1- Family vs. Career The Choice is YoursAccording to the National Science Foundation, women were awarded 3.1% of bachelor’s degrees in engineering, 6.5% of bachelor’s degrees in physical sciences, 5.4% of bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and statistics, and 9.7% of bachelor’s degrees in biological sciences in 2012. So when Eileen Allison (Diné) graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Arizona State University (ASU) in 1998, it was a HUGE accomplishment because those percentages for women were even lower then – especially among women identifying as American Indian.

“My passion for math and science led me to study Construction Management,” Eileen said, when asked what inspired her to pursue her studies in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field.

“I can count the number of Native females on my hand in the construction management field,” she continued. “Like in any STEM field, the female representation is a small number. Females have much to offer; they offer a different perspective in the STEM fields. I know females are talented and can perform just as well or even better than their male counterparts. We need to close that gap and encourage our Native females to pursue a STEM career. It makes me happy to see Native females study STEM fields and succeed in their professional careers.”

Eileen is a mother of 4 children, and is not only very involved in the lives and education of her kids, but also in her community. Eileen has served on her local parent teacher association and basketball booster club. Currently, she is an active member of the ASU Native American Alumni Chapter and enjoys teaching primary school at her church.

Eileen credits planning and preparedness as important practices for success, and often encourages her own children to enrich their learning by taking Honors classes in school and volunteering within their community. “As a mother, I want to see my kids succeed and fulfill their educational goals,” Eileen shares. “As a mother, I can assist with building a firm foundation and it is up to my children to build up from that foundation.”

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