Amar Sangha - Senior Account Manager, Siemens Smart InfrastructureI’ve worked since the age of 16. I’ve had various positions in the energy and metering markets before joining Siemens in 2018. I originally started in sales, then realised my strengths were in account management and lead ED&I for my business unit.
"Be that voice in the meeting that challenges."
I was recently put forward for the Inspire programme (Women in Leadership which has just kicked off, and I’m really enjoying it so far. We’re asked to consider lots of thought-provoking questions during the course, such as who we are as a leader, what we need to change to progress, how we can inspire others, and how we can negotiate effectively.
Throughout, we will have coaching sessions, coursework and interactive activities to help us answer these questions. There are also a couple of personality assessments that I will retake at the end of the course to see how I’ve developed. The programme aims to help me build on my foundations and prepare me to be a strong leader.
I think there are a few different areas Siemens and other organisations can continue to improve on. There are still a lot of women trying to juggle full responsibility for caring and working hard in their careers - I have a lot of respect for anybody in this position!
Being aware of people’s challenges improves inclusivity and a sense of belonging for all, including women at Siemens, subsequently improving retention. Sometimes more can be achieved in productivity and job satisfaction if that flexibility is available.
My advice to anyone joining the world of work is don’t be afraid to ask why. Be that voice in the meeting that challenges, and if you are the only woman in the room, never make a cup of tea first!
Jo Harris - Head of Sales, Siemens Financial Services LtdMy career started in automotive sales, so I immediately started my working life in two fairly male-dominated sectors. I moved into equipment financing with Siemens and have been here for 24 years in a range of sales roles. I love talking to customers and helping them find solutions to their needs.
"I put my longevity in sales down to my determination."
I put my longevity in sales down to my determination. If someone tells me I can’t do something, I tend to move heaven and earth to let them know I can. I’ve always had that mindset throughout my career. That’s what’s pushed me right from day one.
I was a sales manager when I heard about the Women in Leadership programme at Siemens. Rather than framing the course around a negative viewpoint, it builds on positives. So instead of finding the perceived barriers holding women back, it tries to reframe them and strengthen female managers to be the best they can be.
The course made me think of problems differently and it gave me a network of fellow colleagues at Siemens. It didn’t fall into the trap of encouraging women to be more like men and simply display some of the more negative personality traits of aggression and dominance.
Being yourself is far more powerful than trying to fit in the shoes that someone else wants you to wear. I mentor women in the business now, and I always make myself available. I tell them, don’t evolve into someone else. Don’t put on a façade. Diversity of thought always results in a richer conversation and a healthier business culture.
Safia Patel - Graduate Engineer, Siemens Digital IndustriesI’m a first-generation university student, meaning I am the first in my family to study at this level. I’ve always had a passion for maths and did well at it throughout school. I studied maths, physics, chemistry and classical civilisation at A level. When it came to applying for university subjects, I knew I wanted to do something in maths or physics. I completed a foundation year at Nottingham University in engineering and physical sciences, which really helped me appreciate where I wanted to go next.
"Never be afraid to retake exams, try different fields, but keep going and being determined"
Because I was top of my class, I was offered a scholarship to complete my BEng in electrical engineering. In my class of about 90 students, there were probably 10 female undergraduates. It was very male-dominated. During my second year at university, I got on the E3 scholarship programme, where I began my placements with Siemens in Digital Industries.
I’ve always enjoyed applied maths and physics more than theoretical. For me, the practical elements of learning are what make it interesting. That’s where my love of electrical engineering was born. I’m now a graduate electrical engineer on the two-year graduate programme.
I remember when I was hired, I was interviewed by a female engineer. It makes a world of difference having someone in the room who you know has been through what you have. I think Siemens is doing the best it can right now, but the real problem lies with getting to young girls in primary school.
I know Siemens works hard to hire girls into engineering, but before we get the talent pipeline fixed it’s always going to be difficult. I would advise any young female STEM students to remember that your background should never hold you back. Sometimes your determination can jump off the page to a recruiter, so never be afraid to retake exams, try different fields, but keep going and keep being determined.
Emily Smith - Electrical Applications Engineering Apprentice, Siemens Smart InfrastructureI’ve been with Siemens since September 2021. At school, the subjects I enjoyed the most were maths and art. You’d think these subjects were completely opposite one another, but both are quite rule-based and creative at the same time. When I finished my GCSEs, I had a few options available to me, but I decided rather than going down the A level route to instead complete a BTEC in Mechanical Engineering.
"It's inspiring to see how my manager has progressed her career within the business"
I was the only female student across both my Electrical and Mechanical Engineering classes. I also didn’t have any female role models as part of the Engineering teaching staff. Still, I knew engineering was something I wanted to pursue so I finished my BTEC with a Distinction and was successful with my application to complete my HNC and HND apprenticeship with Siemens.
The Siemens apprenticeship is a great fit for me. I’m learning while earning, and I’m part of a great team. My manager is a former female apprentice herself, and it’s inspiring to see how she has progressed within the business. I’m currently working on electrical designs for switchgear, where I get to utilise my mathematical engineering side alongside my artistic creative side, which I’m really enjoying.
I work with one other female apprentice within our engineering team; it’s really inspiring to know it’s important to Siemens to have a varied workforce. We’ve got lots of rotations around the business planned as part of the apprenticeship programme so we can meet and work in several diverse teams.
My wish is that senior engineers and leaders at companies like Siemens get into schools earlier to show young girls how big the engineering world can be. So many girls I know who excelled at STEM subjects followed the academic route to A-levels and then university, not because it was necessarily the right thing to do, but simply because they didn’t know they had other options. You can take a different path, and I’m now in a company where I can see where different experiences can take you.