Women in Engineering Day: an education that opens the doors to a multitude of career paths

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Women in Engineering Day: an expertise that opens the doors to a multitude of careers

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For Women in Engineering Day on June 23, we spoke to four colleagues who have degrees in engineering and have pursued a range of career opportunities. Simona Garibaldi, Andreia Milheiro, Camilla Phogojane, and Dipti Raut share their experiences and explain how their education has served them.
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Convinced that diversity is a strength, Faurecia has put Diversity & Inclusion at the heart of its business strategy and developed programs to support women’s advancement in the company. By 2025, 30% of Faurecia’s managers and engineers will be women.

 

Simona Garibaldi

Simona Garibaldi

R&D Efficiency Director
FRANCE
Camilla Phogojane

Camilla Phogojane

Industrial Program Leader
South Africa

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in engineering?

I’ve been always eager to learn and explore new technologies and for me it was quite evident that my path was Engineering. Mechanical was the one resonating the most to my passions and to the path I was willing to belong to. When I was studying Mechanical engineering in Turin, I was one of the 12 women over 417 students. This was weird to me. Nowadays we are meeting more women in engineering schools, which means more women in engineering roles in a range of industries. The journey is long, but I can see the difference in my daily life.
 

What is your current role, and how does your background in engineering serve you in this role?

I joined Faurecia in October 2021 as R&D efficiency director in the Seating Business Group.

Concurrent Engineering processes and development, manufacturing strategic footprint, Program and Portfolio management are my core competencies and I always leveraged synergies, cross functional skills, and multicultural teams to drive results.
 

What’s the best part of your job?

I feel like the automotive industry is part of who I am - I love the challenges, the speed, and the technological evolution. For a mechanical engineer like me, the automotive industry is the best place to be! I love working with people, and I am a tireless learner.
 

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Take time to meet and listen to people, and be passionate about all the things you will learn. Don’t be shy, ask, learn, and have fun!

 

Linkedin

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in engineering?

In 10th grade I was given an assignment to research any stream of engineering and do a presentation. My initial choice was mining engineering. However, while doing my research, I stumbled upon and article on Industrial Engineering, and I was hooked. So, the rest is history!

I was intrigued by the combination of engineering science and managerial techniques, which was completely different from all the other streams of engineering. Analyzing and improving on complex processes just sounded so cool at the time, and I also loved the versatility of the course, it was not at all limiting to any type of one industry. Then I knew and decided that I will study Industrial Engineering!
 

What is your current role, and how does your background in engineering serve you in this role?

I currently work as an Industrial Program Leader, in common terms known as plant launch lead. My job is the combination and coordination of people, equipment, and information to create effective processes for new program launches.
 

What’s the best part of your job?

I get to interact with all departments and get to learn the basics of each department.

I also interact with a lot of people from across the projects. It’s great to meet new people, learn their personalities and hear their inspiring stories of how they got where they are!
 

What advice would you give to you 20-year-old self?

I would definitely travel more in my 20’s if I could!

Perseverance is everything – if you have a goal, don’t stop at anything to achieve it and be relentless in your path.

Be disciplined, be authentic and just be the best version of yourself.

 

Linkedin

Andrea Milheiro

Andreia Milheiro

Plant Manager
Italy
Dipti Raut

Dipti Raut

Deputy Software Manager
United States

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in engineering?

I’ve been always eager to learn and explore new technologies and for me it was quite evident that my path was Engineering. Mechanical was the one resonating the most to my passions and to the path I was willing to belong to. When I was studying Mechanical engineering in Turin, I was one of the 12 women over 417 students. This was weird to me. Nowadays we are meeting more women in engineering schools, which means more women in engineering roles in a range of industries. The journey is long, but I can see the difference in my daily life.
 

What is your current role, and how does your background in engineering serve you in this role?

I joined Faurecia in October 2021 as R&D efficiency director in the Seating Business Group.

