Women in Engineering
Spokeswomen at Siemens Healthineers took time out of their busy schedules to talk about their careers, the current landscape of women in engineering and inspiring the next generation.
Dr Annette Crowley-Luke, Head of Manufacturing Operations & Interim Head of Engineering
Siemens Healthineers are a great company to work for, I would definitely recommend it as an employer of choice. Aim high, work hard and follow your aspirations.
There have been a few role models that have inspired me throughout my career, the first: my PhD supervisor who never gave up despite the many life challenges thrown at her. Second, a work friend and colleague who reassured me that you can have a family alongside your career, and survive! And a manager who believed in me, even when I wasn’t sure myself.
Outside of work I enjoy walking our dog and attending exercise classes. My kids sporting activities, mainly sailing, means I’m a constant taxi - so there's not much time for anything else! If I could do anything though, I'd like to get back into horse-riding and golf. I used to do both when I had free time and really enjoyed them.
Nancy West, Head of Enterprise Services
I see women every day that are holding down really challenging careers, many with a family too, who are developing and growing all the time and I’m really inspired by that.
One of the important things is, for young women especially, to see role models in STEM careers that they can aspire to. My biggest piece of advice is once you’ve decided on your chosen career path, just keep going. It might not quite work out the way you want it to, but just keep going and you will get there.
Finding the right work/life balance is one of the biggest challenges of my role, so when I am at home my time there is really precious to me. When I am at home I really want to spend time with my family, I have a son and a step-daughter, who are in their 20's and we all try and see each other as much as we can. My husband and I really enjoy our holidays and time spent with friends too. I love having people over so at the weekends, we do quite a lot of socialising – I like planning meals for friends and family. And when I can I try to run about 5k around three or four times a week when I’m at home. If I had more time and there were no limitations, I would really like to travel more. My parents live in France and I would like to visit them more often. In terms of hobbies, when I was younger I use to play the piano and I would like to take it up again… and perhaps tap dancing!
Kelly Bailey, Implementation Specialist
There is no better time to think about a career in Science, Technology or Engineering, especially with the future of the world’s health and population depending on it. My advice would be: go for it!
In terms of role models, I would say I have had three: two locally and one internationally. The aspiring scientist who became a trailblazer in her field, Rosalind Franklin, who highly contributed to the discovery of the DNA structure through her work with X-ray diffraction. She has been an inspiration to me throughout my life. On a more local level, my two A-level science teachers, who taught without differentiation or bias to anyone who was willing to learn and were a huge inspiration to me during my earlier career.
The greatest challenge for me is striking a work/life balance. Maintaining it can be incredibly hectic sometimes but the Siemens Healthineers work ethic of everything in balance certainly helps. I am lucky, I am a full-time employee of Siemens Healthineers and a mum, and I can do both.
Outside of work I have several hobbies, including; horse-riding, dancing and the occasional 10k run for charity! I play online Scrabble and I like to spend a lot of time with the two boys in my life: my husband and my son. If time and money were no object, I would like to get back into a hobby I used to do. I used to re-enact the English Civil War on horseback, and I would love to get back into it when my son is old enough to join me!
Rachel Morris, Head of Technical Operations
My advice to young women starting their careers would be to find something you enjoy in whatever you do and do not be afraid to change if you really cannot find that.
Over your career you come across so many different people who do and see things in different ways. Many have provided inspiration in the way they approach a specific aspect of a role or situation. My mother was a big inspiration to me, she was a farmer so worked in a very male dominated environment. It never seemed to be a challenge, she was treated as an equal because of her knowledge and respect for the knowledge of others.
I find that managing time is one of the greatest challenges I face, so I don't get much time for hobbies outside of work. If I did though, I would like to learn to play musical instrument or speak a foreign language, and I think the biggest thing for me would be learning to weave. I can spin wool and sew, so to be able to make a garment from scratch would be a massive achievement. Knitting is not an option!
Kim Pollock, Maintenance Manager
If I were advising young women at the beginning of their careers I would just say: be persistent and don’t give up.
I had an excellent mentor during my apprenticeship and it made all the difference. They became a sort of role model showing me that tenacity and persistence are crucial to achieving the goals that you set yourself.
Outside of work I play rugby for Holyhead Women’s Rugby Club and also enjoy cycling. However, if I could do anything, I would really like to get back into clay shooting, having done it in the past, it taught me to block out distractions and focus on a target. I would love to take it up again.
Tamsin Putman, Team Assistant: Enterprise Services
My advice to young women starting a career would be to do six months to a year in different areas and experience jobs first hand before you buy further education. It is also a good idea to get a varied number of opinions so you can discern good advice from bad advice, and finally: if you feel the inclination to have a family, there’s never a perfect time. Every woman wants to do it differently so don’t put any pressure on yourself.
There’s not just one role model! There are a lot of women who have inspired me; J.K Rowling, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Darcy Bussell, Sylvie Guillem, Annie Liebovitz, Malala Yousafzaiare and there are plenty more women who aren’t famous and inspire me every day!
One of the greatest challenges for me, is getting the right work/life balance, outside of work I like to make time for some hobbies like: photography, interior design, ballet and skiing. I think if I had more time, I'd really like to go travelling with my camera and then set up charitable photography exhibitions when I get home, just because it’s fun!
Melanie Robertson, Compliance Manager
Role models are important: I would say the most prominent role models for me throughout my career, would be my mother, Maths Teacher and Margaret Thatcher.
When I was 16, my Maths Teacher was very inspirational. She became pregnant and we all assumed she would be leaving but her husband was the one who stayed at home to look after the baby, and that made us all think, ‘What are the possibilities?’ I also attended the same college that Margaret Thatcher had gone to. I know she is a very divisive figure but as an inspirational woman she really opened your eyes to what’s possible and gave us all a feeling of ‘Why not?’
Eva Abdul-Malak, Business & Process Excellence Manager
Siemens Healthineers’ mission is resonates with me on a human level and no matter what your background is within STEM we can all align to bring our knowledge and expertise together, helping to shape the future of healthcare.
I am inspired by many people, I always try to learn from others, whether we meet face to face or through books - studying how they became successful in their careers. This helps me broaden my mindset and reflect upon how I can improve myself. One example of a role model for me would be my father who's drive, courage and dedication influenced me to go after my dreams and goals without limiting my beliefs.
Outside of work I love researching and reading about personal development - one of my favourite books is ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’. I also enjoy exercising, travelling and having experiences by exploring different cultures, latin dance, yoga & meditation. If there where no limitations on time and money, I would definitely travel more!
Lucy Storey, Quality Testing Manager
My advice to women beginning their careers would be to make sure you follow what you enjoy, it's difficult to commit and give full focus if you do not believe in something or enjoy it. My Uncle gave me the advice when I was choosing courses to study at university that I should follow my heart and my interests as three years is a long time to study something that does not inspire you to learn more! I would say the same with work, I believe the most productive people are those that believe in what they do.
Professionally there are so many inspirational people in the world of science. The role model I have truly looked up to, however, has been my mum. As a nurse for 30+ years, her hard work, resilience and empathy has always inspired me to aim high. I am happiest when I am busy and I feel this is something I have inherited from her.
After working for Siemens for only a year I started volunteering with the Welsh Mountain Zoo at the weekends. This has become my longest standing hobby as I am still volunteering there now. I work a full day helping the keepers to clean enclosures, feed the animals and provide enrichment. I am also a qualified PADI open water diver, however, time and finance have meant that this hobby has been out of my reach for a few years now. This is definitely something I would love to experience again if time and money were no object.