International Women in Engineering Day, which is celebrated on June 23rd, is an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available to women and girls in this exciting industry.
At Intel, we value the unique perspectives of every individual. We are committed more than ever to ensuring that we have an inclusive culture everywhere around world. That means creating a sense of belonging and instilling a culture where employees can bring their full experiences and authentic selves to work while enjoying rewarding careers. Engineers play a vital role in the Intel workforce, operating at the heart of our cutting edge manufacturing and design activities around the world, and we are proud to celebrate our many female engineers on International Women in Engineering Day.
To coincide with International Women in Engineering Day we caught up with Keissy Guerra Perez who is a Deep Learning Data Engineer with the Intel Movidius team in Ireland.
At what age (or stage of your life) did you start to think about becoming an engineer?
I really enjoyed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects at school, and it helped me to decide on my career preference. But for me, the key deciding moment was when I was about 9 years old, when my father let me help him do his job. He worked as an electrician and allowed me to help him with calculations and wiring.
What skills do you need to become a good engineer?
In my opinion, a successful engineer is someone who is creative, and able to solve complex problems. I also consider a good engineer to be able and open to learning new things and adapting new skills often. Working well in a team is also especially important for daily work life, and career progression.
What can be done to encourage more people, and in particular young girls, to explore careers in engineering?
Allowing students to approach technology as a subject in school might impassion a new generation of engineers without any gender bias normally associated with this industry. I think the ratios are already changing for the better and the number of women in the sector is growing. In my last year of university studying telecommunications engineering, there was a 50/50 split between the genders. The growing number of high-profile women in engineering can be a great inspiration, and act as brilliant role models to the younger generation.
What for you are the most interesting aspects of engineering?
The broad range of types and disciplines in engineering. Engineering covers many fields, I learned that being an engineer means having many different skills and broad knowledge from within your specialty and beyond. Intel has many examples of people that studied one engineering discipline and ending up working in another. For example, some of my colleagues working as electronic engineers studied industrial engineering.
How has your career differed from what you expected, particularly initially?
My initial expectations of working in the semiconductor industry was to be working on many different parts of the product process and releasing products quickly. However, the reality is not like that. The scale involved means that you work in a specialised area, and the load of work on a single area is huge. Achieving high quality work requires much time, concentration and specialisation.
What has surprised you the most during your career as an engineer?
During my career I realised that engineering is about working well in teams, with different people perspectives. I thought telecommunications engineering would be a career where you would spend all day in front of a computer, but this is only one part of the daily job of an engineer. You need to interact with colleagues in meetings, discussions, and to work through problems together.
What inspires you about your work?
The idea of learning something new every day is my main joy and inspiration in work. We design products that are booming, and you must innovate and improve every day to keep the product quality and stand out in this competitive market.
Are you working from home at the moment? If so, how do you find it?
I have been working from home since mid-March. In this period, I find advantages in working from home, such as the ease to focus and the extra time that I have after work by not commuting. Personally, I value the time that I spend with my family and for myself. All my team is working from home which happened quite suddenly. There are challenges, especially for people with kids at home. Sometimes, I need to schedule meetings to solve problems, while in the office, I could just go to someone’s desk and ask. It’s a challenge to keep the same level of work efficiency but, despite everything, the team has managed to do it very well and continue to deliver on time.
What do you miss about being in your normal working environment?
Of course, I miss the colleagues. We do virtual coffee breaks and have a chat. I am also doing classes via Virtual Fitness Classes and other online activities. Indeed, my department has organised a fun team training every Tuesday via Microsoft Team.
Women in Engineering at Intel
Click to read an article with Ann-Marie Holmes, Vice President, Manufacturing and Operations and Factory Manager of Fab 24 shares her experiences as an engineer.
Click to read an article with Amy Nordon, a Process Engineer in Fab 24 in Ireland.
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