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Looking At Progress From A Wide-Angle

Celebrating her achievements


It’s International Women in Engineering Day, and we’re celebrating by sharing life lessons from ten inspiring K&A women whose passion for bettering communities led them to the engineering field.

With a passion for sales, Andreea Nicolescu is one of the few female senior directors in the business. Andrea attributes her will to succeed to her self-motivation and ambition. She enjoys being constantly challenged, working with different teams and being inspired by great leaders.

To overcome challenges “change perspectives by looking inwards rather than outwards,” says Andreea. “Figure out what you can do to improve the situation without focusing on what others are doing wrong; we can only do our best.”. Andrea’s advice for success is to find a mentor: “It can be a family member, a friend or an individual that you look up to and truly trust,” she says. “Ask them for constant genuine advice, feedback, and help. Share your struggles, challenges, and successes. They will see things in you that you haven’t noticed nor appreciated. They will keep you grounded and add perspective to your projects.”

As a working mother, proposal manager Bindu Sebastian wants to give equal importance to both her career and family. “Many times my work came as a priority when I had to meet my deadlines delivering proposals on time,” she says. “But I learned that sometimes to succeed you need to make the right decisions and overcome challenges with hard work. Thankfully I’ve had all the support from my family, friends, and colleagues.”. According to Bindu, a successful woman should believe in herself, set her goals, prioritize them, keep a positive outlook on life, be willing to take risks, and think out-of-the-box.

From her early childhood, talented architect Mariam Al Taie, has been drawn to creativity and art. “Throughout school, I had developed an interest in drawing and graphics; with my passion for practicality and problem solving, these little things inspired me to become an architect and helped me turn my hobby into a profession.”
Crowned as the Rising Star of the Year, at the Construction Week Oman Awards 2019, Mariam gives meaningful advice to young working women: “Simply know your worth and keep moving forward,” she says “Don’t be afraid of acknowledging your weak points; on the contrary, face them, and don’t let them set you back.”

Vijaya Padma’s father, who was a scientist in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), inspired and encouraged her to pursue a career in architecture.

“My father used to observe me while playing with crafts; he was the one who introduced me to the world of architecture,” Vijaya says.
When facing challenges, senior project architect Vijaya sings her worries away.

“I remember the song that we used to sing every day at our school at Kendriya Vidyalaya: We shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome someday, by Charles Albert Tindley which helps me look at challenges as an opportunity to get the best out of me.”
What advice would Vijaya give other working women? “Believe in collective power, and positive change will happen more quickly,” she says. “Follow the three C’s rule: Communication, Collaboration and Commitment. Take advantage of all opportunities; step out of your comfort zone and always look at the bigger picture.”

Senior foundations and earthworks engineer Nadine Nehmeh often heard while growing up that engineering is not for girls. “It was this stereotype - that women were considered as the fragile gender - that pushed me to pursue my engineering studies.”
Nadine’s advice for young engineers is to build a network, get active in professional associations, always smile, and believe in yourself.
“I only started discovering what I can do by getting out of my comfort zone and believing in myself. You can only be amazed by what a sincere smile can do from boosting confidence and success to building better relationships with your coworkers,” she says. “Saying yes can also help you succeed; it can drive you to a cool journey, you may never know.”

Senior mechanical project engineer Sahar Abbas has been always fascinated by airplanes. Her curiosity and attention to detail, led her to become a LEED Green Associate in 2010, and since then, she has been helping and supporting her colleagues in passing the LEED exam themselves.
“Sharing knowledge helps you grow, pushes you to become better at what you do, and helps you discover the capabilities of your own team members,” she says.
Sahar’s advice for young engineers is “never forget to celebrate life’s wins, even the smallest ones count,” she adds. “Celebrating achievements with colleagues goes beyond the enjoyment itself. These celebrations help you forge a team spirit and boost team members’ morale; so do it more often!”

Senior urban designer Roula Aouad was inspired by Lego as a child, recreating and adjusting shapes and colors, which drove her to become an engineer. For Roula “a woman who listens, who is assertive, patient, and persistent, who collaborates and empower others for a better outcome, has all the traits of a successful woman.”
Roula’s advise to other working women is to work hard and remain flexible: “Modifying your approach to tasks based on the unique demands of each situation, shows that you are versatile, resilient, and responsive to change which all are added value to your job.”

Senior landscape architect Rana Bou Chedid has always been driven by the concept of equality; that any woman can do a man’s job and excel at it.
“Being a woman engineer is not just a job,” she says, “it’s a knowhow we carry in everything else we do in life.” Rana’s advice to young engineers is to “have the confidence that you are good enough and believe in yourself.”

Senior environmental specialist Racha Abou Chakra’s parents inspired her to become the women she is today.
“My parents have enhanced my strengths, worked hard on my weaknesses and helped me become the woman I am today.” Racha says. “I always try to help my team overcome problems and explain to them that failures are inevitable in life. However, by setting your targets and working hard to reach them, winning becomes achievable.”

By nature, quality manager Rania Knio is a structured and organized person, which makes her feel comfortable working in the field of quality management.

Rania is passionate about her job and attributes her success to her leadership skills, self-confidence, honesty, integrity, and tenacity.
“I highly believe in the saying ‘choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life’,” she says.
As for the advice she gives to young working women, she says: “Be ethical, refined and straightforward in everything you do and don’t forget to be kind.”