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Blogs

International Women in Engineering Day

23/06/2021

Led by the Women’s Engineering Society, today we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day (#INWED21) on 23 June. INWED is an international awareness day to support, inspire and raise the profile of women in engineering, and the theme this year is ‘Engineering Heroes’.

In the UK, we are proud to sponsor the Innovation and Creativity award at this year’s Women in Defence awards for the fourth consecutive year as part of our ongoing commitment to building a diverse and inclusive QinetiQ. Taking place on 23rd November 2021, the awards aim to encourage women to succeed, share experience, build networks and encourage talent at all levels to join the defence sector.

We would also like to highlight the fantastic work by QinetiQ Australia, having received an award for Employer of Choice for Gender Equality for the third consecutive year.

Even with many resources available online and progress made in recent years to raise awareness of careers in engineering, narrow stereotypes of the profession persist, and poor knowledge of engineering extends to the general public1. Nearly a third of young people see an engineering career as ‘too complicated/difficult’ or ‘boring or dull’, and one fifth view it as ‘too technical’ or ‘dirty, greasy or messy’.

Interestingly, the percentage of women in engineering varies significantly across the world and if you consider our home territories just 12%2 of engineering roles in the UK are filled by women; 13%3 in the US; 14%4 in Australia; and 18%5 in Canada, which contrasts with much higher numbers in Germany (33%6) and in Belgium (45%6).

If people feel that engineering is not for them, then we and other engineering companies miss out on a wealth of talent. Engineering features in six of the top ten most in demand jobs worldwide and for many countries it is predicted that we will need more engineers the future. For example, in the US it is predicted that we will need 140,000 new engineering jobs between 2016-20267, and in the UK there is a projected annual demand of 124,000 engineers annually between 2014-20248. A focus on diversity and inclusion is also vital for innovation. One way that we can play a part in breaking down stereotypes is to add our voices and role models to bring to life examples of how engineering can provide solutions to real world problems.

On Monday 21 June, colleagues in the US, in partnership with the Society of Women Engineers, ran a ‘lunch and learn’ panel discussion on the topic imposter syndrome in the engineering profession.

Today on Wednesday 23 June, STEM Ambassadors from QinetiQ Malvern participated in a careers panel discussion together with Worcestershire council, discussing their careers and answering questions from secondary school children (years 7-9) from across Worcestershire.

This year’s INWED campaign of Engineering Heroes aims to celebrate the vital work that women engineers around the world are doing; those who recognise a problem, then dare to be part of the solution and who undertake everyday heroics as much as emergency ones.

Meet our engineers

To celebrate how our engineers help our customers create, test and use defence and security capabilities from satellites to cyber security, naval architecture, laser technologies, robotics and more, we spoke with a number of QinetiQ engineers across the Group and from a variety of disciplines. They answered questions about their own engineering heroes, routes into engineering, and advice for others considering careers in this field. 

Chabely Pollier, Payload Manager and System Engineer, Belgium

Chabely Pollier, Payload Manager and System Engineer, Belgium

Q. Please introduce yourself and your current role at QinetiQ?

A. Hello! My name is Chabely, I am a 29 year old Belgian and I studied Engineering in Delft. I currently work at QinetiQ Space as a payload manager and system engineer in the satellites division. My main project currently is ALTIUS, an atmospheric limb tracker for investigation of the upper stratosphere. Basically, the mission aims to map the vertical distribution of ozone (and other constituents) around the Earth.

Q. How did you get into engineering?

A. When I was little my parents used to take me to the Open Days of Defense (Belgian army). I was super fascinated by their Air Component, impressed by the F16’s flying over. I joined the Royal Belgian Air Cadets at 15, hoping to become a fighter pilot one day. However, my hay fever ruled otherwise so I decided to study Aerospace Engineering at the Technical University of Delft, and my engineering career got started.

Q. Is engineering something that you always knew you wanted to do?

A. Not really, even though I liked building stuff as a kid (fortresses, lego cities…) but I never thought of really becoming an ‘inventor’ or ‘engineer’ just until I got the news that I was medically not able to fly fighter jets.

Q. What were your favourite subjects at school?

A. Very cliché for an engineer, but here I just have to say mathematics and physics. Also because I did not have to study a lot for them, they came naturally to me.

