How Civil Engineer Chloe is helping transform the future
- Chloe Osorio is a Civil Engineer working in the power industry in California
- She uses her skills to improve the lives of entire communities and shares her passion for STEM with the next generation
- Chloe loves the comfort and support that Steel Blue’s pink work boots provide
Everybody has the power to improve the world around them, but not everyone does. For California-based Chloe Alexandra, it’s the transformative effect her work as a Civil Engineer has on improving the lives of whole communities that drives her.
“My favorite part of my job is that it makes an impact,” she said. “Whenever I explain why I love civil engineering and construction to young students, I tell them that when I was young, I knew I wanted to help people. With my job as an Engineer, I get to help entire communities with just one project.”
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Learning fast and meeting challenges is its own reward
Chloe works in the power industry, on a wide variety of projects involving the transmission and distribution of power, from line upgrades to brand new power stations. That could mean designing and managing the construction of anything from land development to roads, oil containment, or drainage designs.
“The most challenging part of my job is having to constantly learn and understand things that are not in my realm of expertise,” she said. “When I am out in the field and they are talking about the electrical equipment, capacities, and so on, I have to be able to understand. It is the most challenging part because I have to learn quickly and on the fly. I love it because it makes my job interesting and never monotonous. Although it can be challenging, it is also really rewarding.”
Sharing a passion for STEM with the next generation
Chloe is now sharing her passion and skills with the next generation of civil engineers, encouraging girls and young women to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) subjects and consider careers in engineering.
“Growing up I was always taught that my gender had nothing to do with what I was capable of,” she said. “When I wanted to play basketball and there were no girls’ basketball teams, my mom signed me up for the boys’ league at the YMCA. She told me, ‘You are not a girl basketball player; you are just a basketball player’. That has always stuck with me.
“My father immigrated to the US from Lebanon and was my number one fan in encouraging me to try anything and be anything. So, it was shocking to me when I got to college and there were male students from the Middle East who asked me if my dad was OK with me studying engineering. I had no idea why he wouldn’t be. If there was ever sexism or people telling me I couldn’t do something because I was a girl, I always had my parents to tell me otherwise. “However, I know that not every girl is lucky enough to be encouraged in that way growing up. Not every girl has someone telling them that they can do it. So, if I can be that for just one girl somewhere, then I have done my job.”
Unfortunately, according to the AAUW (American Association of University Women), many girls lose confidence in mathematics by the time they are in the third grade. It is important to Chloe to touch the lives of these young girls and encourage them to pursue math and science at an early age.
Chloe recalled visiting a second-grade classroom to do some engineering activities with the students.
“Their teacher announced that two Engineers were there to teach them today and a little girl screamed, ‘They are both girls?’ And then said, ‘So I could be an Engineer?’
“It was the most heartwarming thing ever and it’s why I do what I do.”
Why Chloe loves wearing Steel Blue boots
Chloe started wearing Steel Blue Boots around 2021, when the Steel Blue team reached out to her through her Instagram account.
“I love what the brand stands for and the boots are extremely well made,” she said.
“I work on extremely rough sites sometimes and have bad knees and ankles, so I need boots that make me feel secure. And I obviously love that there is a pink coloured boot too!”