International Women in Engineering Day, this year on the 23rd June 2017, is an annual celebration of the fantastic impact that women make to engineering internationally. It aims to recognise the women already working in the industry, and showcase the opportunities to future generations.
In support of this important day, Marine People and IMarEST will be showcasing amazing international female engineers in our weekly blog. We want to demonstrate the diverse roles available within engineering, the career development opportunities, and provide some insight in to what it is like to be a female engineer in various parts of the world. We are passionate about showcasing the fabulous opportunities to women in maritime engineering, because we believe it is an exciting, varied and progressive career.
So, let us introduce this weeks featured engineer:
Iryna Mykhailova, a Lead Integrity Engineer based in Aberdeen. Here is her interview.
1.) How long have you been in engineering and what is your role?
I have been working in engineering for 5 years, and during this time I have progressed from a graduate to a lead integrity engineer.
2) Why did you become an engineer?
I have been interested in engineering for as long as I can remember. My parents encouraged me by buying different construction toys, or helping me build toys from the resources that I could find around, like spare bits of old toys or cardboard boxes. Also, my father was an electrical engineer and I quite often found myself watching him work, and asking a lot of questions. I believe that the immense possibilities and challenges in engineering, mean that you will never be bored!
3) What are the best parts of your role?
In my role, I have to keep up to date with new processes and techniques in the industry, which means constant learning and development of my skills and knowledge. I find that my job is never boring, with lots of opportunities for improvement of existing processes. You come to work in the morning, and you will have a fresh challenge which has to be solved, using what you already know and pushing you in to the adventure of discovering new solutions.
4) What challenges have you encountered?
I found that having two kids and a full-time job is a great challenge, and sometimes you find that your job feels like a holiday!
5) Why is it important to get more women in to engineering?
Women in engineering are bringing a new and fresh point of view. Women are extremely capable to work under pressure, very reliable and deliver results with high accuracy. At the same time women are supportive, and provide great help and motivation to new generations of engineers.
6) What would you say to girls still in school who are thinking about engineering? How would you encourage them?
I would say ‘Go for it!!’. It is a great environment to work in, to develop yourself and others. I believe that if you have a job which is your favourite thing to do, then you will be the happiest person. There are not many of us in engineering yet, but we are there, we support each other and develop!
7) What advice do you have for students just starting out?
Don’t be afraid, ask questions and communicate with people around you. Networking gives you the opportunity to learn new things, and to find exciting new opportunities for development.
For more information on International Women in Engineering Day please visit http://www.inwed.org.uk/