Six Women Shaping the Future of Engineering (and Transforming Lives)
From Ireland to India, Costa Rica to the U.S., women engineers across the Boston Scientific global network agree: To inspire more women to join the field means encouraging girls who show an interest in learning math or the sciences to pursue their studies.
That’s why Catherine, a senior validation engineer in Galway, Ireland who leads a global engineering team, is involved in outreach programs for children in primary and secondary schools, and with SciFest, an event that includes granting science and technology awards. She’s also a big advocate of bursary programs run by Boston Scientific. One of these programs gives the children of Boston Scientific employees the chance to receive a financial contribution as well as an internship during their college years. Another program grants science teachers a summer job so that they can learn how their curriculum applies to industry.
“That’s my ultimate inspiration: To reach out and give more children in all schools, and of all socioeconomic backgrounds, the opportunity to gain knowledge about the STEM careers that are out there,” Catherine said.
From the classroom to real life
For quality manager Mariela, the inspiration for her industrial engineering career started in a high school physics classroom, where she saw how much enjoyment her teacher got out of conducting experiments for the class. After deciding to pursue physics at the University of Costa Rica, a career fair that Mariela attended there showed her how the theoretical could have real-world impact: One of the demonstrations at the fair used an ice cream machine to illustrate how physics principles – from the composition of the fluids to the setup of the machine – could be applied to the process of creating a better-tasting dessert.
“What fascinated me was knowing that I can really apply what I’m learning in real life,” Mariela said. From that realization, it wasn’t hard for Mariela to gravitate towards applying for an internship at Boston Scientific. “When they talked about new products, they always linked it to how they were improving people’s lives. And then once I started working here, I was given a lot of opportunities to grow personally and professionally. This is a company that cares about patients and cares about employees.”
Jahnavi, an R&D engineer in India who has been working at Boston Scientific since 2017, agrees. Jahnavi said she used to intimidate her classmates in grade school because of her love of solving math problems, so engineering was a natural career path to pursue. She started working in the automotive industry, but soon figured out that she wanted to use her skills to help people. Boston Scientific was the answer.
“The work at Boston Scientific is very interesting because we actually get to see how the device is being used in the patient. When you hear stories from the physicians about a product you’ve been a part of, it feels really good. That is a big motivation for me,” Jahnavi said.
“Just go for it”
Jenny, who works in the endoscopy R&D division in Marlborough, Massachusetts, was the first in her family to pursue a college degree. She used the internship program at Boston Scientific to meet mentors who helped her navigate how to translate her education into a fulfilling engineering career.
“During my internship, I was able to speak with the CEO one-to-one during a breakfast Boston Scientific hosted,” Jenny said. “I used to see CEOs as an unattainable group, but here the CEO walks around with no name tag, in the cafeteria, and meets with every group of interns, opening the door to connect with him. That sends a strong message about the culture of the company.”
The learning doesn’t stop when an employee starts working full-time. Aine, a production unit manager also based in Galway, said opportunities abound for technical and professional development, allowing employees to continue to master new skills. In her location, courses on polymers, metals and plasma treatments teach technical skills, while those choosing to enter management have had opportunities to go through an extensive leadership program.
“You have to love what you do,” Aine said. “It’s all about following your passion. And if it’s something you’re interested in, and something that you like, just go for it.”
And Pamela, a supplier engineer manager in Heredia, Costa Rica credits the collaborative, team-based approach to technology innovation and development for allowing her to explore the bounds of her creativity.
“My managers have always been supportive, asking what resources I need to move an idea forward,” Pamela said. “The culture is open to whatever you want to explore, and that allows us to express ourselves and figure out how we can improve upon the status quo of any project we’re working on.”
To learn more about careers and apply for a job at Boston Scientific, visit our careers site. For more information about how Boston Scientific supports STEM education, visit our global community engagement page.