Q. What are the most important skills that you need to succeed in your role?

A. I believe a good set of basic logical thinking capability is the most important skill an engineer can have. It also helps to be able to take distance from difficult subjects and try to look at it from a simplified angle. Often solutions are so simple but they just don’t automatically cross your mind because you’ve catalogued the problem as hard, which puts your mindset into finding a complex solution, missing out the straightforward ones!

Q. What would you say to young people considering the subjects they will study?

A. Just study what you are really interested in. Motivation is everything. Don’t worry too much about what comes after, very often opportunities come from unexpected angles! If you are interested in your field, you will automatically find a way to succeed.

Q. Would you recommend that young people do activities outside of school related to the area they are interested in?

A. Yes, definitely. I was very interested in fighter aircraft and “sacrificed” my school holidays to learn how to fly glider planes. It was the best time of my life, and I’m still very proud of my time at the Air Cadets. It taught me to be responsible, that hard work pays off, you should never give up on something you like, and of course: it taught me to fly gliders which is to me the most amazing hobby on the planet! During every job interview I had, we automatically land on this subject and people always react full of surprise and interest just because they see my face light up when I talk about it. If you are passionate about something, you should pursue it!

Q. What is the best thing about your job?

A. Every day is different! Even though it looks the same, there are always new problems lurking around the corner waiting to be solved. I am very much looking forward to the coming period where we start building and testing. It will be amazing seeing all that paperwork come to life!

Q. Who is your engineering hero?

A. Nancy G Roman is definitely a hero of mine! She was the first female executive at NASA, basically creating NASA’s space astronomy program. You might know her as the mother of Hubble, changing the way people look at the Universe forever! Hubble’s pictures are an inspiration to so many people around the world. Oh, and she became a LEGO figure recently, so she’s quite the deal!

Q. How has Covid-19 changed the way you work?

A. We used to work from our Belgian offices every day, seeing all of our colleagues in person every day and being able to discuss issues on the spot. Now my days are packed with meetings and unfortunately there is not enough time to decently work through documents, prepare for reviews etc. I hope we can soon go back to the office part-time, I believe that would provide a nice balance between the perks of working at home and the perks of going to the office.

Helen Anderson, Facility Operations Technician, UK

Helen Anderson

Q. Please introduce yourself and your current role at QinetiQ

A. I have worked with QinetiQ and its predecessors for over 20 years but this wasn’t what I set out to do.  I wanted to be a teacher or a physiotherapist but I struggled at school.  In my early 20’s I discovered I was quite good at paperwork and processes so I became an Office Manager.  Over the years that has morphed into Facility Operations and I am responsible for the smooth running of our Training Innovations Facility (TIF).  No two days are the same; one day I can be dealing with project security and asset management, the next I am presenting to VIPs and MPs in the TIF or flying a GR9 simulator.  Other days I will be planning and co-ordinating the delivery of events such as International Women in Engineering day. 

Ensuring that projects follow processes and admin might not sound like the most glamorous job in the world, but it is essential to the successful delivery of every project and reassures our customers that we are committed to delivering excellence.

Q. How did you get into engineering?

A. I am not an engineer or a scientist although I have an interest in both.  When I was at school science and engineering were not routes that girls were encouraged to follow.  Today, however, I would have had so many more opportunities such as an apprenticeship.  This would have been ideal for me as I have never performed well in exams!  That said, roles supporting our scientists and engineers are just as important whether that be managing their assets, organising their travel, reminding them of their security and Health & Safety responsibilities or leaving them free to do what they do best, all the techie stuff.

Q. Is engineering something that you always knew you wanted to do?

A. No!  But it wasn’t really an option for me at school.  Today there are many more routes into science and engineering and I would have loved the opportunity.

 Q. What were your favourite subjects at school?

A.  I really enjoyed science, particularly human biology and I was good at German and Music too.

 Q. What are the most important skills that you need to succeed in your role?

A. Being organised! Building a network of colleagues and listening.

In our environment things are rarely known about well in advance.  Getting a call at 19:00hrs to have a team member on a train to Lossiemouth at 08:00hrs the next day, or a piece of equipment failing in the Outer Hebrides that needs an urgent replacement which involves co-ordination with ferry’s and staff being available.  Being organised is essential and having a good working relationship with colleagues across the company.  If I don’t know how to make something happen, I will know somebody who does.

And listening; listening to what the team are asking for, trying to work out what they are actually asking for.  Frequently what they say they want isn’t what they need.

