Dana Mackey loved enjoying with dolls as a baby. However she was additionally intrigued with assembling and snapping collectively toy automobiles and airplanes.
That curiosity resulted in Mackey turning into the primary Black feminine skilled engineer in Hillsborough County Authorities beneath the County Administrator and one of some in America. Mackey has been a Hillsborough County Authorities crew member for greater than 25 years. In 2002, Hillsborough County acknowledged Mackey for her dedication and repair, and because the County’s first Black feminine skilled engineer employed beneath the County Administrator.
Paving the best way
“I really feel like I’ve paved the best way for a lot of,” Mackey mentioned. “There was a perspective of unknowing once I would stroll in a room. I appeared unusual and completely different. However 30-plus years later, it is all modified. I have been there when there was none.”
Based on Nationwide Middle for Science and Engineering Statistics, of the greater than 1.7 million professionals working in engineering occupations in the US, solely about 16,000 are Black girls, which quantities to lower than 1 % of the engineering workforce.
Mackey, 57, grew up in Hillsborough County. She attended Tampa’s Robinson Excessive Faculty and graduated in 1982. She then graduated from the College of South Florida with a bachelor’s diploma in civil engineering in 1987. Afterward, Mackey turned the primary African American feminine skilled engineer for Districts 1 and seven of the Florida Division of Transportation. She was additionally one of many first African American females to finish FDOT’s Skilled Engineer Trainee Program in Florida. After the four-year program, Mackey continued working with the FDOT as a site visitors engineer. Years later, in 1996, she joined the County as an engineer within the Public Works division, and has labored within the Visitors Engineering, Stormwater, and Building Providers sections. She is presently the supervisor of Initiatives Administration with the Capital Applications division.
“I like building,” Mackey mentioned. “I like the truth that I can drive across the county and see issues that I participated in. From the begin to the ultimate undertaking completion and closeout, it turns into an actuality. It is the gratification of seeing your work and your contribution to the county. I used to be born and raised within the county, and now I get the possibility to present again and use the reward that God has given me as an academic software.”
A girl of many skills
Mackey is the mom of 4 and has been married for 29 years. She additionally has a doctorate in ministry, loves music, and performs six completely different devices. She has produced just a few gospel albums and was nominated for a Stellar Gospel Music Award.
“This yr, I purchased myself my very own Valentine’s Day current,” Mackey mentioned, laughing. “I purchased a brand new keyboard. When it arrived, I had the largest smile.”
Mackey is happy with the expansion of ladies and African Individuals within the subject of engineering. At USF, she was usually the one feminine in her lessons.
“The notion has modified lots, and I am proud now to see our occupation in terms of gender,” Mackey mentioned. “Going by way of the FDOT’s Skilled Engineering Coaching Program, all my mates and buddies have been males. I consider which you can be what you need to be. Simply have respect, dedication and character, together with embracing completely different diversities. We’re all only one large crew working collectively for one large widespread purpose. I like crew constructing.”