Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2024: Claudia Blaski

Paving the way for a more inclusive and innovative world

Each June we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day. Our global organisation and innovation capacity are enhanced by the many great female engineers we have. Yet women engineers are still hugely under-represented around the world, and we have a role to play in changing this.

To mark INWED24 we caught up with two female engineers who’ve been making their mark since joining kp. Read their thoughts on what it means to be a woman in engineering below and join us in recognising the incredible contribution women engineers are making to our industry.

Claudia Blaski
Asset Care Manager, Ritterhude

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Claudia Blaski
What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?
My interest was sparked by my school mathematics teacher. Recognising my curiosity for maths, she encouraged me to explore the field further. Her mentorship led me to discover the practical applications and problem-solving opportunities inherent in engineering. Fast forward to today - I find myself as Asset Care Manager at kp. This position allows me to combine my passion for working with people and my interest in technology.

What does a typical day look like for you as an engineer at kp?
My typical working day involves analysing problems alongside my team and developing long lasting solutions. Effective communication with other managers is crucial, as collaborative efforts are essential for resolving issues efficiently.

As a woman in engineering, have you faced any specific challenges in your career?
In the field of engineering, women often face the challenge of being underestimated due to gender stereotypes. Somehow that initial underestimation turned into an advantage during my studies. As other students underestimated my skills, they wanted to help me. Even though I didn’t think I needed it – it has been beneficial. Studying together not only deepened my understanding of the material but also built a supportive network.

How does kp nurture diversity and inclusion?
Overall, kp actively promotes diversity and inclusion, recognising that a diverse workforce leads to innovation, creativity, and better business outcomes. I’d say the HR department plays a significant role; their efforts contribute to creating a fair and inclusive workplace where all employees can thrive. The kp Women’s Network empowers and connects women across various fields, and provides a supportive community which encourages professional growth and networking opportunities.

What changes should be made to attract and retain more women engineers?
In my opinion, providing accessible and playful introductions to programming in schools can demystify technology and encourage more girls to explore coding. Early exposure helps build confidence and interest in technical fields. Beyond technical knowledge, emphasising problem-solving skills and teamwork is crucial. Women often excel in collaborative environments and can contribute diverse perspectives to engineering challenges.

What innovations or developments in engineering are you most excited about?
One of the most exciting developments in engineering is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI); it is poised to revolutionise various aspects of engineering. In the future at kp we will be able to use AI algorithms to analyse data from machines and predict potential failures or breakdowns. By identifying early warning signs, we will be able to proactively address issues, minimising downtime, and optimising maintenance schedules.

How do you think engineering roles are evolving?
More organisations are recognising the value of diverse perspectives and are actively working to create inclusive environments. Companies are fostering supportive cultures that encourage women to thrive; initiatives like mentorship programs, flexible work arrangements, and family-friendly policies contribute to a more balanced workplace. Regardless of gender, there are some vital skills, that will be crucial for future engineers, for example: effective communication within multidisciplinary teams, taking advantage of AI, considering environmental and social impacts in engineering decisions and tackling complex problems by finding innovative solutions.

What advice would you give to young women aspiring to be engineers?
Be bold, take risks, and believe in your abilities. Remember that courage is essential for growth and success. Aspire to take on responsibilities, seek out challenging projects, volunteer for leadership roles, and demonstrate your capability. Women are equally capable of handling responsibilities as men. Your gender should never limit your potential.

Enhance your engineering career at kp

All our colleagues play a role in inspiring the next generation, and we’re excited to see upcoming talent join companies like ours. We will continue to do all we can to support those underrepresented in engineering to see that they can succeed in this sector.

If you’re looking for somewhere to broaden your experience, where innovation and sustainability are at the heart of everything, in an environment where you can be the real you, apply today.

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