From left to right: Prajnya Nayak, Bethel Teferra, Geetika Roopsingh Sisodiya and Archana Bhoga
Prajnya: My father was in the administrative services and was the Water Secretary for Bihar. In 2008, Bihar was affected by the Kosi Floods, and as I watched my father work on the rehabilitation project to support the recovery of the flood, I soon found myself joining in to help. It was from that time that I was keen to study water and develop a deeper understanding of how to prevent water-related disasters and other aspects in this field.
Bethel: During my early years in college, I enjoyed studying the different branches of mathematics and physics, which later led me to choose a degree in Civil and Building Engineering in university. I fell in love with building structural design when I landed my first co-op internship with a reputed local firm specialising in structural design in Montreal, Canada. After my first internship, I pursued my major and advanced studies in structural engineering at university.
Geetika: My father, who was an electromechanical engineer is my inspiration. He comes from a small village in Madhya Pradesh called ‘Bamankhedi’ where he made a name for himself. I grew up in Mumbai, known as the city of dreams and of tall buildings which inclined me towards civil engineering.
Archana: When I was young, I once broke my favourite aeroplane toy and was relentlessly trying to fix it, my father then called me a little engineer, that was when my interest in the field first sparked. I went on to learn more about engineering and aspired to be one and that is how I became an engineer.
Prajnya: Through my years of experience, I have worked with different states in India and also catered to the water needs of neighbouring countries, and from this experience, I clearly understand how critical it is to work in this field and enhance the water sector. My primary motivation has always been to be able to develop and contribute to this field.
Bethel: I am passionate about seeking solutions that improve the quality of life for society, as well as partner with like-minded people and organisations to drive change in communities. Outside of work, I enjoy volunteering with Engineers Without Borders (EWB), which provides me the opportunity to collaborate with motivated and philanthropic young engineers from around the world to support and build underprivileged neighbourhoods in third world countries.
Geetika: A continuous desire to learn new things and explore challenging opportunities is what keeps me motivated. Currently, I am enjoying working on airport projects which connect the world.
Archana: Everyday at work is new with a different task and a unique problem to solve, this puts my analytical thinking into play and gives me a boost to come back to work and solve newer problems. There is so much to learn and innovate in this field that it keeps me motivated all the time.
Prajnya: Water is a niche sector in engineering, but I see more women coming forward to work in this field. By working in areas like these which have not been considered as a profession for women, I believe that we are setting a precedent for future generations to follow.
Bethel: I admire many women engineers who have gone on to influence society and make great contributions such as; Julie Payette ex-Canadian Astronaut from Montreal and the current Governor General of Canada, Marillyn Hewson the ex-CEO of Lockheed Martin, Ginni Rometty who is the CEO of IBM, Zhang Xin one of the top Real Estate Developers are just a few names out of the many successful women engineers and entrepreneurs who take part in key roles that shape our world today.
Geetika: Women engineers shape the world with their dedication and discipline. I believe that women have inherent attributes that make them good engineers. For instance, women tend to be more observant, which enables them to make assumptions which are close to actual.
Archana: Women are inherently curious, pay attention to detail, are creative and have the ability to multitask. Throughout the world, in different fields of engineering, women are making a mark for themselves and the world has also become more welcoming and supportive of giving women an equal chance.
Prajnya: Once you decide on a career stream, you should keep at it and not give up despite the challenges, which are inevitable and a part of learning. When you are older, you can look back at the work you did and feel proud of your achievement despite all obstacles you met on the way.
Bethel: I encourage female students to pursue their passion courageously in science, engineering, technology and mathematics with an unwavering mind, because hard work tends to avail much more than it is credited for.
Geetika: I would like to break the myth that engineering is a dull and unattractive career path. Engineering academics enhances your logic, and engineering practice enhances your vision. From atomic reactor to Tesla automobile technology, from Apple gadgets to Burj Khalifa, from freshwater supply to air quality improvements, these are all handled by engineers. Engineering is a challenging field but gives you the scope to innovate.
Archana: Always choose the field of your interest and engineering is diversified with many branches, so make a wise decision to have a successful career and a bright future ahead. Consider the world as a platform to showcase your skills, so always be confident and keep your learning attitude on, it will surely help you shine.