International Women in Engineering Day falls on 23rd June 2021! This year, we are highlighting our Engineering Heroes!
To show the contribution of women to Engineering, we have used this occasion to share the impact women are making in the Engineering industry.
Paraskevi Mylona, Solutions Engineer at Optibus, gives us an insight into her role and how important it is to encourage young people to get involved in the Engineering sector.
What has the last year been like from a personal and a professional standpoint?
Two words come to mind when thinking about the year that has passed: intense and unexpected. Making it through a pandemic has admittedly been challenging for everyone and I am definitely no exception myself. We have all however managed to adjust to a new socially distanced reality, that no one could have ever imagined before, and we are still going strong.
As always, change in one form or another is inevitable. Being already in the UK for half-a-dozen years, I decided to move to London and shortly after that I joined Optibus as a Solutions Engineer. Becoming a member of a new team while still being in lockdown wouldn’t necessarily be considered a piece of cake, but with the support of everyone here at Optibus I immediately felt like part of the family.
It was Mental Health Awareness Month in May and it is Pride Month in June, what is the significance of that to you personally and in your role?
It is now more vital than ever before to be mindful of the mental health of both ourselves and the ones around us. Being stuck at home for so long and going through one lockdown after the other has forced everyone – even the ones that previously might have never considered it – to put more effort into actively taking care of their mental health and wellbeing.
Working in a software company I had the privilege to be able to continue working during these difficult times, having a relatively smooth transition from the office to my home.
Maintaining a healthy life-work balance, however, is not as trivial as it might initially seem. Ensuring everyone feels included and accepted should have already been our first priority, but becoming more understanding and compassionate towards others, both colleagues and clients is crucial, especially now during this new norm we have adapted to.
What are some of the Engineering projects that you have been involved with?
As expected, the public transportation industry has been severely impacted during the course of the pandemic. The bus service schedules, however, had to still meet the needs of the reduced number of passengers and at the same time guarantee that social distancing guidelines were followed.
Looking always to tackle problems and find solutions to everyday challenges, our primary goal during the pandemic was to facilitate the schedulers’ work and help them with all the bus service adjustments they had to do to be in accordance with the various guidelines opposed by the government and ensure the public’s safety.
How do we inspire the next generation of women to choose careers in STEM?
Providing more learning opportunities from a young age is definitely a good start, but unfortunately it is not enough by itself. We also need to prepare and guide young people to accept those opportunities and be open to the idea of pursuing a career in Engineering and other technology related sectors.
In my opinion, the most effective way to achieve this is by exposing students to various role models, successful in their fields of expertise. This can be facilitated by mentorship programs, workshops and webinars.
If you enjoyed the interview above and you would like to find out more about how Talent Point can help to build up your teams from within, contact us today!