On this, the 8th Women in Engineering Day, which aims to raise the profile of women in engineering across the world, we speak with our Supplier Development Engineer, Alice An about her career, where it started and her inspirations.
What can you tell us about yourself?
I am from the Jiangsu Province, located in central China. I graduated from Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, and I’ve had an extensive career in my chosen field with 18 years dedicated to the LCD industry.
I am a ‘Supplier Development Engineer’, but what does that mean?
Basically, I am responsible for evaluating new suppliers and supervising their quality and stability.
At Anders, we are dedicated to designing and delivering quality products and have operated a Quality Management System (QMS) since 1990, which evaluates the design, customisation and supply of displays, embedded solutions, and related technologies to B2B customers through a process driven approach. We are a member of BSI and comply with ISO9001:2015
What inspired you to go into engineering and what inspiration do you find to keep innovating?
I started my career in a sales function. That role gave me an excellent grounding to understand LCD technology and the solution/products on offer. Anders value experience from all walks of life and give all team members an excellent technical and engineering baseline to work from as part of the onboarding experience. Drawing from previous knowhow, an aptitude for technical details, and being a curious person by nature, I naturally gravitated into my role in Quality.
Do you feel that engineering is a male dominated field?
It is true that there are fewer female engineers in engineering. But, in Anders I don't see any difference in the opportunities that are open between a female engineer and a male engineer.
As an engineer facing the project, I solve problems whilst communicating with the manufacturing facility that I am coordinating the specific project with. It’s my hope that in order to complete this role to the best of my ability, my gender isn’t taken into consideration.
What does International Women in Engineering Day mean to you?
Women in Engineering Day marks the achievements of Women in Engineering. People celebrate this day because it stands for equality and development. In the electronics industry, we still have a long road to equality ahead of us, but I hope companies like Anders can showcase that it’s about the best person for the job, the most suited, or the most qualified, regardless of gender.
Why is important to encourage woman into engineering roles?
It’s important to make more women aware of the varying roles in electronics engineering, we need everyone to see beyond the stereotypes that the media presents.
What should workplaces do to encourage more women into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)?
We need to encourage young girls to develop spatial skills and lay the foundation for further engineering exploration as they grow up. Build a more inclusive engineering community. This includes holding engineering interest groups in the workplace that include women.
Some women are discouraged by the idea that engineering is a man's world. I’d like for young women to talk to experienced female engineers so they can understand that gender balance has a positive impact on the field today.
My advice to anyone, regardless of gender, is find your passion, if that’s in engineering, enter it and keep on learning.
Lastly, what does Anders do to attract and retain women in engineering?
Anders presents an inclusive working environment and the opportunity for continuous learning. The management provide a pathway cushioned with support to enable all to follow their career ambitions.
If you have any questions for Alice get in touch!