How did your journey to study Engineering begin? What inspired you initially?
After obtaining a B.Sc. in Physics / Electronics, I discussed about Medical Physics and its potentials with one of my physicist friends. I further researched about Medical Physics on my own later and found out that it was one of the branches of Biomedical Engineering. As a result, I applied to Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland for a MSc. in Biomedical Engineering.
What does your family feel about your profession?
I think they are happy for me.
Are you a member of the CAFEW facebook group? If so, for how long and active are you in the group?
I was added to CAFEW facebook group a few weeks ago. Regarding being active, I will say that I am in-between, as I do not know the yardstick used to measure how active people are in the group.
How has CAFEW contributed positively to your social and professional life? Please advice on areas of improvement.
Networking is key and we all sure need one another. Therefore, the initiative is an excellent one. I like the conference postings and the inspiring stories regularly posted. I think we can do more than just been in the group. Since games are often posted, I will suggest a game centered around introducing ourselves: professions, locations, suggestions, and interests.
What were your challenges in securing a job? What tips do you have to encourage others in job search?
Challenges: I was tagged “over-qualified” for industry jobs because I have a Ph.D. In addition, lack of Canadian Experience and obtaining 2 of my 3 degrees from elsewhere were often pointed out as setbacks. Excuses such as recession hitting hard and academia being the only career path for Ph.D. holders were echoed loud.
Tips to weather the storm
– Alongside the general job search, ensure to search for hidden or unadvertised jobs
– Utilize employment agencies to boost your chance of securing that good job.
– Do not hesitate to start small, as the 6 figures jobs might not be the first one you will secure.
– Get your professional certification journey started, as its in fact an icing on the cake.
– Attend those minority conferences to expand your network and secure a job with the top players (Fortune 500). PS: Society of Women Engineers will be hosting their annual conference in Austin Texas sometimes in October.
– Lastly, apply! apply!! apply!!!
How best would you suggest young female engineers navigate their careers?
Never succumb to self-pity nor second-guess your competence. You must do your job as a human and strive to be the best at all times. The only time you are allowed to assume the female role is when you need a reminder of who you are as the ambassador and representative of all of us.
How did you deal with the technical knowledge disparity that happens amongst females in engineering roles?
There are two sides to every coin: I have seen females excel brilliantly and I have also seen females loose. I chose to be blind to the side of technical knowledge disparity and it doesn’t exist in my world.
What currently motivates you in your recent job?
Being the only black engineer and the only female engineer in my division at work is my biggest motivation.
What does work life balance mean to you?
I do my best to set goals and set my priorities.
What are your expectations on the evolution of Engineering in the near future?
Digitization of manufacturing (industry 4.0) is causing disruption in the manufacturing industry. Although additive manufacturing / 3D-printing has continued to revolutionize metal and polymeric manufacturing, I am looking forward to the realization of 4D printing with smart materials and all the innovation that will accompany it.
What do you wish you could have done better? What advice would you give your younger self and why?
Dear younger-self, trust your struggle, keep calm and enjoy the journey.
Provide a personal quote to motivate others.
Quote: Go Hard or Go home.
CAFEW is happy to celebrate, encourage, and motivate Female Engineers and other Females who enable success in Engineering.
“Talent is unique to each person so it is highly necessary to nurture it. Dream big, work hard consistently, develop skills continuously, volunteer, read & research always to increase your knowledge bank and most of all pray always.” – Ngowari Diminas, CAFEW founder