Inspiration #3 – Paula Morris, Quality Assurance Engineer.
Hitachi are proud to support International Women In Engineering Day #INWED22 this week – celebrating our women engineers this week and every week!
Hitachi believes that diversity is the wellspring of innovation and a powerful growth engine, and we hope to inspire women and girls around the world to consider a career in engineering.
Here are a few insights into the career of one of our amazing engineers - about what it means to be a woman engineer, how they got involved and the benefits and pitfalls!
Paula shares her thoughts with us
I have always worked in manufacturing & did most jobs from Goods Inwards to Goods Out – I was a Manufacturing Team Manager where we incorporated Quality Engineering into the role. I was more interested in that & changed over to Quality Engineering/Continuous Improvement Engineering
Q: What do you most enjoy about working in the field of engineering?
It could be anything from seeing a Product from Conception to Completion or it could be finding out what went wrong in a Process to produce defects & what to do to fix it & make permanent preventative actions to stop reoccurrence. It could also be about learning new things with new tooling & training – you are never too old to learn new things! Also, the people I have worked with from suppliers to work colleagues to customers
Q: What's the most significant contribution you’ve made as an engineer?
I was the PPAP coordinator for Whirlpool UK in Yate Bristol (Production Part Approval Process) so again working from conception of new design of product to ensuring the parts are fit for purpose from suppliers – If the parts were not to spec & all associated documentation was not correct then the part was rejected and then the supplier would have to redress – all in a tight time span as the finished product had to go to Market in that time span. I worked with a New Product Introduction Team from USA/Poland/Lithuania/Italy – so good coordination & communication were needed to ensure compliance. Also working with the Project Engineering Teams to layout the shop floor with new equipment for operators to work smarter increasing efficiency
Q: What is the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
Be yourself – If you do not fit the mould – so what! Change the mould…
Q: What advice would you give young people considering a career in engineering?
Try it – you might like it – not every day is the same – you will not get bored – you meet great people. Also learn as much as you can – this will help if you want to go into a different branches of engineering
Q: How do you think engineering can be made a more appealing career option to young people?
When I was working in manufacturing it was always a male dominated career – this changed when I managed a team & incorporated women into doing what was classed as male jobs & it worked – this was the same for engineering, however I was an FLT Instructor before I did this & that was definitely male dominant – so it did not worry me going into either sector.
It must be pushed more at apprentice/Intern level – even school leavers could try over the summer hols to see if they like it!
Q: What would you say to someone who thinks engineering is a career better suited to men, not women?
Well, I have been doing it for 15 years plus & the funny thing is – I have never heard this said from, anyone – perhaps it is a history/legacy thing! Yes, you may need a butch strong man to help with heavier components – but these days we have aids for that – otherwise – what twaddle!
Q: Have you seen an increase in the number of female engineers during your career?
Yes – because they wanted to make a difference & enjoy it
Q: Given the number of female engineers in our industry is relatively low, how best do you think these numbers can be increased?
Sell it more/earlier as stated previous. Also treat candidates the same in interviews – if a woman is forthright – a man is driven – if a woman is too direct – a man is focussed - What??? This has happened to me – I know!
Q: What do you think is the greatest challenge female engineers face in the workplace?
Possibly feeling isolated however with a good team around them this can be eradicated. Also as stated above – some interviewers treat women different to men on interview – even though they may be more qualified – this has to STOP!
Q: What three things make you most proud to be a female engineer in HICSE?
Q: Do you have a personal ‘hero’ from the world of female engineering? If so, who and why?
Ada Lovelace – Analytic Computer Programmer – 100 years before the invention of the computer – Wow Go Girl!