The science, technology and math (STEM) fields have a reputation for leaving entire generations of women behind. And while women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, they are only 29% of the science and engineering workforce.
Which is why annually on June 23 people around the globe celebrate International Women in Engineering Day (INWED). Launched officially by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) in 2014 in the U.K. to celebrate its 95th anniversary, INWED focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls and it celebrates the achievements of women engineers worldwide. WES began in 1919, following the end of the First World War as many women had taken engineering jobs and wished to keep working.
Resideo’s Women@Resideo Employee Resource Group will also honor the day by hosting a selection of our female engineers in an internal panel discussion to celebrate their roles, explore their STEM experiences and learn about the path they took to get there.
Women Engineers @ Resideo
While women are under-represented in the field, women have made incredible contributions to STEM and the engineering industry over the past 100 years. From inventing items that keep us safe (solutions such as Kevlar vests, signal flares and windshield wipers), to helping project manage the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, women engineers have made a lasting impact on our world.
“Engineering shapes the world. We focus innovation on making our homes and planet healthier and safer, while conserving natural resources and saving money for our customers” said John Sublett, VP Connected Ecosystem at Resideo. “I’m proud to work alongside the women at Resideo that are making an impact for our customers each and every day.”
We connected with several women at Resideo about their engineering career and the unique contribution they make in our industry and for the next generation. Following are portions of those interviews.
"I actually wasn't interested in engineering at an early age; I had an unreasonable fear of computers and pretty much avoided anything that had to do with programming or laptops. I grew up in Peru, which was a conservative, male-dominated society and there were not many women who pursued engineering degrees. I had discipline, courage, a clear, well-defined goal and the desire to make my family proud, which led me to pursue a degree in physics and engineering in the U.S.
During college, I was one of six women in the electrical engineering graduating class, and I became a member of the Society of Women Engineers. As part of this organization, I found mutual collaboration was a key part of shaping my career. I find having a solid network of women who impart solidarity, camaraderie, friendship and empathy towards each other can make a difference towards your success.
As a software engineer working for the U.S. Navy, I participated in top-secret testing missions that required software upgrades to spy planes, aircraft radars and ship sensors. The realization that my effort has a direct impact on national security and on the well-being of global citizens provides a deep sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and pride." – Helen Meza - Software Engineer (Mobile); Melville, New York, U.S.
“My parents worked in manual trades (bricklayer and tailor), but they always attached great importance to my education and always challenged me. I found math and physics particularly intriguing at school, and I had strong support from teachers guiding me towards my formal education. I became very interested in the field of renewable energies.
In my job, I have learned that conscience and staying power always pay off. For example, my team was dealing with an inexplicable phenomenon, which took about three months to discover. However, we were able to correct the error and ensure the delivery of the product on time.
I have been tutoring children in science and math for a long time, and my approach is to make it fun and not be too strict.” – Jessica Mueller - R&D Electronic Boiler Controls (Residential Thermal Solutions); Lotte, Germany
"My parents valued education and were keen to provide me the best, even though pursing an engineering degree or getting into the engineering profession was not common for females in our family. This gave me a lot of determination and passion to pursue an engineering degree.
While growing up my role model was Sudha Murthy, who is an engineering teacher, Chairperson of Infosys and who also supported the movement to provide all Karnataka schools with computers and libraries. I was inspired by the number of opportunities that engineering can provide, and how technology can be leveraged in real world applications to do good.
The most-rewarding project I’ve worked on was the Prestige thermostat and integration with indoor/outdoor sensors, indoor air quality systems and equipment interface module. It’s rewarding to know that we developed one solution that offers whole home control.” – Vani HanumanthaReddy - Project Lead (Comfort); Bangalore, India
"Growing up, I was inspired by the Moon landing – it's an event that really impressed me. So naturally, growing up, I looked up to Neil Armstrong. I even got to meet then Mexico president Luis Echeverria after I received the first-place student award.
The engineering profession shaped my character to become results driven and determined to achieve my personal goals. I became a widow aged 34, giving me resilience and drive to be present for my two children. As my children have grown, I have been able to use my spare time to read.
I give back to the community by sharing my knowledge with them; I participate in a team that prepares students for their high school exams. When I explain my job to the kids, I say that ‘My job it to work with numbers to give me solutions or answers that I need.’ For example, at a former company I helped achieve $64 million a year by optimizing machine output and production capacity.” – Ana Lidia Amador - Quality Manager; Chihuahua, Mexico
"My love for science and technology started right from my childhood; my dad and mom excelled in Physics and Mathematics, respectively, and we had a big wall that was converted to what we called the 'wall of books.’ My love for computers specifically began in school when I started using MS Paint; I loved coding in school and was intrigued with data structures and algorithms. And I was also inspired by Louis Gerstner and Steve Jobs for their contribution to technology.
The engineering profession taught me persistence (to try harder until I succeed). ‘Failure is not when you fail, but when you fail to rise again,’ is a mantra I like to live by. I look forward to projects which make an impact in the lives of our customers. I really enjoy teamwork and the process of what it takes to release a product into the market.” – Sonali Samantaray- Leader Program Management Organization Excellence; Austin, TX, U.S.
---"Each day, I get to work with many inspiring engineers here at Resideo,” said Scott Ziffra, SVP Engineering & Product Management at Resideo. “And one of the things I value most is diverse thinking and problem solving. We continue to promote gender diversity and equality in our organization, and I encourage you all to help us recruit for our open engineering roles.”
“As you see from these examples, a love for math and science starts early. So let’s not forget that we are role models to the next generation of engineers – we're their parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, aunts and uncles – and can help inspire young minds,” added Ziffra.
For a list of open engineering opportunities, visit the Resideo Careers page.