On 23 June, industry and education professionals are coming together to celebrate the first International Women in Engineering Day (INWED17), organised by the Women’s Engineering Society. By showcasing the achievements of outstanding women in the profession, the ultimate goal is to raise awareness and promote the benefits of careers in engineering and technical roles for girls.
As we approach INWED17, our own exceptional engineers will be sharing their stories and career advice. Up first, Americas Area Technical Manager (ATM), Katerina Liana, explains why she chose to follow career in engineering instead of medicine.
“A career in medicine was always at the top of my mind when it came to choosing my future direction, but coming from a town which produces around 70% of all electricity for Greece I have always been around people who have worked in electrical engineering, including my father,” explained Katerina.
“As the power company was a public company, I soon realised that the flexibility offered by them and a career in electrical engineering would allow me to pursue a wider range of opportunities and maintain a better work-life balance as I was starting out after university.” Katerina continued.
With her future direction chosen, Katerina trained on the job to further develop her skills which helped her to make the move to LRQA; “I discovered a passion for auditing as my career began to develop and thanks to my electrical engineering background, I understood the complexities of a number of specialist sectors which helped me obtain my first role as ATM in 2005 with LRQA in Greece.”
“The LRQA brand is known around the world and in Greece particularly, it is a sign of history and reputation in the shipping industry; I knew it was meant for me.”
Moving from Greece to the United States was a big step for Katerina, but how do you pick one highlight from a career which has seen the world? “In my time with LRQA, I have been fortunate enough to work with so many clients around the world and working in a technical role, I’ve been lucky to work on a number of industry leading projects. Perhaps one of the most rewarding was the development of remote audit capabilities to help a client in Turkey to audit a site in Iraq. Thanks to this, a new accredited process was put in place and for our clients, this helps them to overcome and manage some of their critical business challenges.”
As a final thought, Katerina shared her career advice; “Go for it. When you start working, it’s funny how some of the things you prioritise change. I thought I would always remain in my home town and here I am in the United States with the world at my feet.”
INWED17 is on the 23 June. Follow the conversation using #INWED17