I have been hearing the word engineer since I was little, thanks to my Father’s job. It became our life, moving from one city to another, different schools, countries, people, and cultures. When it came time for me to choose my own career, I wanted to be a doctor because I wanted to invest my efforts in helping others. However, all aptitude tests and vocational advice I received pointed me towards engineering so I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps.
My first days at college showed me just a hint of the path I chose: only 20 percent of people in my class were women. I will never forget my professor asking me why I was in his class, adding that engineering is a man’s career and women don’t understand it. I pushed through, graduated with academic excellence, and proved him wrong.
After graduating, I joined FieldCore as a Mechanical Field Engineer and found that the gender balance was not much better than in college, but I felt supported by the company and its genuine intent to be a merit-based, inclusive employer.
This is an industry where few women work and during my short career, I’ve heard my share of inappropriate comments, that I never thought I would hear, thinking those were just anecdotes or a thing of the past. It’s 2021 and we still hear colleagues “jokingly” question our emotions and our physical strength, while neither are required to do the job at hand. To be honest, I am not sure what is so funny in asking a person if they are having a hormonal day.
I am curious and energetic. I am not afraid to get my hands dirty while doing my job and I raise my hand to do things that no one else volunteers to do. I step up and ask questions. I want to know why because it helps me learn.
The work we do in the field is a unique adventure in every single aspect, but here I am, improving people’s lives, not by being a doctor but by being a Field Engineer. And not just a regular engineer, a woman in engineering, which means that every job I do well, I help open doors for the other women who will, gradually but surely, get less and less questions about their merit, their skill, their different (and amazing) personalities or their willingness to pursue any career they want. Now I realize, this is how I am helping people and I will continue to do so as I progress in my career, fueled by my passion and courage.
So, to all my brave female colleagues out there: Happy International Women’s Day! Keep changing the world for the future girls who will choose this or any other amazing career!