International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) was introduced by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and celebrates its 9th year in 2022. INWED gives women engineers around the world a profile when they are still hugely under-represented in their professions. As the only platform of its kind, it plays a vital role in encouraging more young women and girls to take up engineering careers.
To celebrate #INWED22 and the theme Inventors & Innovators , we caught up with Farzana Kauser and Ashima Tandon who have both secured permanent roles at ScottishPower having joined through our 2021/2022 Returners Programme; meet them below and hear about the women who inspire them and their thoughts on this year’s theme.
Farzana Kauser, Cyber Security Engineer, Onshore O&M
After taking a hiatus for nearly 3 years, I started as a Cyber Security Engineer with ScottishPower Renewables as part of the returners programme in January 2022. The team I joined gave me great advice and support which increased my confidence to showcase my skills. As a result, 5 months later, I was offered a permanent position which I gladly accepted. I am happy to be part of an amazing organisation that puts their ethics and values into giving people, like myself, the opportunity to return back to work.
I was part of a newly formed ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) team which was tasked to look at ways to help streamline work processes and capabilities. This resulted in a cost saving of approximately £8.6M and led to the creation and implementation of new automated processes in how licenses are managed and requested across the entire organisation, impacting 12,000 employees.
Hedy Lamarr - once noted as the most beautiful woman in the world who was also very intelligent, creative and innovative. She was a well-known Hollywood actress, but she was also an inventor, which many people did not know about. She invented a few things but notably, the technology for radio guidance system used in WWII which continues to be used today in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
When I think of Hedy Lamarr, I think ‘be creative’. Nothing is ever a failure, use failures as experiments to make better changes and never give up. When you believe in yourself, and with the right support, you can make a difference.
Ashima Tandon, Implementation Lead, SPEN Operations
A In November 2021, as part of the Returner Programme, I began working with SP Energy Networks as Technical Process Lead in the Centre of Excellence. For a professional like me with a technical background and experience of working in the IT business before taking a hiatus, this programme has been an excellent opportunity. I got the chance to work with a terrific team and received tremendous support from everyone. After 4 months on the programme, I applied for a new role inside the organisation and was offered a permanent position, which I gratefully accepted.
What Innovation Means to Me
Innovation for me is a mindset approach to find new ideas with a focus to deliver value to our customers using futuristic technologies. With 'Customers always come first' attitude, I have always been actively involved in understanding the stakeholder needs and challenges within the business. The key for me has always been to aim towards not just building the product right, but to build the right product.
At SPEN, we have work practices in place that encourage active collaboration for process innovation aimed toward process improvement and implementation of resilient systems in-line with SPEN’s commitment to continuous improvement and delivery of the digitalisation plan submitted to OFGEM.
There will be many to mention like my mum, work colleagues and mentors in my career journey. Right now, my inspiration comes from all the women in ScottishPower and beyond who champion other women. Support from the Connected Women employee network and platforms like INWED are great examples of this.
We have a great bunch of inspiring women within including my manager, colleagues and our very dynamic Head of COE leading us by example.