International Women in Engineering Day 2021 - Iram Ali
As a diverse and inclusive workplace, we are extremely proud of the support and development we offer our female employees. This week celebrates International Women in Engineering day so what better time to highlight the achievements of the women in our Engineering team by taking the time to find out what inspired them to begin their career in the industry.
We interviewed Iram Ali, Technical Assistant in our Manchester office:
1) What made you want to become a patent attorney?
At school, I used to enjoy science as a subject, and I was generally good at it. So when it came time to decide what I would continue my studies in, the obvious answer was science, which led me to studying Physics/Astrophysics at university. However, I hadn’t any idea what career I wanted until I spoke to a careers advisor. That was where I first learned what a patent attorney was, and just over a year later, I was at Dehns!
2) Have you faced any barriers, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field?
I feel like, unusually, I haven’t. It never occurred to me that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do. And funnily enough, I didn’t realise I had picked a male-dominated course (Physics/Astrophysics) or a male-dominated profession (Patent Attorney) until I was already studying and/or working.
3) How can the industry kick-start change for women in engineering?
If I had stopped to worry that it’s usually men who study Physics/Astrophysics or who become Patent Attorneys, I might have hesitated at doing either of those things myself. So I think it’s important for young women to see other women in engineering roles – they need to see that they can do these things too.
4) Why is an inclusive and diverse workforce important?
It’s important to have an inclusive and diverse workforce, as men and women bring different ideas, perspectives, experiences, dynamics etc. to the workforce. Having a workforce that leans too far one way or the other has the potential to become bland and stuck in its ways.
5) What advice would you give aspiring women in engineering?
Don’t be worried that engineering is seen as a male profession or as male-dominated – the only way it will become less of either of these is if more women join – so join!