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‘There is no magic bullet.’ Women engineers discuss balancing work, family with Fort Worth students

Luciana Angarita was one of a few Cristo Rey Fort Worth College Prep students at the Fort Worth Club who was curious about paths in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

“Do you think there’s a limit to what women engineers can do physically?” Angarita asked the panel of three at the 2023 Women in Leadership: Bold Women Engineering The Future event at the Fort Worth Club in downtown.

The three panelists — Chief Water Resources Officer at Tarrant Regional Water District Rachel Ickert, Director of Track Measurement at BNSF Railway Charity Duran, and CEO of Evolving Texas Samantha Renz — took turns answering Angarita’s inquiry about STEM at the March 22 event.

“I don’t believe in the word impossible because the minute you think something’s impossible, then it really is,” Duran said. 

Ickert said the sky is the limit. Renz said everything is possible.

The panelists focused on answering questions about engineering and balancing work and personal life as women.

“I do struggle when two things are very, very important to me and one is related to work and the other related to family, and sometimes you’ve already said yes to two different things and you don’t know which way to go,” Ickert said. “That’s when it really helps to have supportive teammates and family members and friends and supervisors, you know, people that could step in and have your back. … It’s not easy and there is no magic bullet.”

Said Duran: “It really is a balance. There’s an art to it.”

The panel event featured women in engineering leadership and was a part of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Leadership seminar series.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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