Concurrent Engineering processes and development, manufacturing strategic footprint, Program and Portfolio management are my core competencies and I always leveraged synergies, cross functional skills, and multicultural teams to drive results.
 

What’s the best part of your job?

I feel like the automotive industry is part of who I am - I love the challenges, the speed, and the technological evolution. For a mechanical engineer like me, the automotive industry is the best place to be! I love working with people, and I am a tireless learner.
 

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Take time to meet and listen to people, and be passionate about all the things you will learn. Don’t be shy, ask, learn, and have fun!

 

Linkedin

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in engineering?

In 10th grade I was given an assignment to research any stream of engineering and do a presentation. My initial choice was mining engineering. However, while doing my research, I stumbled upon and article on Industrial Engineering, and I was hooked. So, the rest is history!

I was intrigued by the combination of engineering science and managerial techniques, which was completely different from all the other streams of engineering. Analyzing and improving on complex processes just sounded so cool at the time, and I also loved the versatility of the course, it was not at all limiting to any type of one industry. Then I knew and decided that I will study Industrial Engineering!
 

Then I knew and decided that I will study Industrial Engineering!

What is your current role, and how does your background in engineering serve you in this role?

I currently work as an Industrial Program Leader, in common terms known as plant launch lead. My job is the combination and coordination of people, equipment, and information to create effective processes for new program launches.
 

What’s the best part of your job?

I get to interact with all departments and get to learn the basics of each department.

I also interact with a lot of people from across the projects. It’s great to meet new people, learn their personalities and hear their inspiring stories of how they got where they are!
 

What advice would you give to you 20-year-old self?

I would definitely travel more in my 20’s if I could!
Perseverance is everything – if you have a goal, don’t stop at anything to achieve it and be relentless in your path.
Be disciplined, be authentic and just be the best version of yourself.

 

Linkedin

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in engineering?

From a young age I always enjoyed maths and physics, and later I developed an interest in economics and management. Two years before applying to university I found a degree program in industrial engineering and management, and I thought that could be a good combination.
 

What is your current role, and how does your background in engineering serve you in this role?

Today I am a plant manager in Terni, Italy, where we produce components for low-emissions systems. 

My degree in engineering gives me a better understanding of technological processes and industrial contexts, and has also allowed me to develop “multidisciplinary languages”, and thus a deeper knowledge of operations & business management. 

My degree in engineering has been crucial not only in my current role but in each of my professional experiences within program management, supply chain and international projects, unlocking a wide-ranging career. I’ve found that cross-functional moves and international experiences have pushed me out of my comfort zone, making me more agile and broadening my perspectives.
 

What’s the best part of your job?

Every day there are new challenges and opportunities, which makes for continuous discovery.  

I really appreciate the broad scope of activity, and embrace my responsibility to engage everyone in a common vision. I also appreciate being part of a multinational company with a strong international environment and the intensity and speed of the automotive industry.
 

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Accept challenges even if you think you are not ready to, and don’t give up. I went to China when I was 25 years old, and was responsible for leading a huge plant opening project. I didn’t feel ready for this and struggled for some time – I was so ready to give up, but because I persevered I succeeded in the end.

Keep an open mindset and experience different jobs, cultures; meet people and learn with everybody.  Find mentors, and share your experience with peers. You are not alone!

It’s ok to fail.

Have fun and enjoy the process!

 

Linkedin

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in engineering?

My interest in electronics, reverse engineering, and more generally in how things work started in my childhood. Perhaps this came from my dad, who works in electronics – his projects always drew my curiosity. I used to take devices and appliances apart to understand their structure and how they function, well before any formal education in engineering. The first item I disassembled was a computer, and since then I’ve tackled objects big and small, all the way up to a moped.

My formal education in electronics started after 10th grade; I’ve since completed a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunications in India, and an MS in Computer Engineering in the United States.
 

What is your current role, and how does your background in engineering serve you in this role?

