As a diverse employer who supports gender equality in the workplace, GKN spoke to some of its female engineers about their experience of being a woman in engineering.
Meet Arthy Ravichandran who works as a Business and Strategic Intelligence Manager at GKN Aerospace in London, UK.
GKN Aerospace’s business and strategic intelligence manager Arthy Ravichandran sees relationships and a willingness to learn as key in her role to help the business make informed budgeting decisions and plan effectively.
Career pathway to GKN
Following a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from City University London, which included a summer placement at Dubai International airport, Arthy started her career on the International Graduate Programme at GKN. As part of the scheme, she had placements at the National Composites Centre in Bristol, as well as with GKN Powder Metallurgy in India and GKN Driveline in the US. At the end of the programme Arthy joined GKN Aerospace and became the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) programme manager. “AGP is a programme that has led to a step change in the relationship between government and industry, while encouraging UK companies to co-operate more closely in addressing problems that affect the sector as a whole. The role allowed me to get a top-down view of the aerospace sector, interacting with the government and the businesses that shape the sector, and playing a role in developing the future of the industry.”
Her role today involves assessing the current market and economic situation and ensuring that relevant information is fed into the business strategy. The intelligence she provide helps form the basis for budgeting, forecasting and strategic planning for GKN Aerospace, but with so much data available today, the real challenge is to filter the information correctly. “The aerospace market is going through a phase of change and in today’s world new technologies are being developed quite rapidly. As an engineer, exploring the latest technologies and working collaboratively with others in the industry is always the most enjoyable part of my work and I feel proud that I am able to contribute to the vision of our business.”
A great STEM ambassador for women and young girls
Outside of work, Arthy does a lot of volunteering in the community. She is an active volunteer in the ‘Food for life’ campaign which feeds free vegetarian meals to 1,000 people on a daily basis and she is a keen runner, with plans to complete a marathon later this year. She is also a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) ambassador and visits schools in London speaking to the next generation of students. “I am involved in events that promote women in engineering and I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with some of the industry leaders of tomorrow.”
“As a child, I always wanted to find out how things operated and I used to disassemble everything but never knew how to put it back together. It reached a certain level that my family had to store things at a height that I could not reach and guests were too afraid to have me around. I was always fascinated to find out how things worked and as years moved on, I learned that I need to study engineering if I had to understand how to assemble things that I had disassembled as child.”
As for tomorrow? “My current ambition is entirely focused on my role: to ensure that business intelligence is embedded at all levels of the company, so that we can use data to act swiftly and decisively as a company. If I were to do something totally different altogether, I would look to set up my own business.”
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