International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) – Meet Supplier Development Engineer, Alice An, Anders Dongguan, China

Alice An, Supplier Development Engineer, Anders Dongguan, China

International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is an international awareness campaign which raises the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry. INWED focuses attentiveness on the many opportunities for women in engineering, at a time when it has never been more important to address the engineering skills shortage. It is critical to encourage girls to consider engineering careers and to help fill the substantial future job opportunities predicted for the engineering sector. The theme for #INWED21 this year is ‘Engineering Heroes’, and to support the cause  we sat down with one of Anders’ engineering heroes, Alice to find out about her and her drive and ambition to enter engineering whilst raising awareness for the need for gender parity.

Alice, what can you tell us about yourself? 

I am from the Jiangsu Province, located in central China. I graduated from Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, and I’ve had an extensive career in my chosen field with 18 years dedicated to the LCD industry.

What is your current role in engineering? 

I am a ‘Supplier Development Engineer.’  Basically, I am responsible for evaluating new suppliers and supervising their quality and stability. At Anders, we are dedicated to designing and delivering quality products and have operated a Quality Management System (QMS) since 1990, which evaluates the design, customisation and supply of displays, embedded solutions, and related technologies to B2B customers through a process driven approach. We are a member of BSI and comply with ISO9001:2015

What inspired you to go into engineering and what inspiration do you find to keep innovating?

I started my career in a sales function.  That role gave me an excellent grounding to understand LCD technology and the solution/products on offer.  Anders value experience from all walks of life and give all team members an excellent technical and engineering baseline to work from as part of the onboarding experience.  Drawing from previous knowhow, an aptitude for technical details, and being a curious person by nature, I naturally gravitated into my role in Quality.

Do you feel that engineering is a male dominated field?

It is true that there are fewer female engineers in engineering. But, in Anders I don’t see any difference in the opportunities that are open between a female engineer and a male engineer.

As an engineer facing the project, I solve problems whilst communicating with the manufacturing facility that I am coordinating the specific project with.  It’s my hope that in order to complete this role to the best of my ability, my gender isn’t taken into consideration.

What does International Women in Engineering Day mean to you?

Women in Engineering Day marks the achievements of Women who have chosen this challenging field.  People celebrate this day because it stands for equality and development.  In the electronics industry, we still have a long road to equality ahead of us, but I hope companies like Anders can showcase that it’s about the best person for the job, the most suited, or the most qualified, regardless of gender.

Why do you think it is important to encourage woman into engineering roles?

It’s important to make more women aware of the varying roles in electronics engineering, we need everyone to see beyond the stereotypes that the media presents.

What do you think more workplaces should do to encourage more women into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)?

We need to encourage young girls to develop spatial skills and lay the foundation for further engineering exploration as they grow up.

Build a more inclusive engineering community. This includes holding engineering interest groups in the workplace that include women.

Some women are discouraged by the idea that engineering is a man’s world. I’d like for young women to talk to experienced female engineers so they can understand that gender balance has a positive impact on the field today.

Do you have any advice for anyone considering a career in engineering?

Find your passion, if that’s in engineering, enter it and keep on learning.

Lastly, what does Anders do to attract and retain women in engineering?

Anders presents an inclusive working environment and the opportunity for continuous learning.  The management provide a pathway cushioned with support to enable all to follow their career ambitions.

​International Women in Engineering Day celebrated its seventh year in 2020 with a very different campaign to the norm.

In 2020 they are aiming to reach as many people as possible. They have asked everyone to encourage friends, relatives, and colleagues in as many countries as possible to be involved in our celebrations appreciating the contribution women engineers make.

Thank you for helping us all to celebrate the outstanding achievements of women engineers throughout the world and helping us to #ShapeTheWorld on 23 June this year!

x Brown