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Empowering Women in Engineering: A Journey of Overcoming Challenges and Making Strides

Empowering Women in Engineering: A Journey of Overcoming Challenges and Making Strides

Shreya Barlingay, B.E. Computer Science, earned her degree from BITS Pilani (Dubai, ‘17). She currently serves as an Operations Associate at RCHEMIE International LLC.

Could you share a particular accomplishment of any role you are especially proud of and have contributed to women’s empowerment?

The feeling of being a mother is my most significant achievement to date. I felt that I held the greatest strength as well as the greatest weakness at the same time. I was empowered by how I could do anything for my child.

How has the landscape for women in your field changed since your time at BITS Pilani? What positive changes or challenges have you observed?

Women then and now continue to grow in every field, but I observed that the perspective of looking at them differently and judging them based on gender has drastically changed for the better.

Are there any female mentors or role models who have influenced your journey, and how have they inspired or guided you in your professional or personal life?

Not one but many; every woman I meet has something great to impart. But to name one, Dr. Kalaichelvi pushed me to achieve bigger and better goals during my BITS years. Being an engineering woman, she never failed to amaze me and set a great example for me.

What advice would you offer to current female students at BITS Pilani that would help them make their mark after graduation and foster their career growth?

  1. Never consider yourself lesser than anybody.
  2. You have the power to achieve things that are beyond comprehension.
  3. Be unstoppable and unintimidated.

Tell us about some of the work you do. What skills/values have you learned at BITS that have helped you excel in your work?

I work as an Operations Associate and Social Media Manager. A major part of my role is to ensure full compliance throughout our company operations and content creation for social media platforms. My BITS degree has helped me in many ways; it gave me a great sense of confidence, and as they rightly say, confidence is key.

What steps can universities and corporations take as a whole to foster a more inclusive and equitable environment for women in STEM?

Stop considering them differently. For example, if men can stay back and work, so can women. The organization’s job is to create a safer environment for female students to spend hours on research and nothing else.

Were there any challenges you faced as a female student or professional, and how did you overcome them? What lesson did you learn from those experiences?

I have faced discriminatory treatment in my professional life. The way to deal with this is to ignore it and get on with your work. There is no need to prove anything to anyone. You know your power; if not this, there are always better prospects.