Julie Lemen – Finding Career Success Through Niche Expertise
Julie Lemen is a female pioneer in the world of software engineering who has been successfully employed in the field for over 25 years. She got her start back in 1977 when she took a computer math class during 8th grade summer school. Instantly finding both an aptitude and a passion for the discipline, she went on to achieve a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering Technology from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, and then a Masters in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Entering the industry in 1984 she immediately found herself battling against gender bias, both subtle and overt. The profession was predominantly comprised of males at every level, which made it difficult for her to find mentors and achieve the same level of respect and appreciation that her peers did. The problem was compounded by the fact that she lived in a small town where job opportunities were already limited.
However Julie never lost faith in her talent and abilities, and was able to overcome these challenges by finding specific niches where she could become an undisputed expert. That allowed her to land her first job at TRW EPI, an electronics and design company. From there she was able to transition to the role of software engineer for the county of San Luis Obispo, a position which she held for 18 years before being promoted to a senior level.
Today she is taking her niche expertise and is using it to develop a project consulting business where she’ll be able to use her specific knowledge and skills to help companies succeed. She also gives back to the community, and takes time to mentor young women, providing them with guidance as they strive to develop their professional lives. Seen by many as a role model, Julie’s career is a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work, determination, and the confidence to pursue your goals no matter what challenges you face.