June 25, 2024 - Ross Video Team, Education

Maryam Tse: My Journey and Advice for Aspiring Engineers 

International Women in Engineering Day is not just a celebration; it is a reminder of the incredible opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for women in this field. It is also a call to action to inspire and support the next generation of female engineers.  

Throughout my career, I have been deeply committed to mentoring the next generation of engineers and leaders. As we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, I want to share my journey and offer advice to inspire the next generation of female engineers. Here are some key lessons and insights I’ve gained throughout my career: 

1. Commit to Mentoring 

 A few years ago, I co-founded the Society of Women Engineers Ottawa, Canada Affiliate. This organization has provided me with invaluable opportunities to mentor and be mentored by remarkable individuals from various engineering disciplines. Through initiatives like this, I aim to foster a supportive network that empowers and inspires future engineers. Success in this field – or any – comes from the strength of those around you, and I encourage engineers of all ages and genders to invest time in mentoring those around them, as well as seeking out mentorship from those who have achieved what they would like to achieve.  

2. Address Sustainability 

Looking ahead, addressing sustainability is one of the most pressing global challenges, impacting every industry and aspect of technology and engineering. Adopting sustainable engineering principles is essential. These include product life cycle assessment, the use of sustainable materials, sustainable supply chain management, and green building practices. Addressing sustainability requires a commitment to continuous learning and adaptation, ensuring that we not only meet current needs but also preserve the environment for future generations. 

3. Embrace Technological Advancement 

Another critical challenge is the rapid pace of technological advancement. To address this, we need ongoing, substantial investments in Research & Development, as well as strategic partnerships with tech leaders and academic institutions. Investment in R&D supports continuous learning, adaptation, integration, and compliance, enabling us to capitalize on advancements and ensure long-term economic growth. 

4. Balance Innovation and Practicality 

Balancing innovation and practicality in engineering projects involves fostering a collaborative environment where cross-functional teams thrive on trust and open communication. The diverse experiences of these teams provide a wealth of creative and innovative solutions, while also ensuring comprehensive practical considerations. It is crucial to maintain an open funnel of ideas, allowing for continuous exploration and refinement. Additionally, early prototyping, refined by continuous stakeholder feedback, is essential in identifying impractical solutions early in the engineering process. This iterative approach ensures that innovative ideas are both viable and effective, ultimately leading to successful project outcomes. 

5. Cultivate Essential Qualities for Success 

As a leader in the engineering field, I believe the most important qualities for success are continuous learning, adaptability, and high emotional intelligence. I have cultivated these skills through persistent curiosity, frequent job changes, and by surrounding myself with professionals who possess diverse expertise. Regular interactions with individuals at various career stages have also been invaluable, as they offer unique and valuable perspectives on problems and solutions. 

Continuous learning keeps me apprised of the latest advancements and trends, while adaptability allows me to effectively navigate the dynamic engineering landscape. High emotional intelligence helps me lead and collaborate with empathy and understanding, creating a positive and collaborative work environment. 

6. Embrace Challenges and Opportunities 

To all the young women considering a career in engineering, I encourage you to embrace the challenges and opportunities that come your way. Seek out mentors, be open to continuous learning, and never underestimate the power of collaboration. Engineering is not just about solving problems; it is about creating solutions that improve lives and shape the future.

Let us celebrate International Women in Engineering Day by committing to support and inspire the next generation of engineers. Our journey is ongoing, and we can, together, make a significant impact. 

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