International Women in Engineering Day (#INWED21) kicked off this week and we wanted to highlight the importance of female inclusion within STEM fields. Amreen Grewal is a senior electrical engineer and project team lead who has experience in managing complex projects in harsh and hazardous environments. She sat down and shared her experiences with us for this edition of #PoweredbyPeople.
What is your role at Hedgehog?
I’m a senior electrical engineer and project team lead that manages various aspects of our projects from design to commissioning.
What has been the biggest challenge in ascending to project team lead?
Becoming a project team lead was not so much of a challenge but rather a path. The knowledge, skills, and trust built through working with the team was a natural progression towards the role. The amazing culture at Hedgehog focused more on what I brought to the role over my gender.
What is the defining moment in your professional career?
Designing and manufacturing a themed ride for a major amusement park. Being involved as a junior engineer during the design phase, to advancing to team lead for the manufacturing process was the experience of a lifetime.
What do you feel is lacking when it comes to representation for women in engineering?
More women in leadership roles to serve as an example for others. Also, more spotlight on females in STEM through social media and marketing. Engineering schools and some companies tend to publish pictures of male engineers rather than females. I think it’s important to focus on highlighting the achievements of the small percentage of women in STEM roles so there can be more representation for young girls to model.
How can gender diversity be improved?
Gender diversity at the workplace can be improved by showcasing women in leadership positions and setting up mentorship programs for young female professionals. Also offering more flexible working options for parents regardless of gender. This reduces the bias around hiring young women and allows them to keep momentum and advance their careers. Over time, this dispels the expectation that childcare responsibilities only fall on women.
Any words for women looking to pursue a career in a STEM field?
Don’t be uncomfortable being the minority in class or at work. Be open to learning new skills and network because you never know where it can take you.
If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?
To my younger self, don’t be afraid to participate in projects that involve fieldwork. You will learn more than sitting behind a desk.
To learn more about #INWED21 visit the website at https://www.inwed.org.uk/.
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