Ewurabena Mensa-Wood Honored During Women’s History, Diversity Months
Mensa-Wood brings a fresh perspective to mechanical engineering
She once dreamed of being a commercial pilot, but Ewurabena Mensa-Wood has found her passion as a mechanical engineer at Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS.
The Ghana native, who works in SCE’s Plant Engineering group at San Onofre, says airline industry changes after 9/11 led her to reassess her career goals.
“I wanted to be an airline pilot, but my mother guided me toward engineering as a backup profession, because I was good at math,” Mensa-Wood says.
A graduate of London’s Queen Mary and Westfield College, and Cal Poly Pomona, Mensa-Wood began working at SONGS in 2002 and hasn’t looked back.
Working in a male-dominated field is “not a big issue,” she says, and being a minority “is not a hindrance.”
“Men are respectful when women are around and women bring a fresh perspective to the field,” she explains.
As SCE celebrated Women’s History Month in March and now Diversity Month in April, Mensa-Wood has been cited as an outstanding woman engineer and a role model for young women aiming for careers in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields.
“Ewurabena Mensa-Wood exemplifies the benefits of a strong education in math and science,” said Veronica Gutierrez, SCE vice president, Corporate Communications. “We hope she inspires a new generation of girls and young women to follow in her footsteps. And to help them achieve their goals, we remain committed to offering educational grants that focus on STEM fields, which will help recruit our workforce of the future.”
Southern California Edison and parent Edison International support educational initiatives that focus on increasing math, science and technology-literacy skills, at the K-12 and college levels. The Edison Scholars program, funded by Edison International, offers up to $10,000 in scholarships in support of the study of math, physics, chemistry, engineering, materials science, computer science or information systems.
For the first time, the number of awardees has been expanded to include students in the 14 states where the company generates and distributes electricity. Requirements also have been changed so recipients may attend any accredited U.S. university.
Mensa-Wood, who regularly tutors high school students in math, has this bit of advice for girls and young women aspiring to be engineers: “I would tell them what my mother told me, ‘You can be whatever you want to be if you put your mind to it.’ Stay focused.”
After all, staying focused helped her achieve a lifelong goal.
“I still followed my dream of flying and got my private pilot’s license,” she says.
For more information about SCE’s commitment to diversity, visit the “community” section on www.SCE.com.
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.