International Women’s Day – Amy Markham

“Representation of women in engineering is key to attracting more young girls to aspire to get involved in engineering.”

Amy Markham

What did you want to be when you were younger?  

I really wanted to be one of the ground crewmembers that wave the orange batons when an aircraft is landing. Although my ambitions have changed slightly, I’d say I followed through with that dream at a tangent!

What was your first job?

My first job was working as a hostess at Mdina Bastions Ltd in Malta; I got this job when I was 15 and started working at the age of 16. The role involved distributing leaflets for an exhibition in a tourist area close to my hometown and walking them through the exhibition. Since then, I’ve had a part-time job throughout school and University; it makes me feel self-sufficient.

Have you always wanted to work for an engineering company? Why?

I never had any sort of inclination to pursue Engineering or work in the Engineering Industry until I started applying for University. However, I have always been interested in how things work and problem solving.

What attracted you to Siemens?

Siemens is integrated in a lot of technology I use on a day-to-day basis. The familiarity of the company name and its legacy sparked an interest in me. Last year as part of my university course, I learnt to use one of Siemens’ CFD products; Simcenter STAR-CCM+. Being a part of an organization like Siemens is a great honor!

How has the role of women in engineering changed over the past 5 years? Have you seen things change in gender equality? Diversity? 

I think engineering has taken a big step forward in the last 5 years. The number of women pursuing engineering continues to increase year by year, which is a very positive trend. Representation of women in engineering is key to attracting more young girls to aspire to get involved in engineering, which enforces the importance of bodies (NGOs, government, and big corporations) that promote the importance of women in STEM. I believe that although improvements have been made, the world is yet to see the vast capabilities that women have to offer.

What is the favorite part of your job? 

As an intern, I’m creating visual content for campaigns using STAR-CCM+, a Simcenter software. This is particularly interesting to me as it combines creativity and technology, making the job very interesting and engaging. Eventually, I would like to get involved in promoting engineering, and STEM, to young girls at schools too! 

This has been quite a year. What is the toughest part of working from home? Do you think working at home has been the same for both men and women?  

This is a tricky question – I don’t think either gender has had it particularly easy. Mental health was a big factor to everyone’s wellbeing during the pandemic and working from home can massively affect one’s mental health. Pre-pandemic data suggests that women spend triple the amount of time that men spend on household tasks. This, along with time spent schooling children put a massive burden on women during the pandemic, making it harder to deal with the expectations of working from home.

Has the pandemic created other challenges for you personally?   

I couldn’t get home for Christmas, which was a bit tough as I haven’t seen my family since July. Apart from this, I really can’t complain – I have a very tight-knit group of friends who provide great company and a constant supply of tea; not much else I can ask for!

We will never work in the same way again. What “positives” will you take with you when the pandemic is behind us?    

I have learnt to be more mindful of others in this pandemic. Mental health was at the forefront throughout this past year This made me aware that mental illnesses can sometimes go under the radar, even with close friends. It only takes a few seconds to send to check up on a friend.

What advice do you have for young women considering engineering or a technical career?    

If you believe you can do it, then go for it! Don’t let societal norms and expectations influence you. I’ve had a few people who doubted my career choices along the way. Don’t let someone else’s thoughts bring you down – you can do it!

And, in honor of International Women’s Day, is there a woman you particularly admire or look up to? Could you explain why?

Amy Markham's mum
Amy and her mum

My mother has always been and continues to be the person I admire and look up to. She is an exceptional, loving and caring person and this can also be seen in her work. She is a family doctor and has been working at the same practice for as long as I remember. She loves her job and only has her patient’s best interests at heart!

Celebrate International Women’s Day by finding out more about our female Simcenter heroes here.

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