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Engineers Week 2023: Women in engineering

February 22, 2023

Telesign Team
Woman engineers at Telesign

“It’s important to increase the visibility of female engineers, provide mentorship and support for women in engineering.”
– Ana Ercegovac, Associate Software Engineer, Telesign

Happy Engineers Week!

February 19-25 is officially Engineers Week! This observance has been around since 1951, created to showcase the valuable contributions of engineers. At Telesign, we love our engineers and everything they do to help keep people safe in the digital world.

This year, we focused on women in engineering, hoping to gain insight and perspective into how they approach their work and other challenges they encounter. In these discussions, we wanted to learn more about what kind of things drive engineers to do what they do, how their passions impact their communities, what types of skills are needed to pursue an engineering career, and how engineers function within Telesign.

Telesign was built around the idea that people should always be the focus of our efforts, and this shows throughout our longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. By highlighting engineers based out of the U.S. and Serbia, we hope to give different viewpoints to an otherwise similar work experience.

Our Q+A interviewees, pictured above from left to right, are: Yanan Valencia, Data Engineer Manager, Malati Penumudy, Score Engineering Manager, Ana Ercegovac, Associate Software Engineer, and Alisa Macos, Senior Software Engineer.

Q: How did you get into the engineering industry?

“[It helped] being at a natural ease with math. [I] always fantasized on how technology can empower humanity.” – Malati

“Things just kind of happened for me. When I finished high school, math and science were easy for me, and so applying to Faculty of Sciences seemed like a natural choice.” – Alisa

Q: Why is Engineers Week important to you?

“I consider this event to be a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the tremendous contributions that engineers make to society and the world. It’s also a chance to inspire and encourage young people to pursue careers in engineering, by highlighting the exciting and innovative work that engineers do.” – Ana

“Every day at work, engineers come across interesting challenges and learning opportunities subject to time sensitivity. Engineers Week is a good reminder to welcome our challenges and opportunities with enthusiasm, and bring our best version to work.” – Malati

Q: What advice would you give someone who is considering entering the engineering industry?

“Finding the right fit is the most important thing, and you can gain some practical experience from working on personal projects and networking with people in the industry. If you are sure about what you are pursuing, be curious and stay current with new technology trends, and be persistent until you have achieved your goal.” – Yanan

“Life is about learning and realizing that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Once you realize that, everything will come easier to you. Your fears will disappear, and you can take steady steps towards your dreams. At the same time, mistakes and failures will happen, that is just part of being human, but you need to learn from your mistakes and correct your path along the way to align yourself with your goals.” – Alisa

Q: Why is female representation in engineering so important?

“The proportion of women in engineering varies by country and region, but globally, women are underrepresented in engineering and technology fields, making up less than thirty percent of the engineering workforce in most countries, according to the World Economic Forum. Therefore, I think it’s important to increase the visibility of female engineers, provide mentorship and support for women in engineering.

Also, young girls need female role models to see what is possible and be inspired to pursue career in engineering and technology.” – Ana

“Female representation in engineering is important, as naturally women have a tendency to undermine their skills and confidence in a group [setting].

Fortunately, nowadays leadership is recognizing and encouraging skills beyond gender biases which lays a very healthy ground[work] for talent to be recognized, and helps women combat their sense of self-doubt while being true to their skills.” – Malati

“Beyond important moral and ethical arguments in favor of diversity, I think that lack of diversity could negatively impact productivity and innovation, since [diversity] is necessary to meet challenges and solve problems.

Diversity adds great value to a workplace since our differences create new point[s] of view. Therefore, there are a lot of benefits to having good female representation in engineering.” – Alisa

“Increasing female representation is important not only for promoting diversity and gender equality at work, but also for driving innovation from a wider range of perspectives and experiences.” – Yanan

Q: How does working at Telesign empower you as an engineer?

“Telesign is one of the very few workplaces I came across where every voice is heard and respected, regardless of the title and seniority. [This] empowers the engineers to bring their best. [There are also] several learning opportunities [available] for the engineers [here].” – Malati

“What I appreciate the most is how the company gives engineers the autonomy to make decisions, and the opportunity for collaboration and professional development.” – Yanan

Key takeaways from the Q+A

It was great getting to hear from our amazing engineers. Here’s a brief recap of some of the main insights they shared:

  • While women engineers have made strides to break down barriers, there is a lot of work left to do and future generations of girls to focus on.
  • When female representation is high in the engineering industry, the world is a better place.
  • Engineering work involves a lot of problem-solving. When you have a diverse group of people tackle a problem, you get unique approaches from each person, increasing the chances that the best solution will be found.
  • Engineers are bound to make mistakes, but by staying committed, you can push through them and learn from the experience.
  • Talent alone didn’t get these women to the finish line. They had to put in the necessary work to learn new things and always be open to learning new ideas.
  • Telesign values its people, empowering a diverse range of workers to succeed.

The future of engineering is bright

In order to continously make Telesign a place for people of all walks of life to succeed, we hold monthly snack and learn sessions with specific topics to make sure all voices are heard. Our teams all have access to helpful employee resource groups that foster an environment of inclusion and personal growth.

Thank you to all the engineers out there, including those at Telesign for the work they do, and a special shout out to the four women who joined us to answer questions and share their experiences.

Do the ideas presented by our engineers speak to you? Are you driven by a passion and desire to make the world better for everyone in it? If so, why don’t you consider joining us? View our current positions to see if Telesign is a good fit for you.

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