Q. What would you say to young people considering the subjects they will study?

A. Make sure it is something you enjoy doing.  There is nothing worse than studying something you don’t have a passion for.  University isn’t the only route into science and engineering so have a look at all your options.

Q. Would you recommend that young people do activities outside of school related to the area they are interested in?

A. Absolutely!  Employers and Universities alike want to see that you have a broad set of interests and real world experiences such as The Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, or being a member of the Scout Association or Guide Guiding UK.  Volunteering in an area linked to your chosen career path and supporting STEM initiatives, like INWED21, to encourage young people to think about science and engineering as a career path where they may have previously thought it was off-limits to them.

Q. What is the best thing about your job?

A. Every day is different and presents a new set of challenges and my colleagues really are a great bunch of people to work with.

Q. Who is your engineering hero?

A. Isambard Kingdom Brunel.  He was a famous Victorian engineer and a pioneer.  He built bridges (Clifton Suspension Bridge), ships (SS Great Britain) and railways (Great Western Railway) and enabled people to travel faster and further than ever before.  Many of his greatest achievements can still be seen today such as Temple Meads station in Bristol and Paddington station in London.

Q. This year’s INWED theme is Engineering Heroes. How does your work enable you to make a difference?

A. Our scientists and engineers are some of the best in the world.  My work in the background enables them to keep doing what they do best.  Supporting our armed forces, making them better trained, safer, further away from the frontline but still effective.  By looking after the (sometimes) mundane day to day stuff, making sure they are safe and legal, ensuring that they have somewhere to lay their head at night while away, purchasing the equipment they need to deliver to our customers on time, to budget and with the correct governance reassures our customers that we are committed to delivering excellence.

Last week I received an email from Women in Defence UK to tell me that I had been nominated in the ‘Unsung Heroines Award’ category for the work I do supporting and enabling the technical teams to do their job.  This was a complete surprise and honour and just goes to show, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be recognised for the work you do!

Q. How has Covid-19 changed the way you work?

A.  COVID has meant that I have been working from home for over a year now.  Fortunately, my role being what it is, I have been able to continue to work as normal.

It also meant that we had to suspend all military training at our facility in Waddington, which impacted the military’s collective training.  Our challenge was to make this happen safely for both the exercising troops and the staff supporting.  PPE was in short supply but absolutely necessary to recommence training.  I spent many, many hours trawling the internet, engaging with procurement and phoning some unlikely sources and miraculously managed to source 1,305 FFP2 face masks, 1,318 pairs of gloves, 30,000 medical grade antibacterial wipes and 240 litres of hand sanitiser.  As well as physical PPE, it was necessary to implement a rigorous COVID-19 cleaning regime which was over and above the norm.  This led to the successful delivery of the final series of exercises before the system was powered down for the last time. 

Over and above this, we entered the disposal phase of this programme of work which meant deploying a team to RAF Waddington under the strict rules of COVID to decommission and re-home 5000+ assets.  We were split into small teams with each staying at a different hotel.  We had to work in these teams and stay segregated for the most part from the other teams.  Thankfully in four short weeks we completed the activity but most importantly without a single instance of COVID.

While COVID has undoubtedly been an unprecedented situation and at times terrifying, it showed that by pulling together as a team we could continue to deliver on our promises. 

Cathy Kane, Transformation Director, UK

Q. Please introduce yourself and your current role at QinetiQ?

A. I am lucky enough to have worked for QinetiQ for nearly 30 years and am currently the Transformation Director in the LTPA (Long Term Partnering Agreement). The LTPA is a large contract which delivers Test & Evaluation Services to the UK MOD. Alongside many others, I have been working to help keep it relevant for our customers and in driving a number of changes to how we deliver those services.

Q. What were your favourite subjects at school?

A. As a young girl, I always wanted to understand how things worked and was fascinated by maths and science. I did a project on Marie Curie in primary school and was really inspired by what she had done and knew that I would have to do something in a scientific field. I took Maths, Physics and Chemistry A levels and that set me on the path.

Q. How did you get into engineering?

A. I did a degree in Materials Science and Engineering. I hadn’t been able to choose any individual favourite subject and this degree was a real combination of all of my A levels. It was perfect for me!

Q. Is engineering something that you always knew you wanted to do?

A. I knew that I had to have a technical role but wasn’t sure what it would be. Getting a summer job at RARDE (now QinetiQ) really inspired me to follow that path.

