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Blogs - June 24, 2024

International Women in Engineering Day  

International Women in Engineering Day, which falls on 23 June, celebrates the achievements of female engineers across the globe.  

At Pragmatic, this isn’t just a single day of celebrations, but something that we consider and integrate across all facets of our organisation – and we have a number of initiatives to support all our women, both in Engineering and across the business.

We’re creating employee-led resource groups, for example, that support inclusivity in the workplace and aim to foster a sense of belonging. We’ve also initiated a development programme for Female Leaders in Technology, empowering women to be confident, influential leaders who, in turn, empower other women and encourage everyone to have a lens on this.

We are exploring how we support, empower and listen to our teams – what’s working and where there’s room for improvement. In addition, we’ve reviewed and refreshed our policies and practices and asked all our people to complete training on equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I). Finally, we’ve created new ED&I champions who will support our ambitions.  

Hear from four of Pragmatic’s outstanding women as they describe their journey into engineering, their take on the current landscape and their aspirations for the future.

Kasia Muszynska, Senior PDK Manager 

When I was at school, I enjoyed maths, but I chose to study engineering, as I thought it would give me more career opportunities. Back then, I had no idea what a transistor was, but I chose to study electronics simply because it seemed a better option than mechanical engineering! 

I’ve been lucky enough to have had some great mentors. During my first internship, my supervisor taught me the basics of IC design with incredible clarity. To this day, the way I think of circuits is shaped by what I learnt then. And in my first job, I had a great supervisor who openly shared her knowledge, and gave me interesting tasks that allowed me to explore and learn at my own pace. 

At Pragmatic, I’ve had the opportunity to try my hand at management, and I find it extremely rewarding to see my team grow in confidence and ability. But, across the industry, I think women’s contributions are still all too often overlooked, dismissed or simply not heard. Women are also underrepresented in top positions, which is so disheartening to see: I want to see women get to the top of the ladder!  

As an engineer I’m happiest when I’m solving a challenging problem or unexpectedly managing to connect the dots across different areas. I want everyone to be able to enjoy the satisfaction of these little victories, irrespective of gender.

Heather Flint, Lead Device Scientist 

I was always interested in science and the way the world works, but I got into engineering the long way round – via a degree in Chemistry. From there, I did a PhD in semiconducting material for solar cells , and from there it was just a short hop to the world of semiconductors and Pragmatic.

I really enjoy my role. I work with some fantastic people to tackle a diverse range of challenges. This is where my non-engineering background is an advantage – I have a unique perspective and I can help my team to consider problems from a new angle.

I’ve always made a conscious effort to learn from those around me. Whether you’re talking to a highly esteemed professor or a new intern, everyone has their own experiences and knowledge to share. I work with a number of brilliant women at Pragmatic, but I think there’s still a huge gap in representation in engineering as a whole – not only for women, but for other minority groups, too. There seems to be lots of encouragement to start these groups on STEM pathways, but much less of a focus on retention and development.

I’d love to see more women in senior technical leadership. However, if you don’t see others like you, I think you have to take every opportunity to become the person that others will see.

Shreya Balaji, Graduate Engineer – Layout 

When I was younger, I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. I was inspired by my father, who had an interest in space and aircraft and made it sound so interesting. Although I’ve changed direction a bit, it was clear that I would have a career in engineering.

It’s hard to be away from my family and my home country, but I love my job at Pragmatic. I’m continuously learning, and I frequently take on new challenges that aid my personal growth as well as my career. I also get to meet people from different teams and learn what they’re working on, which broadens my understanding of the overall process.

When I first began, I had a great mentor who provided lots of encouragement and feedback, helping to channel my potential in the right direction and enabling me to advance as an engineer. I’ve had the opportunity to experience different aspects of semiconductor design and manufacture, and creating layouts (designs) has piqued my curiosity most.

But I do worry about the future. I think there are still biases against professional women, particularly in motherhood, when our ability and dedication can be questioned. I hope that, one day, this will no longer be an issue.

Sophia Abbott, Graduate Engineer

I come from a family of female electronics engineers, so in my mind there were never any gender-related barriers to overcome. When it came to pursuing engineering, it was never the case of, “Could I…?”; rather it was, “Would I want to?”.

That’s not to say it was plain sailing. Taking a sharp left from the family profession, I chose to study Physics – and the gender disparity was clear from the start. While I didn’t endure the one-woman-to-an-entire-male-cohort ratio my mum experienced, it wasn’t uncommon to find myself the only woman in a project group. There was a lot of solidarity among the women who were there, however, and I learned both not to be discouraged by being in the minority, and that there’s great value in helping each other.

I interned at Pragmatic during my degree and I’ve returned as a graduate. My favourite part of my job is problem solving. I love brainstorming solutions and working through them to find the best possible option. If that’s accompanied by a bit of healthy debate with colleagues, then so much the better!

At Pragmatic, 26% of employees in Operations and Technology are women which, perhaps surprisingly, is way above the industry average. However, across the sector as a whole, I think too many women leave due to lack of promotion and development opportunities.

I look forward to continuing my career in engineering and am optimistic about the future, but I believe – and the data clearly show – that the most successful initiatives involve both men and women.

Want to work alongside these fantastic women? Find out more about careers at Pragmatic.


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