International Women in Engineering Day is aimed at raising the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to women and girls in this exciting industry.
Conserve It is proud to have an extraordinary team of women behind our drive to continually distribute, develop and disrupt the smart IoT and building automation industry.
In part one of a two part series,we discussed what it means to be a women in the engineering industry by sitting down with Shruthi Balaji, Research And Development Engineer; Andie Kardos, Software Engineer; Tam Lam, Software Engineer; Hillary Dworkoski, Software Team Lead - Integrated and Plant Systems; Silvia Yembi, Software Developer; Tessa Podbury, Software Development Intern; Michelle Yeung, Finance Manager; Stefania Bidoggia, Sales & Operations Coordinator; and Lina Chan, Digital Marketing Coordinator.
What does being a women in the engineering industry mean to you?
Dworkoski: It is about creating space for others to follow in your footsteps and pushing for a more inclusive work environment. As the sole female developer when I started three years ago, I am extremely proud that Conserve It has built on this and now employs more women in technical roles.
Balaji: Being a part of a heavily male dominated industry and having an equal say in designing and executing tasks and processes makes me feel proud of myself and the industry. In my role, I have the same responsibilities and resources as any of my other colleagues and that to me is a huge step forward.
Chan: Being in a woman in the engineering industry means carving a path for others and empowering others to follow their dreams if it means it's in a male dominated industry. Furthermore, it means pushing for a more inclusive workplace and world in general.
Kardos: In the past, it was not uncommon to have people pushing against the idea of a women becoming a mathematician or scientist because "it was not suited for women." I'm thankful that I found a passion for engineering so early in life and for the support I had in realising that I could do my passion for a living.
Yeung: Being a woman in engineering shows the world is opening up to the idea of breaking stereotypes in the workforce. I hope that in the near future, there isn’t necessarily a need to see phrases such as “women in engineering” or “women in politics”. When that happens, it will show that there is an acceptance of diversity in the industry; that the world has opened up to gender equality and different viewpoints.
How do you think the engineering industry can further adapt to embrace women in engineering?
Kardos: Girls need support and encouragement from a young age, and tech companies need to do their part to root out harassment and discrimination. I think role models are immensely important in everyone's lives, especially when we are younger, so we need to bring more visibility and awareness to the current female role models.
Dworkoski: I believe the industry can further embrace women in engineering by focusing more on skills and what a candidate has to offer when hiring, rather than specific requirements for education and experience, especially given that many women have diverse career backgrounds. I switched from Law to Software Development and had very little experience or formal IT education when I started my career, but I believe I still had a lot to contribute. I am thankful Conserve It recognized that and gave me the opportunity I have today.
Balaji: I would like to see change of mindset and the creation of greater opportunities. As an industry, we have come a long way however it needs to constantly evolve, and accept that gender does not define roles, only education and practice will. In creating opportunities, we can better identify key areas of gender imbalance in the workplace and educate and employ more women in these areas.
Lam: I agree. I would like the industry to be even more open-minded.
Yembi: Yes, along these lines, I would like to see workplaces given the ability to provide more flexibility, to enable women to grow in their careers whilst having a positive work/life balance.
Podbury: Like Shruti said, I would like to see more opportunities, space and jobs for women at all levels of a business.
Chan: Likewise. And I'm proud to be a part of a company that has provided these opportunities by employing numerous females in various roles with a focus on tackling general inequality in the engineering industry.
Yeung: I believe there are a couple of avenues that the industry can further adapt to in this regard: Firstly, through an increase in the available internship opportunities through universities. And secondly, by better advocating improvements to workplace behaviours & having a more gender-balanced workplace.