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Celebrating Women in Engineering Day 2023

June 23, 2023

Celebrating Women in Engineering Day 2023

To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, a campaign created by the Women’s Engineering Society, it was our privilege to sit down with an exceptional female engineer whose passion for her field has broken barriers and inspired countless others.

Meet Evelina Kundrotaite, our Processing Team Supervisor and a key component of Bradbury Group’s engineering function, whose remarkable journey exemplifies the strength, resilience, and talent of women in this traditionally male-dominated industry. With her expertise and unwavering commitment, she has not only revolutionized engineering practices but also become a beacon of empowerment for aspiring women engineers.

In this interview, we delve into her experiences, challenges, and triumphs, shedding light on the vital role women play in shaping the future of engineering.

How did you become interested in engineering, and what motivated you to pursue a career in this field?

I was interested in engineering since I was a kid. I was always curious about how things work. My favourite TV show was “How It’s Made” on Discovery Channel. I used to (and still do) love watching it!

Engineering is a field that encourages creativity and innovation. It also involves continuous learning and intellectual growth. We can come up with new ideas, designs, and technologies that can transform industries and improve people’s lives. Therefore, when it was time for university there was no surprise that I chose engineering.

What have you learnt during your time at Bradbury Group that you couldn’t have learned in the classroom?

I never, ever thought that I would be making doors and now I not just know how to build them at different stages, but how to model one up too. I’ve also learnt how to use power tools to build the doors and how to use different software to design them.  In addition, I’ve of course developed professional skills such as effective communication, time management, and problem-solving.

Have you faced any challenges as a woman in engineering and if so, how did you overcome them?

Sometimes I face self-doubt and the feeling that I don’t deserve my achievements, or that I’m not as competent as my male counterparts. Though, with the support of my present and past superiors, I am starting to overcome that.

In your opinion, what are some of the unique contributions that women bring to the field of engineering?

Female engineers can serve as role models for aspiring engineers, particularly for young women considering careers in the field. Their presence and success can inspire and encourage the next generation of female engineers, promoting greater diversity and inclusivity in the profession.

Have you observed any changes in the engineering industry in terms of gender diversity and inclusion since you started your career? If so, what are some positive developments you’ve noticed?

Nowadays I notice less and less surprised faces when I say that I am an engineer! Educational institutions have been implementing programs and initiatives to encourage girls’ interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields from an early age. These initiatives aim to break down gender stereotypes and promote equal opportunities for all.

What advice would you give to young women who are considering a career in engineering or are currently studying engineering?

Follow your interests and dreams, and pursue a field of engineering that excites you. Engineering encompasses a wide range of disciplines, so explore different areas and find the one that aligns with your passion and strengths. Gain hands-on experience through apprenticeships (like the one’s we have available at Bradbury Group through the Bradbury Academy) or research opportunities near you. Practical experience will not only enhance your skills but also provide valuable insights into the day-to-day work of an engineer and help you make informed career decisions.

Are there any initiatives or organisations that you believe are particularly effective in supporting and empowering women in engineering? If so, could you tell us about them?

There are a few; Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), Engineers Without Borders (EWB), Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). Many universities, professional societies, and local initiatives also have programs and resources in place to support women pursuing engineering careers.

What are some of the misconceptions or stereotypes about women in engineering that you would like to challenge?

“Women engineers are not suited for leadership roles”: This stereotype suggests that women lack the qualities or skills necessary to be successful leaders in engineering. Leadership abilities are not determined by gender but by an individual’s skills, experience, and personal qualities. Women engineers have proven themselves as effective leaders, and it is important to challenge this misconception.

Can you share an example of a project or accomplishment in your career that you are particularly proud of?

After graduating university, I tried finding a job in engineering however I wasn’t successful. When I came to the UK I had given up on idea finding the job in this field. I had been working in different industries since university, so coming back to engineering is a massive accomplishment for me. I am super proud of starting from building the doors and becoming the engineering supervisor that I am now.

Looking ahead, what do you hope to see in terms of gender equality and representation in the engineering industry in the coming years?

I hope to see more visibility of women engineers in the media, public discourse, and leadership positions. Highlighting the achievements and successes of women in engineering can inspire future generations and challenge stereotypes.

 

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