Q. What are the most important skills that you need to succeed in your role?

A. Clearly having strong technical skills is important but actually it is some of the other skills such as being able to build relationships, collaborate, communicate, solve problems and challenge yourself that has really helped me. These are sometimes known as ‘soft’ skills but they are anything but!

Q. What would you say to young people considering the subjects they will study?

A. I would always say that you should find your passion – and pursue it no matter what others around you say. We go to work for decades and so having a job that you love is really important!

Q. Who is your engineering hero?

A. I have already spoken about Marie Curie. What an amazing woman she was. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, winning her first in 1903, with her husband, and then in 1911 she won one on her won. Closer to home, my dad is my engineering hero and it is he that has always supported my desire to get into the field. He is awesome and is still working today, solving important problems!

Q. This year’s INWED theme is Engineering Heroes. How does your work enable you to make a difference?

A. The work we do in QinetiQ is of national and international importance. I really believe that we change lives for the better and am proud of what we continue to deliver to our customers, and the role that I play in that.

Q. How has Covid-19 impacted/changed the way you work?

A.  The Covid pandemic has clearly been a challenge for us all. For me, I have been lucky enough to be able to work from home for most of it. The introduction of video conferencing facilities has been a huge help and having regular catch-ups with colleagues helps too. On top of all of that, and a real positive that I have seen, we seem to have begun to see each other as people, people with lives, homes and families, and recognise that we need balance. Let’s keep caring for and supporting each other as we move forward.

Dr Helen Dudfield, RAEng Visiting Professor to Nottingham Trent University, UK

Q. Please introduce yourself and your current role at QinetiQ?

A. I am a human factors engineer linking human science to mission led innovation with a passion for increasing diversity and inclusion in engineering design. My Visiting Professor appointment focuses on ensuring that all users are considered in design of engineering solutions by students.

Q. How did you get into engineering?

A. I took a human science degree and through working in QinetiQ and engineering for aircraft cockpits have become a human factors engineer working in a multi-disciplinary team. 

Q. Is engineering something that you always knew you wanted to do?

A. Not at all but an interest in doing a job with impact was there.

Q. What were your favourite subjects at school?

A. Biology.

Q. What are the most important skills that you need to succeed in your role?

A. Leading teams, the ability to simplify difficult problems, innovative thinking, commitment to see things through.

Q. What would you say to young people considering the subjects they will study?

A. First of all, ensure you don’t select out future roles and take easier options. But not to worry as learning is lifelong and career retraining is always available.

Q. Would you recommend that young people do activities outside of school related to the area they are interested in?

A. The softer skills of leading engineering can be learnt in any out of school activity.

Q. What is the best thing about your job/working in this field?

A. Knowing that a project has made a difference.

Q. Who is your engineering hero?

A. My heroes are the NASA engineers that underpinned our exploration of space but unrecognised even within NASA until recently. A number of female BAME leading experts that led to USA winning the space race were hidden figures to society, as captured in a movie of the same name and even a Lego set. Notable individuals include Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan who were essential to the success of early spaceflight. NASA now commits to “embrace their legacy and strives to include everyone who wants to participate in ongoing exploration”.

Q. This year’s INWED theme is Engineering Heroes. How does your work enable you to make a difference?

A. The Visiting Professor programme builds on existing diversity and inclusion initiatives from the Royal Academy and I’m working with undergraduates and employees over the next 2 years to bring user diversity into conscious design practice. 

Q. How has Covid-19 impacted/changed the way you work?

A. Like most people, I am working from home and familiar with video calls interrupted by pets, doorbells and family!

Lotts Garcia, Operational Analysis & Strategic Consulting Team Leader (West)

Lotts Garcia

Q. Please introduce yourself and your current role at QinetiQ? What does it involve?

A. Hi, my name is Lotts Garcia and my pronouns are she/her.  I am the Operational Analysis & Strategic Consulting Team Leader for a team of 14 but mostly work embedded within a customer team, Equip & Support the Aircrew, at MOD Abbey Wood (well, that was before I went to full-time working from home due to the pandemic). Their remit is everything that goes on a human in the Air Domain (e.g. pilot), be it boots, life preservers, helmets or even their underwear!

