Maulidya is an inspiring female engineer at Schneider Electric

Maulidya is an inspiring female engineer at Schneider Electric

 August 01, 2018

Maulidya Falah has been part of the Schneider Electric team since November 2015 as a  Field Services Representative. In her workplace, there are only two female engineers out of a group of 30. Here she discusses the challenges she faces and explains why she loves her job.

Maulidya solves challenging technical issues for clients

"Every time I drop by a client’s site, on my first encounter they have always asked: 'Are you alone? No other engineers with you?'. Maulidya regularly faces surprise and skepticism. "It seems that this has been a somewhat acceptable reaction when a young female engineer comes to their factory site with electrical tools on hand and the determination to solve various challenging & technical issues at their workplace," says Maulidya.

There’s a common stigma in our society that several jobs are only specifically suitable for men or women. This gender stereotyping around women’s technical incompetency still exists. "It happened to me every time I was assigned a site visit, investigation, and preventive maintenance," says Maulidya. "Truthfully, it was not easy the first time and still remains an issue. I still need to work harder to prove that my technical skills are equally as good as male engineers'."

A supportive and dynamic work environment at Schneider Electric

Maulidya feels fortunate to be surrounded by supportive and dynamic colleagues. "My direct manager and peers ensure I feel empowered in a male-dominated environment, and they greatly encourage me to further develop my technical skills and expand my knowledge in product competency," she explains. "Knowledge sharing is a common team ritual, and I’ve gained strengths in dealing with common technical problems through monthly training sessions. This is made only possible with Schneider Electric’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace."

In a global survey, 85% of corporate diversity and talent leaders agreed that “a diverse and inclusive workforce is crucial to encouraging different perspectives and ideas that drive innovation. 

Maulidya's strong technical skills ensure a safety-first environment

Technical skill is not the only thing that matters when we talk about gender stereotyping in the engineering sector. Physical strength does matter. Working with MV and LV equipment requires a healthy physic. As an example, "I need to be in my best fit condition and strong enough to ground the cubicles, charge the circuit breakers, and measure the capacitance," says Maulidya. "Could you imagine if I was not physically capable enough to operate the equipment? That situation would certainly put my life in danger. As an electrical engineer, there can be consequences of working with electricity, and because of this, I must put personal safety as my first priority."

"Interestingly, I sometimes come across customers or clients who have neither a technical or engineering background. Technical questions are bound to come by, and to explain in layman terms for their understanding is not an easy task either! This requires me to combine not only my technical skills and knowledge but also my communication skills. It is a challenging feat, and I find personal satisfaction in it.

On the other hand, it’s really an enlightening realization that by becoming a female engineer, I can channel my inner traveler outward. Occasionally when I am assigned to visiting cities and rural areas in Indonesia, I would discover new amazing horizons throughout my journeys."

Breaking the stereotype

"The journey of being a female engineer certainly has been tough at times. Even though I’m in a minority situation and breaking the stereotypes, I have no absolute regrets on choosing this career path. I am proud to be a female engineer at Schneider Electric and I hope someday the barrier will be removed, and both men and women can be equally successful in the engineering sector."

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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