Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2021 #INWED21

Engineering shapes the world and helps make our planet a better, safer, more innovative and exciting place to be.

It’s no secret that engineering is no longer just a ‘man’s world’. Perceptions, along with demographics, are shifting, and International Women in Engineering Day is a part of the movement to raise the profile of women in engineering, to inspire future generations.

Taking place annually on 23 June, INWED is an international awareness campaign celebrating the work and achievements of women engineers. This year’s theme is ‘Engineering Heroes’.

Our Runcorn site has many talented women who are ‘#EngineeringHeroes’, helping us to change the way we work and ensure we have the processes in place to improve people’s lives. 

To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, we caught up with some of our colleagues to learn more about their roles, hear their stories and to find out why they would encourage more women into engineering.

Nadia Komyagina
Senior Site Director, Engineering

Nadia Komyagina Senior Site Director, Engineering

How or why did you get into engineering as a career?

Both of my parents were engineers and encouraged me to learn about science from a young age. We’d go to the museum and buy science kits and toys from the gift shop, so even when I was 8 or 9 years old I was experimenting and learning, and I ended up loving it. I chose Chemical Engineering as my major in University and now that I’ve work in this field for more than 14 years, it’s still what I’m most excited about and interested in doing professionally.

Has anyone inspired you during your career?

My career in Teva has encouraged me to explore opportunities in the industry. But it was the combination of my own explorations, along with the guidance from my managers and mentors, that I realised that engineering was the right path for me.

What would you say is the achievement you are most proud of so far in your career?

My greatest achievement was when I managed to get to work on time for once. Just kidding!

My real greatest professional achievement was completing my Bachelor’s degree in 4 years. I had no financial support from my family and had to work a full-time job while pursuing my Chemical Engineering degree. This taught me to prioritise my time, build great habits and stay focused on my goals. I’m proud of this accomplishment and I feel that what I learned gave me a big advantage in my career.

What advice would you give to females who may be considering engineering as a career choice?

There’s no better feeling than waking up every morning and doing something you enjoy while making a difference to the community at the same time. Work hard on your personal development. If it’s what you want and what you find interesting, believe in yourself and forget about any stereotypes. Your knowledge and skills are the most important things. It’s what you do and how you do it that will make you a good engineer.

Additionally, I’m a creative thinker. I think it’s important to approach tasks and issues from different angles, rather than just doing what has always been done. By having an open mind and taking a different approach, I believe you can find new and improved ways of doing things.

As a manager, I like to foster this approach in my team too. It means they feel comfortable suggesting and discussing new ideas, often generating unusual and effective solutions as a result, which is great for team morale and for the business.

Amy Hassett
Project Manager, Engineering

Amy Hassett Project Manager, Engineering

What does your role entail?

My role involves buying, installing and testing new equipment for the introduction of new products/processes, or the continuous improvement of our existing products. My current project is supporting the introduction of Biologics to site on the Pre-Filled Syringe filling machine which is very challenging, but it’s exciting to be a key part of something so novel to site.

Why did you choose engineering as a career?

I studied Physics at University as I always wanted a deeper understanding of the way things worked. After I graduated I had no idea what I wanted to do so applied for a range of jobs in Engineering/Logistics hoping to fall into something. My first job role was working as a Graduate Systems Engineer programming control systems for the chemical and gas industries – this involved a lot of travel to different sites and working on a range of projects to automate manual or semi-automatic processes. I enjoyed the variety this role entailed and the satisfaction of completing a project. From here I applied for a job at Teva where I was supporting the Serialisation project working within Operations, and then naturally moved into the Technical Support department which has recently become the Engineering department as you know it today.

Has anyone inspired you during your career?

The team around me who have such strong technical knowledge, are always ready to help and don’t mind my endless taking the mick regardless of the situation.

What advice would you give to females who are considering engineering as a career choice?

I would tell them to have the confidence to stick to their goals and aspirations regardless of challenges that might face them. I was one of a handful of women studying my course, through to being one of a few women in an engineering based role but, I’ve gained so much confidence and knowledge at every step of the way and only look to increase that going forward.

 

Rebecca Shepherd
Engineering Team Leader

Rebecca Shepherd Engineering Team Leader

What does your role entail?

