Building confidence as a womxn in engineering

Talisha Griesbach beside a UBC Supermileage vehicle
Talisha is the Electrical Subteam Lead with the UBC Supermileage design team.

Talisha Griesbach

  • Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Program: Integrated Engineering
  • Campus: Vancouver

Year level: 3rd year

Being the recipient of eight scholarships and counting, juggling her design team, sorority and course load, it is clear to everyone that Talisha is making the most of her time as a UBC Engineering. 

What many can’t see underneath these busy schedules is moments of imposter syndrome in being a woman in STEM. “A big challenge that I, and many womxn in engineering, constantly face is a low level of self-confidence in our technical abilities” Talisha explains. She recalls how she would keep her ideas to herself when she worked in team settings, worried that her ideas would not be valued. “The underrepresentation of womxn in engineering also contributes to feelings of inadequacy. Before I knew it, my self-esteem was being eaten away.” 

 

Image
Group of people repainting a community hospital
On a service trip with her sorority, cleaning and repainting a community hospital in New Orleans.

Rather than giving up, Talisha stated to recreate a new reality for herself. She reimagined a world where minority groups of this male-dominated industry can feel empowered and accepted. Turns out, this support was already present in the engineering community! 

“Through the support of my family, friends and womxn mentors, and by celebrating my skills, experiences and hard work invested into my career, my self-confidence started growing again. Taking a step further, I talk about these issues with my non-womxn friends and colleagues, encouraging them to learn more and stand up for womxn when they observe bias happening in their communities.” 

 

Image
Talisha at a UBC Enactus booth
Talisha founded a social enterprise named "Project Patch" at UBC Enactus.

For other people experiencing imposter syndrome or dealing with self-esteem issues in regard to their engineering studies, Talisha urges these individuals to speak out, stating: “I encourage you to dig deeper about bias in your communities, and to start having these important conversations with the people around you. It’s a constant uphill battle but believe in yourself!” 

Campus involvements:

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Search A magnifying glass. Arrow indicating share action A directional arrow. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service. Future of work A logo for the Future of Work category. Inclusive leadership A logo for the Inclusive leadership category. Planetary health A logo for the Planetary health category. Solutions for people A logo for the Solutions for people category. Thriving cities A logo for the Thriving cities category. University for future A logo for the University for future category.