Story of a Stem Girl

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I grew up to be an engineer, but if you had asked me that question when I was 8 or 9 years old, I don't think “engineer” would have been my answer. There weren't many females with careers in math and science, much less engineering, for me to look up to.

As a young girl, I didn't play with dolls, but I loved science and math, and I loved learning. In fact, the best Christmas was the year I got a desk, a blackboard and index cards. All through school, I studied hard and my love for math and science is what made me want to become a civil engineering student at Howard University.

When I came to WSSC after graduation, I was the first civil engineer to work in our meter shop. During my first 20 years with WSSC, I had eight different jobs. With each job, I learned something new and had more responsibility. My eighth job was deputy general manager.

I left WSSC in 2006 and spent 10 years working for both Montgomery and Prince George's counties, learning everything I could about the two counties that WSSC serves. In 2016, I was chosen WSSC's first female general manager.

As a female engineer leading a water utility, I know what an important role female engineers play in our society. I encourage all young people, but especially girls, to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and think about having a STEM career. I want to make sure that young problem solvers of today become tomorrow's problem-solving professionals.

And maybe you'll be inspired to be an engineer when you grow up, too.

Carla A. Reid
WSSC General Manager/CEO