Going against the grain: insights from a woman in engineering
A recent study by Forbes found that only 21% of engineers in France are women.
We’re lucky enough to have Lise Abadie based in France as part of our expert network engineering team here at BSO. Here’s her story.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO A CAREER IN ENGINEERING?
I have always been passionate about science and like to understand how things work. I also prefer to be hands-on with my work where possible. With all this considered, a degree in engineering was the natural choice for me. During my studies, I then decided to specialise in telecommunications networks.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO BSO?
I started my career at a French telecoms operator, where I worked for several years on the national network and various B2C solutions. After four years, I decided I wanted to be part of an international company where I could work more closely with customers. That’s why I joined BSO.
Over the years at BSO, I have been fortunate enough to participate in a variety of projects and to interact with cutting-edge technologies. There are always new things to learn, network architectures to improve, and so on. What I enjoy most about my role at BSO is how dynamic and stimulating it is.
WHAT ARE YOUR DAILY CHALLENGES?
I would say meeting (and exceeding!) the expectations of our customers. My primary goal is customer satisfaction, which requires understanding their needs and constraints in order to provide the best possible service. This isn’t just in my team, it’s the whole company philosophy and something we all live by.
“I wanted to be part of an international company where I could work more closely with customers. That’s why I joined BSO.”
It is also important to keep abreast of technological developments and trends. I see more and more customers embracing digital transformation and it’s our job to make sure we stay ahead of the curve to support them with the innovative high-performance technology they need.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WORKING DAY LOOK LIKE?
My main role is to manage and operate BSO’s network infrastructure (LAN, WAN, MAN, Cloud) spanning 103 PoPs around the world.
My day starts like many others, by checking my emails. I then check the state of the network and identify high-priority tasks.
My job can be very fast-paced which means I always need to be responsive and keep a very close eye on customer incident tickets to ensure I can promptly treat any issues.
ENGINEERING IS OFTEN CONSIDERED A MALE-DOMINATED FIELD, HOW DO YOU REACT TO THIS PERCEPTION?
I must admit that I know very few women in engineering, but I would like to see many more! It’s great to see initiatives – like International Women in Engineering Day– which broadcast women in STEM fields and promote gender diversity.
Engineers are often portrayed as geeks who play video games and repair computers in their spare time. This is often not the case, I spend most of my time playing sports and spending valuable time with my friends and family.
Engineers are often portrayed as geeks who play video games and repair computers in their spare time.
At BSO, my gender doesn’t come into play. I work in a team of engineers passionate about their jobs, with a strong team spirit. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming which is extremely important to me. We share the same interests and work together to achieve the same goals.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN HOPING TO BECOME ENGINEERS?
Don’t be shy! If you’re interested in engineering, get out there and speak to other women in engineering to discuss their experiences and the different paths you can take.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE AT BSO IN 2018?
I want to continue to improve my technical knowledge and expertise. BSO has just acquired wireless technology provider Apsara Networks, which presents an excellent opportunity for me to discover more about this technology!
Interested in learning more about the people behind BSO?