Thursday, March 29, 2012

ECBC Women in Science and Engineering Blog, Part 8: Carol Eason

In recognition of Women's History Month, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) presents a special blog series featuring candid responses from female ECBC employees and leaders on their experiences as females in the science and engineering fields. The final blog in this series features Carol Eason, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) Risk Manager.

Progressing through school, I wasn’t sure what an engineer was, but found myself naturally attracted to the math courses—especially mechanical drafting. The summer after taking the mechanical drafting course, I was able to register for a full-time, intensive drafting course at a local university in New Orleans, La. Not only did I enjoy the coursework, but it led me to an opportunity with an engineering firm that specialized in Navy contracts.

As a young girl in high school, I always seemed to have a knack for math. Through hard work and encouragement from my mother, that knack paved the way for my career in science and engineering.

On my first day with the engineering firm, the mechanical designer I would be supporting met me and said “I don’t like working with women and don’t think they should be doing this job.” In my mind, he was an “old timer” and at that point I was ready to prove him wrong.
I spent long hours at the firm each day designing Navy consoles—drawing designs on an old-fashioned drawing table and ensuring every measurement, angle and view was correct. I went out of my way to hang out in the machine shop as the consoles were built and wired to make sure any changes were reflected in the blueprints. By the end of the summer, it seemed that the “old timer” had changed his mind about me—he not only told me that he enjoyed working with me, but also gave me a gift.
That tough summer taught me many lessons and prepared me for my future in a career field dominated by men. Today, I take great personal pleasure in seeing more young women establish careers in engineering and science—especially at ECBC. There was a day not far in the past where I attended meetings at various levels and was the only female present. We have taken some steps, albeit small, but steps, nonetheless. Most notably, we have our first, female member of the Senior Executive Service (SES), Suzanne Milchling.
I would like to thank the ECBC Engineering Directorate for making the celebration of women in science and engineering a priority. All around I see change and it is a good thing!
Ms. Eason serves as the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) Risk Manager.  Her responsibilities include the Chemical Biological (CB) safety, surety, security, environmental and Chemical Agent Standard Analytical Reference Material (CASARM) programs. Additionally she provides oversight and leadership to the DPI financial team.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, Department of the Army, Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

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