Ford is celebrating this year’s International Women in Engineering Day (#INWED), by highlighting inspirational stories behind some of the exceptional female engineers working in its facilities around the world, in particular on the Ford Ranger pickup.
The theme for this year’s International Women in Engineering Day is “Shape the World” – something that participants in this year’s celebratory video share in common with one of Ford’s early female engineers, Damyanti Gupta.
In 1967, Gupta was a trailblazer after graduating with a Master’s degree in Engineering and hired at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn. Challenging gender stereotypes, Gupta’s example remains an inspiration to others long after her retirement in 2002.
Much like Gupta, Swand Qat, a 15-year veteran in automotive engineering, is one of the first female engineers to join Ford in the Middle East. Working with Ford’s Dubai-based product development team, Qat is an Electrical and Electronic Systems Engineer.
Originally from Jordan, Qat says her passion for engineering and the automotive world developed at an early age, and she has never even considered, being a woman would be an obstacle to achieving her ambitions.
“The road has not been easy, but with persistence, perseverance and the presence of companies like Ford that give equal opportunities to everyone, I’ve managed to achieve that goal. Of course, my ambition will not end here,” Qat says.
“I would love to send a message to future generations of female engineers, especially in this region. There are amazing opportunities for women in engineering, and I’m very proud to be an engineer in a world-class company like Ford,” she adds.
As a Product Development engineer from Ford Thailand Manufacturing, Jutimas Suwanwech is responsible for soft trim components found in the interior of the Ranger and Everest. She coordinates with global engineering and product teams to ensure interior components match Ford’s quality standards and budget targets.
Suwanwech says she loves her job and she gets a great deal of satisfaction from developing products that bring joy to people around the world. “When I see our cars on the road, knowing I had a part to play in creating it, I’m really, really proud,” she says.
A point of pride can also be taken when Prueksaporn U-ngern, more commonly known as Aung, puts the customer’s concerns first. She is part of the Plant Vehicle Team in Ford Thailand Manufacturing, dedicated to solving customer concerns and improving the quality of the Ranger pick-up.
“I feel so proud every time I can solve chronic problems and make a difference for our customers in the field and on the production line,” shares Aung as she describes her current role.
Wanwisa Subsin is based at the Ford Thailand Manufacturing plant in Rayong and heads the Powertrain Plant Vehicle Team on Ranger and Everest. She leads the team that oversees powertrain quality, and she’s charged with making crucial decisions on powertrain integration and management on a daily basis. It’s a role that requires strong character and conviction, something that Subsin excels in.
“I still can feel my voice is heard by others. I have the confidence when I speak out or stay strong on what is right,” she says.
Paint Shop Quality Systems Engineer Dorah Mmekwa, based at Ford’s South Africa assembly plant in Pretoria, says that gender has not been a barrier for her. Mmekwa says that while her chosen career and industry may be male-dominated, rising to the top of a team to lead had nothing to do with gender.
“It’s all about having the capabilities and skills to do the job,” she affirms. “I’m excited by the challenges the job presents, and it’s that challenge that drives me to excel in my role.
Agreeing with Mmekwa is Umarani V. a buyer for Fuel Systems working with Ford India. Umarani says, “Ford gives a lot of importance to engineering and technology. Rather than focusing on gender, having the right people in the right place and recognizing their talents will help us prevail.”
Sindhuja Viswanathan, Senior Engineer in the Supplier Technical Assistance team of Ford India, also encourages women in male-dominated industries to stand out in their workplace by utilizing their strong qualities to succeed in their roles. “Women should display their resilience to brand themselves,” says Viswanathan. “The profoundness in your passion will bring out innovative solutions, and that is an essential element in the success we frame.”
Kara Tong, Engineering Strategy Manager for Ford Australia says constant innovation is what drives her passion for engineering. “If we’re innovating every day in everything we do, then the world is just going to grow in every way, from what you see to how people communicate. I think that’s why it’s not just a buzz word, it’s a way of living,” she explains.
Dr. Ana Sosa, Launch Team Manager for new models of Ranger at the Pacheco Assembly Plant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, started her 16-year career at Ford in engineering then moved into manufacturing. Sosa highlights the advantages in an engineering career at Ford: “For engineers, Ford is a great place to work. Ford gives us the opportunity to continue learning everyday about our carers.”
Sosa also speaks to us about current and future female engineers by encouraging us to “support women who are planning to work at Ford or are already working in Ford.”
“Diversity and inclusion are important pillars of our culture transformation plan and part of the culture global team. We are working actively to make this happen,” she assures.
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