To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), we talk to some our female engineers about their experience of being a woman in engineering.
Name: Megha Gunti
Job title: Configuration Manager for DR990 Engine program
Location: GKN Aerospace, Bangalore, India
When Megha Gunti chose to study aeronautical engineering at India’s Institute of Aeronautical Engineering in 2001, she was one of only four girls in her class of 60 students. Today she is the only engineer in her family. Her inquisitive nature and interest in how things work, together with her passion and determination have helped her succeed but she’s had to fight hard to prove herself.
“Five years ago I split up from my husband. Divorce remains a fairly taboo subject in India, although this is improving, and for my own safety and wellbeing I was under pressure to leave my job and move home with my parents. I had to convince my family I was truly passionate about my work. Overcoming the pressure from the society was my biggest challenge and every morning when I wake up and go to work I have great sense of satisfaction that I stood up for myself. Today when I meet my parents they are very proud of their daughter’s decision.”
She cites self-belief as a key enabler for females in male-dominated industries. “For any females interested in science and engineering, you just have to believe in yourself. It can take a lot to build the required skills and push the limits of the mind. But the mind has a lot of untapped potential and does not have a gender. I love being part of that challenge.”
Megha joined Volvo Aero before it was acquired by GKN in 2011 as a configuration controller, and in GKN, has had opportunities to develop herself further. She is currently a team and technical lead, responsible for the configuration management of the DR990 engine program. “DR990 is an industrial gas turbine and we all feel so proud that GKN is the OEM for this engine program.”
“I enjoy leading and planning activities for configuration in collaboration with design. I am passionate about monitoring the design changes on the product, compiling the data and making sure it is implemented on the actual hardware and the technical documentation.”
“In GKN I feel my voice is heard and my opinion is taken seriously. The management is very keen to listen to employees’ feedback and puts lots of efforts in developing future leaders.”
In her spare time, Megha has a wide appetite for reading, ranging from ‘Flow theory’ by Hungarian psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, ‘Quantum Philosophy’ by Roland Omnes to fiction by English novelist PG Wodehouse. She also writes a lot. “I write whenever I am happy, sad, curious and anxious. I love to see how I am growing as a person so I found journaling helps clam my mind.”