Spotlight on Women in Engineering: Esther Markwart Camacho

June 5, 2023

Q&A with Esther Markwart Camacho, Project Engineer, Civil Engineering Practice

Esther joined WT Group’s Civil Engineering Practice in 2013. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois, and continued her Engineering education to obtain her E.I.T. She performs site design and development for various architect, commercial, and school development projects and is knowledgeable in ADA remediation.

What is great about engineering?

Designing sites and solving problems to create a great final product for the client.  I always feel proud when driving by sites I had a hand in designing.

What are some misconceptions about women entering into the field of engineering?

I feel some of the major misconceptions women have regarding entry into the engineering field is that they might not be heard or be taken seriously in the industry.  But with so many women entering the engineering industry over the last 20 years or so, it has really shown that women are being taken seriously and are making important contributions.

Do you feel that your gender gives you a different perspective and experience from those of your male counterparts?

Every person brings a different perspective to the solving of a client’s problems, so I do believe gender is a secondary factor. That said, I feel that, in many cases, a woman’s thought processes may produce a more aesthetic design, while a man’s solution may be more utilitarian.

What sparked your interest in engineering? Is there a moment you realized this was a field you wanted to pursue?

In Middle School, taking drafting in shop class had piqued my interest, and from that point on I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. I pursued my Architectural Degree in College, but when I graduated in 1988 and began looking for a job there was not one to be found.  I was fortunate enough to find a job drafting at a small engineering firm, which was where I began to learn the industry. I decided to take additional college classes and later sat for the Engineer-in-Training exam eight years after graduating, passing it on the first try.  I remained at my first company for over 22 years, until the economic downturn affected the industry and the company downsized. I was not discouraged and was fortunate enough to land a great position at the WT Group, where I have now worked for more than nine years.

What is your greatest accomplishment as a woman?

I feel my greatest accomplishment was pursuing my career in this industry in the first place, and even changing my career path over time. In doing so, I have found myself in a very satisfying job and love what I do.

What advice do you have for women interested in engineering?                                      

Pursuing a career in engineering is well worth the time and effort you will need to put in to achieve your goal. Do not be discouraged by any challenges and continue to fight for your opportunity to be the best you can be. More and more women are achieving great things in the engineering industry, a field that will always be needed in a growing economy.