June 23rd is International Women in Engineering Day. Celebrated around the world and recognized by UNESCO, it is a day to honor the women of engineering making strides in this field.
To celebrate the achievements of women in engineering, we asked Natalie Stepchinsky, P.E. - Lead Engineer CTH - Mechanical Engineering at Baker Hughes Flexible Pipe Systems Onshore for her thoughts.
Q: What inspired you to go into Engineering?
A: I knew I wanted to go into engineering because of the problem solving and I enjoy learning how the world works. I started with GE Oil & Gas in 2013 after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.
Q: What is a surprising fact about engineering that you think most people wouldn't know?
A: We don’t always know the answer off the bat! There are times when we have to go back and do some research and consult with our peers to make sure we give you the best solutions.
Q: What excites you most about your role and its future?
A: My role within FPS Onshore is all about bringing energy solutions to our customers. We are focused on ways to help reduce customer costs, carbon footprints, and continually looking at ways to expand our offering. There is a lot of potential for growth and new product development, which is exciting as an engineer because I get to be involved in developing new technologies.
Q: What advice to you have for any woman looking to go into engineering?
A: My advice would be to keep at it. The world is changing and I have found my peers, both in my career and in university, to be very supportive. Seek out people to be part of your network to coach you and help you grow as an engineer and continually look for ways to learn. There is so much knowledge to be gained and definitely people who have had similar experiences who can guide you on your journey.
Q: In 2016 you won the Women & Technology Award - Product Innovation and Outstanding Technical Achievement. Can you tell us a little about that experience?
Earning the Women & Technology Award was a very inspiring and humbling experience. I felt I was just doing my job to better a product and improve the experience for both our customers and our manufacturing team and the change was such a small change on a very tiny component. Although, it did promise to have some big effects on reducing downtime and making assembly of the valve easier.
My manager at the time informed me he was going to nominate me for the award – he was always very supportive of me as an engineer and always tried to find ways to help me better myself and gain new experiences. My engineering director at the time was also very supportive and offered her time to help me rehearse my presentation and prepare for the event.
Each nominee had a 2-minute presentation in front of women leaders in the organization. It was inspiring to hear about all the women engineers doing big things within the business and how much support each of us had from our colleagues.
I learned that even the smallest changes can make a big difference and that I had a lot more support to develop as an engineer than I ever dreamed.
Help Build towards a brighter future, explore a career in engineering at Baker Hughes.