Comedian and host of “The Real,” Loni Love began her career as an electrical engineer, and she hopes to see more women pursuing STEM careers in the future.
Most people would recognize Loni Love from her stand-up comedy career or her work as co-host on “The Real”. However, Love’s career began in electrical engineering.
“After graduating high school, I immediately got a job at General Motors working on the automobile line,” Love says. “I was in my early 20s and was put in a work group with men in their 40s and 50s. It was a culture shock.”
Love was the only woman working on her team. “In the beginning of my career, being a female in engineering was lonely,” she says, “but I learned a lot from my coworkers, and soon they realized that I was an asset to the group. I would complete my projects well before most of them, and I looked at problems differently, so they started coming to get my advice on issues they couldn’t figure out. Soon I was not the young girl in the group but a reliable member.”
Now that she has the platform to speak to a wide audience, Love is encouraging women to seek out jobs in STEM and not be intimidated by the relative lack of women in certain areas. “Diversity is needed in STEM because there are many issues that affect women differently than men when considering solutions,” she says. “Having women to give their expertise can prove to be valuable.”
STEM workplaces can also do more to encourage women to enter the STEM workforce. Love says the key is making sure women are heard and respected. “Engineering is about providing solutions to make a process better. Women should not have to fight to be acknowledged. Let them do the job they were hired for.”
For women already interested in STEM careers, Love has some simple advice: “Never stop learning about new technologies. Keep moving, and when you need a break, take it.”