I am the Engineering Team Leader within the Autoinjector and Early Stage Development Cluster of CPD at Teva. The role involves managing the engineering workload across a number of generic and specialty needle based injection device projects. It is my responsibility to ensure that the products are safe and effective through the application of appropriate engineering design controls, analysis and safety risk management. I also manage a team of engineers, as well as dealing with other internal and external contacts including third party suppliers and manufacturers.

Why did you choose engineering as a career? 

I was always a very logical and practical person growing up. I did my work experience at the age of 15 in the RAF, and I’ve never looked back! The analytical nature of an engineering career suited my personality very well!

What do you love about engineering?

It’s a very challenging yet satisfying career. Things can change from day to day, and with so many industries that need engineering expertise there is a big choice of paths to follow! There are usually a vast number of problems to investigate and solve, and innovative solutions to develop and implement!

What challenges do women face in engineering?

The number of women entering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subject careers is improving but is still low, particularly in engineering. The fact it is male-dominated can make STEM less attractive to females, or even damage their confidence. Introducing a strong focus to STEM and hands on experience early in schools is key, along with strong female role models!

What advice would you give to females who are considering engineering as a career choice?

Go for it! It’s such a rewarding career and can teach you so many life skills. It can take you anywhere in the world and if you’re determined to do it, you won’t regret it!

 

Majka Pytlarz
Engineering Co-ordinator

Majka Pytlarz Engineering Co-ordinator

How or why did you choose engineering as a career path/area of study?

Since I started working for Teva, I have had the opportunity to work closely with people from every department on site. I started working for Teva in 2015 and my desk was in the same office as Technical Support (what is now Engineering & MS&T). I was always interested in the work in which they were involved. Just being in the same office as those teams meant that I was able to follow the progress of the many different projects and watch them be ‘brought to life’. Early last year, when a job in engineering became available, I felt it was the perfect opportunity for me to get involved in projects like those that I had been so interested in previously and have an active role in building the exciting future of the company.

What challenges do women face in engineering?

Conscious and unconscious bias. There is still a perception among lots of people that men perform better than women in many professions, not just engineering. I believe that by identifying and acknowledging that bias, educating ourselves and by judging people on their merits, we will put an end to those stereotypes.

So much has changed already, just look at Formula 1. Historically, F1 has been a hugely male-dominated sport but now all the leading manufacturers (Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren etc) now have women in their race engineering teams.

There are also so many great women that I have met at Teva who shaped the work environment that I am fortunate to work in today.

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

How quickly it develops! I am learning new things every day. Soon after I started in the role, I began to study for an Engineering degree. At the moment, I’m revising for the final exam of year 1, in a module on Design & Innovation. Being able to study engineering whist actually working as part of an engineering team is a perfect synergy as I get to put into practice elements of my degree almost immediately.

In year 2, the degree will become more technical. I will be studying Energy & Sustainability, I’m very much looking forward to this because I would like to progress to a Masters in Environmental Engineering. ESG is becoming more high profile in Teva and the wider industry so I feel that the knowledge that this path will give me, will be invaluable in the future.

What are your hopes for the future of engineering?

I hope it will become a legal requirement for companies of a certain size to employ Environmental Engineers, tasked with responsibility for improving the sustainability of their company and reducing its environmental impact. Unfortunately, despite all the efforts of the environmentalists, conservationists and others, not enough is being done to prevent further damage to our planet. In the future, it needs to be incumbent on engineers to place greater emphasis on assessing and mitigating the environmental impact of what they are creating. 

What advice would you give to females who may be considering engineering as a career choice? 

Go for it! Find out as much as possible about the various engineering disciplines and try to combine it with things you are passionate about. It’s such a vast profession, with so many opportunities that can range from something small like designing a folding chair to something life-saving like designing a new ventilator to help fight a pandemic.

I would also recommend finding a mentor, someone who has experience of a career in engineering and can provide guidance and insight. It is a great feeling waking up every morning and doing a job that you enjoy, it makes a big difference.

 

Find out more

Original Teva Ref: COB-GB-NP-00031
Date of preparation: June 2021


Date of preparation: August 2021
Reference: COB-GB-NP-00038

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