Meet four of our bright minds at Ramboll, Mrudul Mukul Joshi, Hunyum Murya, Radhika Pandita and Vineeta Arora who share an account of their successful journey as women engineers.
Mrudul: It was my professor at college who truly made me passionate about engineering. He was my inspiration and guide who shaped me into a seasoned engineer. I love seeing the structures I design come to life phase by phase, and this is why I chose civil engineering.
Hunyum: My father, who is an engineer himself, inspired me to be one. I grew up looking at him experimenting with various things at home and I would sit with him watching him, developing an interest in it. I knew I wanted to be an engineer from a young age.
Radhika: I was born into a family of engineers and grew up around them. For me it was a natural choice and it interested me.
Vineeta: I am analytical and logical in my approach towards everything I see and experience. I always wanted to pursue a fulfilling career that would be both interesting and challenging. At school, I was interested in science and mathematics, so engineering came as a natural choice for me at university.
What keeps you going?
Mrudul: When I see the buildings that I designed adorn the skyline, I feel proud and a sense of achievement. That feeling of exhilaration is what keeps me going.
Hunyum: One day while I was driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, I saw a massive advertisement about the Makers District, a project that Ramboll is working on, and I felt so proud at that moment to be associated with a project of this scale. There is a lot of hard work that us engineers are putting into the Makers District project, so looking at that advertisement made me feel that my work is genuinely worthwhile.
Radhika: I have close to 14 years of experience, and with every project that I have worked on, I have faced challenges which I have learnt from. It’s satisfying that I am constantly learning and evolving as an engineer. It always brings a smile to my face thinking that all over the world people are using roads that were designed by me.
Vineeta: Engineering has helped me enhance my problem-solving skills which have always been my interest. I feel great when I am able to provide logical solutions to the challenges that we face in our work.
What do you think about diversity in your field of work?
At Ramboll, the capability of an engineer is looked at irrespective of the gender. I am working in a team with many female engineers, and we handle critical and prestigious projects effortlessly. Diversity in engineering is much better than it was before, and I think more women should explore this field.
There was a time when it was hard for women to be part of the engineering industry, but the narrative has changed. Looking at how varied engineering education and work fields have become, having a defined goal for a career path is more important than gender stereotypes.
In any field of work, there should be a healthy gender balance where women and men bring their viewpoints, ideas and insights to the table. The gender ratio in engineering is skewed, and we need more and more female engineers. Gender diversity will enable better problem solving and women will feel psychologically safe in their work environment.
An engineer needs to think logically, scientifically and analyse objectively, plus have a certain level of mathematical skills besides other traits like communication and problem-solving. If one possesses these skills and is keen and committed, gender does not matter. Women have an important role to play in building an equitable world; but to do so, they need an equal chance!
How do you think women engineers are shaping the world today?
When I look around at work, my immediate manager is a female engineer; the director of our business unit is a woman, and I see many other team leaders in the office who are all successful women. All of us play important roles in the organisation leading the business forward.
An engineer is defined by their quality output rather than their gender. It is good to see more women taking a forward step in STEM fields. Unlike before, fewer women are taking a step back in their careers due to personal reasons. More families have decided on sharing responsibilities which shows the world is welcoming more women into the field of engineering.
Whether an engineer or not, women play a significant role in shaping societies and I think it is the education that matters. Parents are de-facto role models to their children and women being the primary caregivers play a vital role in shaping their viewpoints and behaviour. An educated woman has a higher probability to transfer their knowledge and practical experience to future generations with conviction.
Women engineers are needed to develop inclusive and impactful solutions for a sustainable world, as they can bring in unique perspectives to a problem, thanks to the diverse challenges they often face both at home and work. With hard work, passion and determination to make a difference, women are making a place for themselves in the engineering industry, like in any other industry or field that they wish to.
What would your advice be to young female engineers/students who are looking to pursue engineering?
To be happy in our jobs, we must always choose a field that we are interested in. My parents allowed me to choose the career I wanted to be in, and I chose engineering. I believe that I am a successful engineer.
Compete only with yourself, build your confidence, don’t be afraid to stand up to unfair treatment and always work on your strengths. We are part of a time when what and how you deliver a task is more important than who is delivering it. Of course, there will be some obstacles through the journey, but it will for sure, be a memorable one.
Follow your dreams and become a better version of yourself with each passing day.
When we are at that juncture to choose a career, I feel, we should be made more aware and have exposure to different choices even within the field of engineering. Remember, nothing is set in stone. Feel free to reinvent yourself, if you desire so.
My advice to young female engineers would be to believe in what they are doing and break gender stereotypes. I have never had any inhibitions doing anything that any male engineer would do, be it visiting sites, going offshore or travelling for business. I can, therefore, confirm from my personal experience that your colleagues, clients and the organisation will value you for your work, knowledge and ability, irrespective of the gender.