“There were many times I entered a classroom on the first day to see that I was the only woman of color,” says Tara Battle, BSME ‘10.
Initially a Chemistry major with dreams of going to medical school, Battle was inspired by her family’s medical history. However, with her acuity for math and science she quickly found her way into engineering and fell in love with mechanical engineering.
She stresses the importance of having a community of support in one’s education and career.
Today, Black women in the U.S. make up less than 2% of both working professionals and students in the engineering field.
“When you sit in a classroom and never see a familiar face it starts to bring doubt in your mind,” she says, emphasizing the importance of diversity in community, but how impactful similar backgrounds can be for success.
The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering has seen an over 37% increase in the number for Black female engineers over a five year span.
This has resulted in major milestones for Black women across the various departments. Including Ph.D. graduates in Nuclear Engineering and from the department of Computer and Information Science & Engineering (CISE).
Tara Battle credits these accomplishments as catalysts for the next generation.
“I am proud to be part of a community that continues to shatter the ceiling. I am proud to be part of a community that even when lacking support systems, we continue to push ourselves towards historical milestones.”
Upon graduation from UF MAE, Battle attended Auburn University where she received an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. She now works as a chief engineer in the government sector.