Shining The Light On Our Women Engineers for International Women's Day
As a founder and the Chief Marketing Officer I'm responsible for cultivating a culture that not only makes us successful as a business and brand, but one that is meaningful for those who belong to it. At Faraday Grid (FGL) our team is built on diversity of ideas, expertise and experience, which comes with diversity in our people in a number of ways. As a company we hire based on values alignment including respect, open-mindedness, having big aspirations and courage to pursue them.
To celebrate International Women’s Day I took the opportunity to shine the light on the women in our team at FGL. I sat down with two of our engineers, Emilia and Elizabeth, to discuss their thoughts on being an engineer now, how they got here, and where they’re headed into the future. Here’s what they had to say..
So tell us a little bit about your roles in the company..
Emilia: I am Principal Electrical Engineering and my activity is in the field of Computational Electromagnetics, including numerical and analytical modelling of electromagnetic field problems.
Elizabeth: I am an Electrical Design Engineer currently responsible for coordinating optimal design scopes, briefs and analyses.
So you both have critical roles in the company in development of our technology. When you started engineering, where did you see yourself working in the future? Did you have big aspirations?
Emilia: My father was an engineer and, as a child, I spent a lot of time with him, so this had a great impact on my plans regarding working in the future. I wanted to understand how different technologies are working and be able to build them myself, these were my aspirations.
Elizabeth: As a child, I always had an interest in taking broken things apart and fixing them, and designing and creating things. When I crudely fixed my bedside lamp fuse with scissors, copper winding and tape at the age of 11, opening it up and figuring out that the copper wire needed to be in contact with the conductor, I spoke to my physics teacher at the time and knew that I wanted to be an electrical engineer, I just didn’t know where exactly being an engineer would take me.
During the course of my studies and work experiences where I met and interacted with so many people from all walks of life, I learned so much along the way and knew that if anything, I wanted to have a positive impact on our environment and the world and those around me, more specifically in the energy sector, while learning and developing along the way.
What have been some of the highlights of your careers to date?
Emilia: One important accomplishment was during my PhD and consisted in developing a more accurate method of computing the tunnelling current densities.
Also, I have several patents where I came with solutions for different improved versions of electric motors.
Within Faraday Grid I’ve contributed towards developing this great innovative solution of the Faraday Exchanger, capable of changing the face of the electric grids that we know.
Elizabeth: One of the best highlights of my career was getting down and dirty with fellow engineers at Kenya Power, climbing up poles to repair faulty transformers, streetlights and setting up distribution systems.
My most recent highlight has been being a part of the amazing team that is designing and developing the revolutionary Faraday Exchanger and Faraday Grid technology. No day of work is the same; I get to work closely with everyone on the team. There’s something new to learn each and every day.
What would you say to girls who may be interested in a STEM related future?
Emilia: I would encourage them follow their passions because success will surely come if you do not give up and do everything with dedication and commitment.
Elizabeth: As a black woman, I feel that I have two examples to set to the younger generation. After all, you never know what impact your words and actions have on those around you, especially the younger generation.
In history and even today both gender and race play a big role in opportunities and equal pay not being given to people who are very well qualified and deserving, however I am a huge believer in progress and development and I believe times are changing.
I believe that one day, we will live in a time where both men and women will be able to work in STEM and other related fields, and be rewarded based solely on skill and character regardless of their gender or race or any other differences.
I would say to girls who may be interested in a STEM related future to believe in yourself, be true to who you are, learn from your mistakes, put in the work, and when faced with adversities and challenges, don’t give up and don’t let anyone bring you down. You can do anything you put your mind to.
For women to continue to succeed in this sector, what three tools do you believe they need in their toolbox?
Emilia: They must be passionate, determined, open-minded.
Elizabeth: Work smart – Have goals and utilise your time wisely to achieve them; Believe in yourself – Don’t short change yourself. You can do anything you put your mind to; A good support system – This may be in the form of a good group of friends, a member of your family, a mentor at work or on school, or just anyone who is supportive of your goals and aspirations and who you can count on to keep you grounded; and Take every opportunity that you can to learn and develop in your career.
Thank you to Emilia and Elizabeth for sharing their journey til now. We’d love to see more women join our team in the near future too!
Happy International Women’s Day 2018!