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Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day: Insights from Conserve It's Female Engineers, Developers, and Business Operations



To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, Conserve It gathered our talented female team members for a round table discussion. The conversation highlighted past experiences, insights, and visions for the future. Their stories showcase the strength, resilience, and passion these women bring to the field of engineering.


The Journey into Engineering


Sachini Witharana, a Software Developer, began her journey six years ago. "The idea of having many opportunities in this industry made me passionate about what I did, as there was always something to learn about," she shared. Her sentiment was echoed by Amy Pan, an Intern Software Developer, who was inspired by the creativity and interactivity of web development. "I had website-related work in my previous career and soon became interested in web development," Amy said. For Tam Lam, also a Software Developer, the journey felt natural. "I was always a tech-savvy kid growing up. It feels natural to pursue the career I'm already interested in," she noted.


Nourehan Wahba's path was serendipitous. Initially aiming for a degree in Architecture, she found herself in the architectural engineering major through a Women in STEM scholarship. "As I advanced in my degree, I started to develop an interest in building mechanical services design," she recalled. Waranya Sun, a Software Developer, chose to study computer science and expanded her knowledge through short courses in various coding languages. "I have been inspired to pursue this career path because it’s my passion as I enjoy the work and challenges that come with it," she explained.


Silvia Yembi, a Software Developer, was inspired by her curiosity and love for problem-solving. "My journey into engineering began with a desire to understand how things work and a passion for solving complex problems, all while making a positive impact," she said. Darsha Gunawardena, a Technical Support Engineer, was driven by a deep fascination for how things work, sparked by childhood curiosity. "My inspiration to pursue a career as a tech support engineer for smart building solutions stemmed from a passion for technology and a desire to contribute to sustainable living," she shared. Piaa Jain, a Junior Technical Support Engineer, was driven by a passion for creativity and problem-solving. "What inspired me most about this career path is the understanding that there is never just one right answer," she said.


For Mirafe Dalaay, Sales and Orders Coordinator, she felt proud of the achievements of women in engineering at Conserve It. "Joining Conserve It and working with women in engineering is quite new to me. I felt proud that these women joined a male-dominated industry and are making a name for women."


Overcoming Challenges


When discussing the challenges they faced, our team shared a range of experiences. Sachini noted that she was fortunate not to encounter much discrimination. "I was able to learn and evolve every year in my degree and also through my career," she said. Nourehan faced challenges related to age, background, and gender. "Some ways for overcoming this challenge were knowing my capabilities, being assertive when needed, and understanding the limitations of changing certain situations," she explained.


Silvia highlighted the challenge of balancing work and life, especially as a mother. "The demanding nature of engineering careers can make it challenging to balance work with personal and family responsibilities," she said, emphasising the importance of time management and supportive employers. Tam found it challenging to relate to many women in engineering, though she appreciated the increasing number of female software developers at Conserve It.


Waranya noted that she hasn't faced any challenges because of her gender. "Everyone has treated me with respect and professionalism," she said. Darsha encountered underrepresentation and occasional biases during her university days. "To overcome these, I've relied on building a strong professional network, seeking mentorship, and continuously enhancing my skills," she shared. Piaa has often dealt with people underestimating her abilities. "To tackle this, I focus on delivering great work, keep learning new things, and advocating for myself and others," she explained.


Mirafe added, "Even not being an engineer, seeing the growing number of women joining the Conserve It team, I’m reminded that women can do more than we can imagine with the right people and environment that will accept and allow us to grow professionally."



Evolving Roles of Women in Engineering


The discussion then turned to the future. "It is fascinating to see the amount of women that are already achieving their goals in this industry," Sachini observed, expressing optimism for even more women entering the field. Nourehan noted a shift in understanding the balance needed for women in engineering. "There is a direction of examining approaches to retain female engineers without compromising their needs," she said.


Amy is confident about the future despite the industry's male-dominated history. "I am confident that we will see more women joining the field over the next decade," she stated. Silvia sees the next decade as promising for women in engineering, with continued efforts to break down barriers and foster inclusive environments. Waranya envisions more women entering the field, leading to increased opportunities and diversity. Darsha predicted a substantial evolution in the role of women in engineering, with more women in leadership and a broader range of perspectives driving innovation. Piaa believes the industry will become more balanced and inclusive, benefiting from diverse perspectives and ideas.


Proud Projects


Each team member had a project they were particularly proud of. Sachini mentioned her involvement in Magnify and IoT Device Management API projects, which have been significant learning experiences. Nourehan is one of the inventors of a patented control algorithm that optimises building thermal comfort. "It impacted my perception of innovation and boosted my career progression," she said.


Amy, despite being an intern for only two months, is excited about contributing to a 1.0 build release, hoping it will positively impact the HVAC industry. Tam has been expanding her skill set from software development to deployment and automation. Silvia emphasised the importance of prioritising tasks and maintaining a healthy work-life balance while working on impactful projects.


Waranya reflected on her overall professional development over the past year and a half, noting the substantial learning opportunities that have continuously expanded her knowledge base. Darsha highlighted a project involving the design and implementation of a supervisor user interface for a commercial building and a gallery. "Professionally, it allowed me to hone my skills in Niagara UI design and system integration," she said.


Advice for Aspiring Engineers


Our team offered valuable advice to young women considering a career in the engineering industry. "Never doubt yourself. Keep moving forward and learning," Sachini advised. Nourehan emphasised the importance of not fearing failure and maintaining mental health. "Take it at your own pace and you will get to where you aspire with time and patience," she said.


Amy encouraged finding one's passion and going for it. "Engineering is a diverse field where people from all backgrounds, genders, and personalities can find their place and thrive," she noted. Silvia advised believing in oneself, seeking role models and mentors, developing problem-solving skills, and balancing work and life. Waranya added, "If you're considering a career in engineering, embrace challenges and enjoy learning, as the field evolves rapidly. Build a strong foundation in required skills, work hard, and believe in your abilities. Engineering offers rewarding opportunities to innovate and make a difference in society." Darsha encouraged embracing curiosity and seeking mentors. "Remember that diversity in perspectives drives innovation, and your unique contributions are valuable to the field," she said. Piaa advised young women to believe in their abilities and not let imposter syndrome hold them back.


Conclusion


As the discussion drew to a close, it was clear that these women are not just software developers, engineers and business operations professionals, but pioneers and role models. Their stories and insights show the vital role women play in the engineering field and inspire future generations to follow in their footsteps.


International Women in Engineering Day is a reminder of the importance of diversity and inclusion in all fields. At Conserve It, we celebrate and support the incredible contributions of our female team members every day. Here's to breaking barriers, driving innovation, and making the world a better place through engineering. Happy International Women in Engineering Day!

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