Today marks the International Women in Engineering Day, an international awareness campaign launched to raise the profile of women in engineering, focusing attention on the career wide range of opportunities within industry. The theme for 2020 is #ShapeTheWorld encouraging governmental, educational and industry bodies to profile the work they are doing to provide opportunities for young women and tackle diversity in the industry.
As a Marine Technical Engineer for the Marine Auxiliary Products division of Total Lubmarine, Anne-Sophie Vaucheret, shares her thoughts on the industry.
“Our active involvement in increasing the opportunities for women in engineering and across all disciplines within Total Lubmarine makes me proud of my profession and the scope Total offers to help women in this field. But I am also surprised that such a global awareness event still exists in 2020… does it mean that women and men still have to be convinced that engineering careers are open to them, and they can grow in knowledge and confidence to enjoy the opportunities that are open to us all?
“My advice to anyone considering engineering as a professional is not to be afraid of going for it. As a women, I have never faced any situation where I felt not listened to because of my gender, or was uncomfortable being a woman in a so called ‘man’s world’. In my experience, women and men are all equal stakeholders in how we engage and work together to find answers to issues and create the necessary solutions together that nurture the evolution of our industry. We are collectively making change and working across cultures and geographies to transform the industry for a sustainable future. It is an exciting time.
“If there was one piece of advice I would pass on to women who aspire to have a career in engineering and shipping, just be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not – and in reality that applies to any industry. If you believe in something then go for it and challenge other people to join with you to get the results needed to deliver the right solutions at the right time. It is not a question of gender to make things happen; it is a question of belief, drive, determination, bringing others with you, and having the vision.
“During my career, I never felt I had to ‘fight’ to get the results needed because I was a woman. I have always been treated fairly and respected for my evaluation on business and engineering issues. Tomorrow’s leading companies will be corporates that understand this and are universal in their enterprise to treat each individual as an asset with soft skills, technical expertise and equality at the forefront of their vision. It is one of the reasons why I enjoy working with Total because they share the same understanding and values which are important to me as a person and in what I seek to achieve in the future as a professional.
“If you ask me how companies can be more inclusive and inviting for female engineers, that is a hard question. I believe companies across all geographies are becoming more inclusive as society itself develops. However, it is not only our work environment and companies that can help us succeed. Your home life and ethics play an essential role in how each of us develop and prosper emotionally, intellectually and rationally. Believing in ‘yes you can succeed’ opens up horizons and opportunities. Engineering is a varied industry and women do have a chance to make a difference, just like men. This year’s theme is Shape The World, and to me this means shaping your mindset to think further ahead and realise just what can be done with a little determination, engagement and collaboration with your female and male colleagues. If you have the desire and passion – whether you are female or male – you can get wherever you want to be. Go on – shape the world.”