More than 25 engineering students from all over Europe and Switzerland came and rocked Zühlke as part of the EESTEC Women in Engineering workshop.
If your are a female in the world of engineering, your get used to being one of only a few women in the room. Sometimes this few is just you alone. I wonder how our male organisers felt when they faced the same sort of situation for a whole week.
The EESTEC, the Electrical Engineering Students’ European Association committee of the ETH Zürich, organised a week-long event from 7th to 15th March that was full of academic, educational and fun events designed especially for women. Women who have decided to go for the awesome career of becoming an engineer, and who wanted to make sure during this packed workshop that nothing can stop them.
But let us return to the room, where women took full charge and had all the power for once (well, hopefully for the first but not only time) and leave behind all the stereotypes. This wasn’t just about physical space, but was about a concept, an arena.
On Thursday 12th, we had the pleasure of creating this arena together with some Zühlke female engineers at the office in Schlieren. So what had Zühlke in store for us? Our expectations had been set high. We had already participated in five days of the Women in Engineering workshop by that time. We had visited other companies, attended lectures and workshops. And we weren’t disappointed, as the event proved to be one of the highlights of our Programme (after being welcomed by a fantastic breakfast upon our arrival – no bad days start).
We were guided through the day by Chantal Buechi, Head of HR, who provided us with some invaluable insights into Zühlke, its culture and its way of working. But the core part of our visit was yet to come – a very interactive workshop with Zühlke female engineers. We were divided into four groups to discuss a selection of topics such as current affairs, identity, careers, recruiting and career advancement at top management levels and networking. A very sincere, open and no-questions-barred discussion proved to be of great value to all of us. A subsequent coffee break was followed by presentations of our ideas and by a generous lunch buffet. After taking a photo in the early spring sunshine in front of the office in the afternoon, we unfortunately had to embark on our next adventures.
I wonder what other people were thinking about seeing a group of twenty-five happy women walking around with violet packages of the fluffy Zühlke towels. We would like to thank Zühlke once again for organising this special event for our group. We really enjoyed every minute of it. And most importantly, we obtained many profound insights about our potential future careers and how to stop them grinding to a halt too early. We promise we will do our best to erase terms such as leaky pipeline or glass ceiling from the English vocabulary, be it by becoming role models ourselves or raising our future children in the name of equality. Let‘s go, women!
P.S. There is no end to the empowerment of women. Check out: