Celebrating Women in Engineering: meet some of our female colleagues

23 June 2023

Happy International Women in Engineering Day! This day is about honouring the women who have made remarkable contributions to the field of engineering, and shining a spotlight on the incredible achievements of female engineers around the world.

At Solenix, we take great pride in fostering a work environment that promotes gender balance and inclusiveness. We firmly believe that gender balance is not only a matter of fairness and equality, but it also drives innovation and strengthens our teams. We strive to create an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive and reach their full potential. We hire regardless of gender, considering people's potential, and take care in nurturing a friendly and welcoming environment for everyone. One of our greatest strengths consists in our values, focused on people: we actively cultivate our company's family spirit to make sure all our colleagues feel connected and included.

In celebration of this commitment, we would like to take this opportunity to share the unique perspectives of some of our exceptional female engineers at Solenix: senior software engineer Gayathri, mission management support engineer Montserrat, and corporate services manager Victoria. Each of them talks about their experience, their studies, and adds some advice to young women wondering what it’s like to work as a female engineer in a traditionally male-dominated environment.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering, and how did you get started in this field?

Gayathri: My mother, who inspired me to pursue a career in engineering. There is a small story behind this: there were no women from our family to pursue engineering in those days, so it was a point at that time that triggered me to become one. To pursue a career in engineering, I completed a bachelor's degree in the computer science field and gain hands-on experience through internships, and entry-level positions.

Montserrat: Coming from a background in Business Management, I always had a strong desire to explore a technical profession that would complement my existing knowledge with a more scientific and mathematical approach. As a result, I decided to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering while working in an engineering setting. Engineering provides numerous opportunities to work on projects that have a positive impact on society, while also helping you develop skills in science, problem-solving, and creative thinking.

Victoria: I was very good at math and logical thinking from a young age, and probably my father's passion for mechanics and engineering topics influenced my vocational choice. Industrial Engineering combined those aspects plus management and process improvement, so it was the perfect fit for me. My first job as an engineer was in a start-up, where I worked as a project manager and quality assurance responsible.

What advice would you give to young women who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering?

Gayathri: My advice would be encouraging, supportive, and spirited: don't rush, aim for your goals in a sustainable manner, and learn from your lessons.

Montserrat: Emphasize your capabilities and recognize that gender does not limit your potential in any way. Challenge and dismiss any preconceived notions surrounding engineering, even those ingrained by society. Take the bold step into the field, showcasing your talent and ability. By excelling in your career, you will serve as an inspiration to many other women, contributing to the diversification and empowerment of the engineering industry.

Victoria: Go for it! You have what it takes to do it. If you are in doubt, get in touch with female professionals for advice and counseling. They will be able to explain to you how it is to work in the field, and they will probably point out good opportunities for your studies and career.

Can you share any examples of exciting projects you've worked on in your engineering career?

Gayathri: Taking part in the development of the A350 cockpit module was the first time I used C assembly language. A lot of learning was involved, especially at the beginning of my career as an engineer. This project is always special to me. There are many such as the Automation of infotainment units, jumping back to the aerospace industry at Solenix.

Montserrat: Within Solenix, my role entails supporting the Earthnet's Third Party Missions (TPM) Programme at the European Space Agency. Our primary objective is to facilitate the provision of Earth Observation (EO) data for scientific and research purposes. Through TPM, we have had the privilege of supporting numerous projects with tangible real-world applications. These projects span diverse areas such as climate change, agriculture, and sustainable urban growth, all aimed at driving positive societal impact.

Victoria: In my first job the company produced NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectrometers, which were used to analyze the oil and water content in seeds (e.g. sunflower seeds). It was super interesting to witness how the physicists researched and produced the spectrometer and to understand how it worked. Later on I started working for the satellite industry, for the Argentinian space agency, where I provided management support throughout the development of an Earth observation satellite. I must confess that watching that launch was moving for us, and it filled us with pride about our accomplishment.

What do you hope to see for the future of women in engineering, and how do you think we can continue to improve diversity and inclusion in this field?

Gayathri: My hope for the future is to reach a point where women would have equal opportunities in all aspects of life, including education, employment, leadership positions, and decision-making processes. They would be recognized for their talents, expertise, and contributions, regardless of their gender. Gender biases and stereotypes would be dismantled, and women would be encouraged to pursue their passions and interests without limitations. Working together can create a supportive environment where everyone's voice is heard, respected, and valued.

Montserrat: My vision for the future involves reaching a point where discussions about gender disparities become unnecessary. I envision a society where women are fully integrated into all professional domains, confidently showcasing their abilities without encountering any limitations. Companies must proactively assess their strategies and recruitment practices, treating diversity as any other key business area. It is essential to identify and address the barriers that hinder women's entry into the engineering profession. By creating inclusive environments where everyone is respected and valued, we can foster greater diversity and inclusiveness in the field.

Victoria: I think we are on a good path, but there is still a lot to be improved. My wish is that females and other minorities continue conquering decision-making positions, so that a more equal workforce becomes the new normal. I also hope that society and governments realize that the support and infrastructure for child care is one of the key elements to enable a more inclusive and equal workforce and society.

Do you have anything else to add? Maybe something on your experience in Solenix?

Gayathri: In a word, working at Solenix can be described as an experience of team power and mutual support, without any gender discrimination. I believe this is extremely important for achieving our goals and reaching new heights.

Montserrat: Over the past three years, I have had the privilege of working at Solenix, a company that offers an ideal work environment characterized by a diverse workforce comprising individuals from various nationalities, backgrounds, and cultures. It is a place where professional growth is nurtured, and opportunities abound for all.

Victoria: If you are a female professional in STEM, check our vacancies! We are always on the lookout for motivated and diverse talents to join our teams.


Thank you Gayathri, Montserrat, and Victoria for sharing your vision with us.