What Does An Engineer Look Like to You? Pt. 2
In last week’s blog post, I explored the perception of women in technology as well as society’s preconceived notion of what an engineer is supposed to look like.
I wanted to get a better understanding from a woman in the engineering field, so I recently sat down with one of our female engineers at Passport to learn more. Divya Venkataramanappa is one of Passport’s first programming employees, who is now the Managing Director of India Operations at Passport. I asked her a few questions about her experiences:
1. Tell us about your role at Passport
“I started at Passport in 2010 as a software developer and today I am heading the team in India. In addition to my role as a software developer for Passport, I also manage the day to day operations of my team. I was given the opportunity to truly explore and learn the best technologies that’s made Passport what it is today. It’s been an incredible journey to say the least.”
2. When did you first know that you wanted to pursue a career in engineering?
“I first knew I wanted to work in the engineering field when I was 16 years old. I had always taken an interest in it, and at that point, it all clicked for me that this was something I wanted to do as a career.”
3. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a woman in engineering?
“I would say that the biggest challenge I’ve faced is having to constantly convince people that yes, I am a programmer. People have a certain image of what a programmer is supposed to look like in their heads. Many people have a hard time believing that I am the programmer that I am today.”
4. Why do you think there are fewer women that take up engineering as a career?
“Fear of others not believing they can do well. There were times when I wasn’t exactly encouraged to pursue my interest in engineering, and it almost stopped me from this career path. But it’s been rewarding to prove them wrong in my success, and I hope more young women won’t let the opinions of others discourage them from achieving their dreams.”
5. How has your experience at Passport shaped your experience in engineering?
“Passport has given me every opportunity to be the programmer I am today. The sky is the limit at Passport, and I can’t wait to continue to develop the technology that is shaping the parking and transportation industries.”
The bottom line is that women who want to work in the technology fields should never feel limited in what they can accomplish. How do we go about changing these perceptions that are undeniably present in the technology field? There may not be a simple answer, but we think the work that organizations like Project Scientist are doing is a great start.