I do a variety of tasks from managing their website, which ensures access to the latest technical publications, to customer liaison, such as capturing requirements for the independent testing of Aircrew Equipment Assemblies and Survival Equipment (AEA & SE) kit.  The AEA & SE kit reduces the risk to life and the publications are used by maintainers of that equipment to make sure it is in working order.

I am also the Chair of JustLike-Q, QinetiQ’s LGBTQ+ employee network.

Q. How did you get into engineering?

A. I took the non-university route into engineering.  I was working on a temporary contract in an office still trying to find a permanent job but having given up on the idea of going into marketing when I was told about a Concept Modeller job opening, I was intrigued.  I had never heard of it so after some research, I applied and was offered the job. This is where my experience of Systems Engineering began.  Being a systems engineer allows me to use my creativity as well as mathematics and analysis skills.  I joined QinetiQ because I wanted to do more, learn more, work in a wider variety of sectors, and because I wanted to be a STEM Ambassador, which I now am.

Q. Is engineering something that you always knew you wanted to do?

A. Honestly, no, I never knew when I was younger that there were so many different types of engineer so I didn’t know it was an option.

Q. What were your favourite subjects at school?

A. Mathematics and Spanish but I also enjoyed Design & Technology - I made a wooden chair from scratch!

Q. What are the most important skills that you need to succeed in your role?

A. You need to be a good analyst (quizzical, logical) and a good communicator (listen, check you understand, ask questions and make suggestions for answers or solutions).

Q. What would you say to young people considering the subjects they will study?

A. Choose the subjects that  make you happy.  Yes, it is important to consider your future and how the subjects you choose might influence what career options are open to you but you’ll be much more likely to succeed and enjoy what you do if you focus on your interests.

Q. Would you recommend that young people do activities outside of school related to the area they are interested in?

A. Yes, definitely.  Take every opportunity that you can. Don’t let fear stand in your way.  You might not know if you are going to enjoy the experience or not but challenges can teach you that you are better than you think are.

Q. What is the best thing about your job?

A. I feel part of a team that makes a difference and every day is a little different.

Q. Who is your engineering hero/what inspires you?

A. Having recently watched a film about Marie Curie, I can honestly say what she achieved blew my mind - 2 Nobel prizes, in 2 different scientific fields.  Plus she was the first woman to win one.

Q. This year’s INWED theme is Engineering Heroes. How does your work enable you to make a difference?

A. As I make sure that the latest version of the Equip & Support the Aircrew technical publications are available on their website, I help to keep the Aircrew safe.

Q. How has Covid-19 changed the way you work?

A. I would normally work 3 or 4 days at the E&S Aircrew site but have been working full-time from home.  The other days would sometimes involve trips to see my team members at their main QinetiQ site.

Marie Vandermies, Process Engineer, Belgium

Marie Vandermies, Process Engineer, Belgium 

Q. Please introduce yourself and your current role at QinetiQ?

A. I am the lead process engineer for projects related to life support (i.e., equipment that allows survival in extreme environments). My main focus is biochemical processes that provide and recycle air, water and food in space conditions, although some projects of the portfolio involve terrestrial applications (e.g., Antarctic base, indoor public spaces). I am in charge of the technical aspects (from microbiology to control systems) and I take part in project management tasks.

Q. How did you get into engineering?

A. I studied bioengineering in Gembloux (part of the University of Liège), where I did my bachelor, master degree, and PhD thesis.

Q. Is engineering something that you always knew you wanted to do?

A. I rather knew I was keen on sciences; besides, I always enjoyed observing my surroundings and figuring out solutions to fix the small problems I would encounter.

Q. What were your favourite subjects at school?

A. In secondary school, I enjoyed both the literary and scientific sides. I kept those two aspects as long as possible in my studies; I graduated with majors in ancient Greek and mathematics.

Q. What would you say to young people considering the subjects they will study?

A. I would give them the same answer my parents gave me: if you hesitate between two study choices, and that you are equally found of them, go for the one you will have most difficulties to start over later. I was hesitating between professional art restoration and bioengineering, I opted for the latter and never regretted it.

Q. This year’s INWED theme is Engineering Heroes. How does your work enable you to make a difference?

A. My contribution to life support systems helps sustaining future crewed space missions (such as long-term travel or stay in a lunar or Martian base). The technologies developed this way are also of interest to purify air or recycle wastewater on Earth, for example.

