Anyone thinking about a career in engineering should understand the range of exciting opportunities the industry offers, say three women from different parts of the sector.
It is not all about women in lab coats, there are opportunities for everyone in all sectors of business. The medical device sector is no exception, they are at the heart of helping to improve the lives of patients globally. By being part of this industry, you can help be part of the exciting opportunities on offer to make a difference.
Principal R&D Engineer, Subject Matter Expert (Metallurgy), Integer
Why is working in engineering exciting?
Engineering offers amazing opportunities to work on exciting projects all over the world. It’s a passport to being involved in really cool, novel work and collaborating with fantastic people.
It can offer so many ways to develop yourself professionally. You are constantly learning, challenging yourself and being stimulated.
I studied Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Limerick before working in aerospace for a year. I then did a one-year Graduate Diploma in Materials Engineering at U.L. I proceeded to do a PhD before going to Australia for five years where I did a post-doctorate and worked for an electro-chemical research group, which was fascinating.
What advice would you give young women interested in STEM?
Go for it. Don’t overthink the fact that you’re a woman in engineering. Don’t put labels on things, be open-minded and enthusiastic, put your hand up for opportunities and get stuck in. Because the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
Automation & Projects Group Lead, Integer
What made you decide to study engineering?
I loved maths at school, although I didn’t know what to do with it. At a college open day I happened to go past an engineering stand and thought: ‘I like the look of that!’
I mentioned it to my maths teacher who – along with my science teacher and career counsellor – thought it was a great idea.
So, I ended up doing a mechanical engineering degree at University College Dublin.
What advice would you give anyone thinking of an engineering career?
People go into engineering from lots of different backgrounds for lots of different reasons. Some people love taking cars apart, for instance.
That wasn’t me — but I am a logical problem-solver. So, a career in engineering is great for anyone who has a logical mind.
My secondary school didn’t have any technical subjects available but that didn’t stop me so don’t let it put you off either.
Also, engineering is found in every walk of life; so, after leaving college, there are many different career paths open to you.
Senior Director of Operations, Integer
Is it important for companies to hire the best person for the job?
It is. I wouldn’t want to be part of any company that hired based on gender. The best asset any company has is its people, but whether it’s a man or a woman in a particular role shouldn’t be relevant.
My main focus has always been on whether I’m best positioned to do a job – and do it well. Thankfully Integer operates from the same values I do which is why I am here as the Site Leader in New Ross.
How does the company allow you to grow and be included, particularly as a new employee?
I’d been with my last company for 22 years, so it was a huge step for me to move into this role, but everyone has been so welcoming and helpful.
Like anything, it takes time to build relationships, but everyone has been open to change and new ideas. I’ve really enjoyed it.