Home » Our People » International Women’s Day 2023 » Agnieszka Trond – Graduate Engineer

Hi Agnieszka, thanks for your time. Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?

“I’m originally from Poland and I studied for my BSc in Mechanical Engineering and MSc in Petroleum Engineering in Turin, Italy. Following that, I went on to do an internship in a refinery and then straight into the graduate programme at Seaway7.”

What attracted you to the Renewables sector?

“I was attracted to the sector, and specifically to Seaway7 by the good graduate programme. I feel that in the industry, there is room to grow and support available to develop my career and experience. I am intrigued by all of the possibilities for the future.”

What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?

“In one of the countries I lived in, there was a government initiative to introduce a recommended quota of women and men hired to particular sectors, ultimately trying to address the gender split of the work force. The initiative was well-intentioned, however in my experience the application of it was quite divisive. In one interview I attended, the interviewer commented that I would be a good hire for them as it would help them meet their metric. Honestly, that will probably always stay with me, whenever I go for an interview – am I being interviewed on merit, or are we just filling a quota?

In university, however, there were a few of my professors who I found were quick to dismiss females with generalising statements about a woman’s capability in engineering or maths. In the beginning I tried to address it head on, but after a while, I just accepted it and got on with proving them wrong. Let’s see in 20 years who was right!

I would say that in my working life, there have been no big challenges. Often I will notice that I am the only woman working in a group of men, which sometimes seems like it could be a barrier to bonding with the team, but in reality, it has never been an issue. I have always found Seaway7 to be a super supportive team.”

Why do you feel is it important to recognise International Women’s Day?

“In my opinion it’s a great opportunity to highlight how everyone could benefit from a diverse workplace. There is a vast amount of research proving that mixed-gender teams produce more novel and impactful scientific research than single-gender teams so in my opinion it’s worth mentioning during IWD that it’s not only about appreciating women but also how everyone could benefit from it”

What are the biggest challenges that we face as an industry to attract more females into our sector? How can we overcome them?

“I see that raising awareness and promoting STEM subjects is really important – there are still ingrained stereotypes about women’s technical capabilities. If you are told at a young age that you don’t have a skill because of your gender, it sticks. In my opinion we should just encourage and help everyone to pursue their interests.”

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