To celebrate this year's International Women's Day, GKN spoke to some of its female engineers and asked about their experience as a woman in the engineering industry.
Meet Shih Chyi Chak, Manager – Programme Management Systems and Training at GKN Driveline Birmingham.
Shih grew up in Klang, a town in west Malaysia, and moved to the UK at the age of 17. She went on to graduate from Imperial College with a master degree in Mechanical Engineering with a Year in Industry. “I always loved maths and, inspired by my cousin, wanted to travel the world working as a marine engineer.”
International Graduate Programme at GKN
After a year of working as a graduate railway engineer, Shih had the opportunity to join GKN; “I chose GKN’s International Graduate Programme (IGP) as it focused on me as an individual, allowing me to gain global engineering experience across the divisions.” Shih had since realised her aspiration of travelling the world and visited seven different countries covering 17 GKN sites.
In the last six years, Shih has worked across the Group in various functions, including Lean, Purchasing, Supply Chain and Operations. She is currently working as Manager of Programme Management Systems and Training for GKN Driveline and is deploying the integrated Programme Management (iPM) system to around 3,000 users globally.
A challenging & rewarding career path
“I would say one of the biggest challenges has been to exercise effective communication amongst colleagues of varying backgrounds, whilst simultaneously promoting an ethical work approach.” Shih believed that her willingness to learn and adapt helped her to overcome these challenges. “It is not always easy but I have definitely enjoyed the experience”.
“As far as giving advice to young professionals who might be interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), I would say, always follow your passion; be willing to learn, take action, reflect, adapt and try again. Be focused and do whatever you are doing well, you will naturally be successful. Also, remember to always respect others.”
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