Q. How has Covid-19 impacted/changed the way you work?

A. I spend less time on site, although I am part of the lucky ones since I still need to perform some activities in the lab. I was unable to travel to customers’ premises together with the hardware I helped develop, so I adapted to giving remote support instead.

Alice Pellegrino, System Engineer and Subcontractors Manager, Belgium

Alice Pellegrino, System Engineer and Subcontractors Manager, Belgium

Q. Please introduce yourself and your current role at QinetiQ?

A. I am currently part of the team within QinetiQ working on the International Berthing and Docking Mechanism (IBDM). Currently, the IBDM under development for the ISS is in its qualification phase, so I am supporting different system engineering activities, especially the ones directly involving the subcontractors and all the technical and programmatic aspects regarding IBDM’s parts they are developing for the project.

Q. How did you get into engineering?

A. I have always loved maths and scientific subjects, and I have been always encouraged by all my teachers and professors in focussing on them also at University because I was quite good. My family also pushed me a lot in choosing a very good scientific-based high school. They have always been my first supporters in pursuing whatever career I was interested in. The first choice has been engineering. I still remembering playing with my father with Geomag, helping him repairing broken things and watching him while doing carpentry, and our jokes about the fact that I could have been easily be the first engineer in our family. Then one of my favourite high-school professor organized a visit to the ESA’s EO centre ESRIN, where I fell in love with Space. At that point, the Faculty choice at University has been easy.

Q. Is engineering something that you always knew you wanted to do?

A. Yes, even if it maybe started very unconsciously. After passing the princess and “ballerina” period at least. In my case, my father has been my main inspiration on this. He started studying engineering and he decided to interrupt it and to go in another professional direction. This, my attitude for scientific subjects and my passion for space have been the main reasons why I never had doubts about my career choice.

Q. What were your favourite subjects at school?

A. Technical drawing among all. Then Maths, Physics and Philosophy.

Q. What are the most important skills that you need to succeed in your role?

A. For system engineering, you must be capable of having a wider perspective and a comprehensive knowledge of all the main technical aspects of a complex system. This is fundamental to be able to connect all dots, to define the main high-level details and key performance parameters for your project. It is often required to go into high detail, especially when interfacing and dealing with experts in different fields, and then to frame every detail in the bigger picture. Of course, practical knowledge and experience, and a pragmatic approach are a must. Another aspect I think is very important is to be very precise when it is necessary, and to be very well organised, to be able to keep track of everything and not forgetting anything.  Additionally, when working in a team you must be able to listen to others and to accept suggestions, questioning yourself when needed, and be able to interface with people. The understanding that as for the system engineering field, also for a team each single contribution and part is fundamental for the success of the project is the real asset.

Q. What would you say to young people considering the subjects they will study?

A. Everyone is different, and there is no bad or good choice. You must pick what is best for you, and if you are able to find also something you are really passionate about, then you should definitively go for it. Do not allow anyone, except yourself or who you really trust, to decide for you, because this decision is about your future and your happiness.

Q. Would you recommend that young people do activities outside of school related to the area they are interested in?

A. Absolutely. Go experiencing, discovering what the world outside can offer. Practical and hands-on experiences are fundamental to understand what is really well suited for you. Until you have tried it, you cannot say if you like it or not, and you cannot imagine what you will discover about yourself!

Q. What is the best thing about your job/working in this field?

A. Being in an international team, learning and exchanging experiences while discovering every day something new.

Q. Who is your engineering hero/what inspires you?

A. I cannot day that I have a specific engineering hero. For sure, I am inspired every day from all the innovative concepts and discoveries a lot of players in our field are making. Anyway, I am inspired also everyday by friends and colleagues in my professional network. All these amazing women, fighting every day for finding their place and for being listened. Also male colleagues who are helping all of us in reaching a more balanced Aerospace sector.

Q. This year’s INWED theme is Engineering Heroes. How does your work enable you to make a difference?

A. My work and my professional environment helps me every day in being aware of my role and of my value. Everyone, even if in a small way, can make a difference and lead the way for the next generation. And in my case, as a woman, this is something I am trying to do because it is important to show what can be done, by everyone, whatever your gender.

Q. How has Covid-19 changed the way you work?

A. I moved from working mainly at the office to working almost always remotely. It has made me more autonomous, and pushed me beyond my limits. When you are not every day with your colleagues, you need to find other ways to talk with them, update who you need to work with and manage your time in a most efficient way.