There are few jobs like engineering that make such a big difference in our society. It’s very exciting and rewarding to create solutions and to optimize the technology we already have so we can fully participate in the energy transition and decarbonization!
I consider myself a generalist. I tell young professionals that generalists are essential because their diverse knowledge allows them to be versatile and to connect different types of expertise together while maintaining a holistic view of the project. It’s a role that suits me well because I always want to learn more, and I’m not afraid to step out of my comfort zone.
Engineering work itself isn’t gendered. It’s the culture and perceptions about engineering that need to catch up. As a woman, this adds a layer of complexity to our daily lives, since we spend more time analyzing our behaviour, and it’s extra energy and stress. This complexity isn’t unique to engineering, it’s everywhere for anyone who’s a minority. It’s good to be aware of it, to pay attention to it, but don’t let it weigh too heavily on you—of course, that takes time and experience.
When you’re part of a minority group, there’s always a sense of a spotlight placed on you. For a long time, I felt I had to give 150% to prove myself. Now, I try to have a better balance. As a manager, I don’t want my colleagues to feel pressured, so why shouldn’t I give myself the same grace?
For me, the best thing about diversity is the dialogue. Our job is to innovate and find different ways of doing things, so diversity is key to our progress as an industry! There’s such a variety of backgrounds at BBA; we must take advantage of these differences of opinion and ideas.
Communicating is at the core of engineering work. It was a very difficult lesson for me, because besides being a shy woman by nature, speaking loudly goes against my upbringing. But you have to express yourself over and over again until it finally becomes natural, or else, no one will do it for you.''