To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), we talk to some our female engineers about their experience of being a woman in engineering.
Name: Asha Koshy
Job title: Manager, Systems Engineering & Support
Location: GKN Aerospace India, Bangalore (GAI)
Asha Koshy joined GKN Aerospace’s Bangalore office in India (GAI) in 2010 as a Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) analysis lead. During the past seven years she has held a number of different roles and is now Systems Engineering and Support Manager.
“After more than ten years technical experience, my current role has broadened my horizon and develops my networking skills. I am tasked with developing an entirely new department within GAI, which pushes me to think more strategically and to look at engineering more from a business development view. It gives me much satisfaction that over the last year, I have been able to build up a competent team that works in a domain which is completely different from my own core competence.”
“Balancing a family with two children and a career in India is definitely a daunting task. Before I joined GKN, I was looking for a place where I could be myself, where I could evenly balance my family and career, where I could pace my career as well as have the freedom to explore and broaden my knowledge in a fairly flexible way. GKN has provided me all that. I also my family to thank for all the support I get from them, which helped me in my career.”
Asha’s natural interest in mathematics and an analytical mind, along with inspiration from her dad during her childhood, are the main triggers for Asha’s interest in engineering. “As a kid I used to watch my dad with his own tool sets, building and fixing things up that inspired me to explore, dismantle and assemble things on my own”.
When Asha stepped into the world of engineering, she soon realised it was more male dominated and to compete with her male colleagues, to stay at par with them and to move along with them was a great challenge, especially in Indian culture. Asha was the only female in her class at university and the same trend followed when she joined GE Aviation in her first job. The initial days were hard, but they also shaped Asha’s career and turned out to be experiences that teach her to cope, win and grow. “Now when I look back, I know it was worth all the effort”.
In a previous company, Asha had the privilege to co-author a technical book for the International Association for the Engineering Modelling, Analysis and Simulation Community (NAFEMS), which is one of the first books written by any Indian authors in the NAFEMS series. “As a female, I am proud to tribute to the Indian engineering community.”
“Pursue your heart’s desires. Be it a small task or big, take one step at a time; compete with yourself and not with others. You are sure to face obstacles. Keep moving forward, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, but never quit. I believe opportunity will come knocking your way.” This is Asha’s advice to everyone.