Since completing my studies I have worked in various places, mostly in the automotive industry but also in companies specializing in electronics. Eight months ago, I joined Faurecia as a Deputy Software Manager. I focus on display systems, seat electronic control units, remote tuners etc., developing the software that’s behind integrated cockpit systems.

My background in engineering quite simply enables me to understand the architecture of systems, and the challenges and issues inherent in each project. As a result, I can lead projects with diverse teams that include software engineers, architects, and software support engineers based in all four corners of the world, more effectively.
 

What’s the best part of your job?

Every time we deliver on a project there’s a new sense of accomplishment, and a very clear impact. Every single time it drives me to do better.
 

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

If anything sparks your interest, pursue it – just keep working towards it and improving yourself. I’ve been pursuing my interest almost all my life. There is never going to be a point where you think you’ve perfected something and reached an ideal, but the fact that you’re better at it than you were yesterday means you are heading in the right direction, and that encourages you to keep working towards the ideal.

 

Linkedin

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in engineering?

From a young age I always enjoyed maths and physics, and later I developed an interest in economics and management. Two years before applying to university I found a degree program in industrial engineering and management, and I thought that could be a good combination.
 

What is your current role, and how does your background in engineering serve you in this role?

Today I am a plant manager in Terni, Italy, where we produce components for low-emissions systems.

My degree in engineering gives me a better understanding of technological processes and industrial contexts, and has also allowed me to develop “multidisciplinary languages”, and thus a deeper knowledge of operations & business management.

 

My degree in engineering has been crucial not only in my current role but in each of my professional experiences within program management, supply chain and international projects, unlocking a wide-ranging career. I’ve found that cross-functional moves and international experiences have pushed me out of my comfort zone, making me more agile and broadening my perspectives.
 

What’s the best part of your job?

Every day there are new challenges and opportunities, which makes for continuous discovery.  

I really appreciate the broad scope of activity, and embrace my responsibility to engage everyone in a common vision. I also appreciate being part of a multinational company with a strong international environment and the intensity and speed of the automotive industry.
 

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Accept challenges even if you think you are not ready to, and don’t give up. I went to China when I was 25 years old, and was responsible for leading a huge plant opening project. I didn’t feel ready for this and struggled for some time – I was so ready to give up, but because I persevered I succeeded in the end.

Keep an open mindset and experience different jobs, cultures; meet people and learn with everybody.  Find mentors, and share your experience with peers. You are not alone! 

It’s ok to fail.

Have fun and enjoy the process!

 

Linkedin

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in engineering?

My interest in electronics, reverse engineering, and more generally in how things work started in my childhood. Perhaps this came from my dad, who works in electronics – his projects always drew my curiosity. I used to take devices and appliances apart to understand their structure and how they function, well before any formal education in engineering. The first item I disassembled was a computer, and since then I’ve tackled objects big and small, all the way up to a moped.

My formal education in electronics started after 10th grade; I’ve since completed a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunications in India, and an MS in Computer Engineering in the United States.
 

What is your current role, and how does your background in engineering serve you in this role?

Since completing my studies I have worked in various places, mostly in the automotive industry but also in companies specializing in electronics. Eight months ago, I joined Faurecia as a Deputy Software Manager. I focus on display systems, seat electronic control units, remote tuners etc., developing the software that’s behind integrated cockpit systems.

My background in engineering quite simply enables me to understand the architecture of systems, and the challenges and issues inherent in each project. As a result, I can lead projects with diverse teams that include software engineers, architects, and software support engineers based in all four corners of the world, more effectively.
 

What’s the best part of your job?

Every time we deliver on a project there’s a new sense of accomplishment, and a very clear impact. Every single time it drives me to do better.
 

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

If anything sparks your interest, pursue it – just keep working towards it and improving yourself. I’ve been pursuing my interest almost all my life. There is never going to be a point where you think you’ve perfected something and reached an ideal, but the fact that you’re better at it than you were yesterday means you are heading in the right direction, and that encourages you to keep working towards the ideal.

 

Linkedin

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