WHY ENGINEERING NEEDS MORE WOMEN
Women will think, act or approach problems differently and it’s this diversity of perspective that will help solve the world’s most challenging problems, says Rachael DiGrazia, Product Line Engineer at Smiths Medical.
There has never been a better time to be an engineer with demand outstripping supply, competitive salaries and a multitude of career prospects.
“It’s so important that we encourage more women into engineering and technology. Scientists and engineers are working to solve some of the most difficult challenges ever faced. Engineers design many of the things we use in our daily lives and having diversity of thought in the development process will ultimately enhance the overall outcome.”
Rachael believes that we need to find a common goal and work in complimentary ways with each other to shape the world and drive socially beneficial innovation.
“We need to paint a picture of what engineering is really about. We need to show how creative and collaborative it can be and how it can make the world a better place. The products I work on are designed to make people healthier and safer and for me that’s a huge motivational factor.”
Rachael has always been interested in medicine and healthcare but also enjoyed maths and physics.
“It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do because I wasn’t sure how to combine my passion for maths and physics with my desire to help people. I was considering becoming a doctor until my brother, a mechanical engineer, helped me realise the difference I could make in the world as an engineer.”
Rachael holds a Biomedical Engineering degree and during university she interned at Smiths Medical before joining them full time as a Product Line Engineer, after finishing her studies.
“I help develop products that manage patient’s body temperature and vital signs and it’s very rewarding to know that I’m helping save millions of people’s lives around the world. I’m faced with new challenges every day and always learning something new.”
Rachael is also on the leadership team of Smiths Medical’s Society of Women Engineers, which hosts events to inspire young women and bring together those already in the profession. Their focus is primarily on professional development, K-12 Outreach (STEM) and networking.
“The team is really excited to grow the reach of the organisation. We want to help support women in engineering today and inspire future generations to make a difference in the world.”
There is a strong business case for having more women in engineering and Rachael believes its essential if we’re going to maximise innovation, creativity and competitiveness in a world that’s constantly changing.