Strength, Skill, and Confidence: Celebrating 'International Women in Engineering Day'

two young women engineers looking in tablet together
Three women engineers offer insights into their careers, their motivations, and their perspectives on engineering excellence.

Women are a vital part of Actalent's success.

And it's our widely talented women engineers – excelling in disciplines that range from traditional engineering to cutting-edge digitalization, concept development to manufacturing engineering, and software testing to hardware design -- that help make Actalent an engineering services powerhouse.

In celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, we've interviewed three women engineers at Actalent: Aruna Gosh, Ashwini Sagar Raskar, and Mamatha M. Srikantamurthy. Below, they each offer insights into their careers, their motivations, and their perspectives on engineering excellence.

Q: What are the positive aspects of your journey to where you are now?

A: You get to make a difference in the world and have a positive impact on people by saving their lives, time, and labour.

Q: What made you get into engineering?

A: I am a person who hates clocking in to perform mundane daily tasks with no possibility of excitement. I chose engineering as it's an inherently creative profession where you will rarely find yourself getting bored.

Q: On International Women in Engineering Day, what is the most important message you want to send to young women looking to start their career in engineering?

A: Always put yourself forward for chances and have confidence in yourself. Every glass ceiling can be broken by consistent effort, so do not be disheartened by existing stereotypes. Get strong in the basics and stay up to date on new developments in your field, as technology is constantly changing and evolving. It is also important to be able to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally. Engineering is all about problem solving, so being able to clearly communicate your ideas is essential.

Q: What is it like to work as a woman engineer at Actalent?

A: I've been fortunate enough to be a part of a welcoming, courteous, and respectful group of professionals where my voice is always heard. People see me not as a female engineer, but as an engineer at Actalent. I appreciate that while not every person says or makes the right choice every time, people here are always willing to accept, relearn, and change. It's a beautiful place to work. As long as you build yourself a close circle of allies, there is every opportunity to succeed.

Q: What would you say has been your most rewarding experience as an engineer?

A: The most rewarding experience for me has been to grow with my team. Every day is a better opportunity with them. It's been exciting to see everyone flourish. I love to see them succeed. It's always encouraging and exhilarating.

Q: What is your background and how did you get into the field of engineering?

A: I completed a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Telecommunication. I started my career in product engineering services doing hardware design.

I got the opportunity to work at various top MNCs over the last couple of years. I contributed to product designs across automotive, medical, and industrial products. I joined Actalent two years ago and am currently part of our Systems and Software (SAS) group.

I started developing an interest in engineering in school when I got the opportunity to visit a few industrial companies as a part of camp. My curiosity and the promising opportunities in this field to build a career are what encouraged me to become an engineer.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important that more women take up engineering?

A: Engineering is all about problem-solving and innovation. Increasing women's participation in engineering can lead to fresh ideas, improved products, and more inclusive design solutions.

I believe diverse teams tend to generate more innovative solutions as they draw upon a broader range of experiences and perspectives.

Women can bring unique perspectives, experiences, and problem-solving approaches to any field. By encouraging and supporting women in pursuing engineering careers, we can unlock their potential and contribute to a better future for everyone.

Q: Why do you think this year's IWD theme of #MakeSafetySeen is important?

A: Increasing the presence of women in the #MakeSafetySeen movement, sends a powerful message that women's safety concerns are acknowledged, valued, and taken seriously. This representation can empower women to speak up, share their experiences, and actively participate in discussions and initiatives aimed at improving safety.

Q: How does Actalent support its women engineers?

A: I have been with Actalent for two years. The best part of my job here is how much there is to learn. I found Actalent provides equal opportunities for women engineers, ensuring that they have access to the same career advancement, training, and project opportunities as their male counterparts.

Actalent has excellent mentorship programs in place to pair women engineers with experienced professionals who can provide guidance, support, and career advice. Recently I had the opportunity to participate in Emerging Women Leadership Program which was a wonderful learning experience. Actalent also invests in professional development programs and training opportunities to enhance the skills and knowledge of women engineers.

I also participated in one valuable professional certification program for my domain. Actalent has policies and procedures in place that ensure women engineers feel safe and supported.

Q: What got you interested in engineering?

A: At a very young age, my uncle exposed me to technology and working with computers. He shared some interesting work done by his team. Back then, engineers were highly respected professionals with competitive salaries and I was excited that this job would allow me to travel and work overseas. So by then I knew I wanted to pursue a career in engineering and that motivated me to be what I am today.

Q: What has been your most challenging experience as an engineer and what did you do to overcome these challenges?

A: After going on parental leave for one year, I had the responsibility of handling an all-male team while being the only female, which was a challenge. At that time, I was not as experienced in project and people management. But with the help of team members and under the guidance of my manager, I was able to learn both skills, rise to the challenge, and drive the team's success.

Q: What are some of the ways to create opportunities for women in technology and STEM education in India?

A: To begin, we must encourage women to explore STEM courses at school. We can develop a pipeline of strong women by giving them early exposure to these disciplines, as well as by identifying female role models, reskilling, and engaging STEM education. We can inspire and motivate them to pursue engineering and technology careers at an early stage. Organisations can support this by cooperating with schools and colleges to offer workshops, mentorship programmes, and summer camps that encourage young females to pursue careers in STEM subjects. A strong and a well-established STEM education is vital to produce the next generation of innovators, problem-solvers, and critical thinkers.

Q: How do you like being a woman engineer working at Actalent?

A: I've been with Actalent for nine years and am proud to work for this company, because work-life balance is a must for all women employees, and this can be achieved only with the support of the organisation. Actalent does a great job giving us flexibility in managing work-life balance. Also, there is a strong culture of having no gender bias in the workplace which is very important. Irrespective of gender, everyone gets an equal opportunity to develop their skill set.