On International Women in Engineering Day, we want to celebrate our brilliant women in engineering and their contributions to Caeli Nova and the wider aerospace industry.
Our women engineers hold some of the most critical roles in our business such as Puja, who leads our Design Engineering team, Mayte, who is our Chief of Office of Airworthiness and Cristina, who is our go-to engineer when problems get particularly tough. Their contribution, however, goes beyond their technical brilliance and leadership excellence. Their dedication to creating an inclusive and energising environment is valued by the entire Caeli Nova team and sets an extraordinary example for future generations.
We asked the Caeli Nova team why inclusivity matters to them and how they promote it. Here's what they had to say:
Mayte Esteban, Chief of Office of Airworthiness:
"I love working as an engineer, and I believe that my creativity is boosted when collaborating with my colleagues. I couldn't spend all that time at work and be my best self if I wasn't comfortable in that environment. Inclusivity is what has allowed me to work comfortably outside of the country where I was born for most of my career.
In the future, I would love to see more women being allowed to be creative and bringing a different view to the industry's challenges, whether technical, organizational, or business-related. I would like to see an end to female engineers leaving a company because they are not given interesting opportunities to apply and show their worth.
To promote inclusivity at Caeli Nova, I try to be empathetic and think of people's circumstances before jumping to conclusions or reacting. Inclusivity is also about acceptance, so I show myself more as 'how I am' and less as 'how I am expected to be.' I want others to feel empowered to do the same because I believe that visibility is the first step towards changing behaviours. Going forward, I want to encourage more women to take on STEM careers."
Puja Hazlehurst, Head of Product Engineering:
"Inclusivity matters to me because it enables a wider spectrum of ideas to come together, resulting in a better outcome for any problem being solved. Breaking stigmas and giving everyone an equal opportunity, regardless of gender, is a journey I want to be part of.
In the future, I would love to see half of all engineers being female and for them to enter the industry feeling just as confident in their abilities as their male peers.
I always try to create safe environments for individuals to be themselves and encourage them to develop the best version of themselves, rather than comparing or copying someone else.
When recruiting for engineering and leadership positions, I actively target having at least one female applicant for every male applicant by reaching out and encouraging women to apply for roles they may not have the confidence to apply for. Going forward, I will attend more engineering events attended by female undergraduates to show them that anyone can be an engineer and have a voice in the industry."
Cristina Reynal, Design Engineer:
"Inclusivity is important to me because it encourages innovation, fairness and a positive work environment. By embracing different perspectives, we can solve complex problems better, but it also ensures equal opportunities for everyone, reduces biases and helps people feel comfortable at work.
The change I would like to see in the engineering industry concerning women in engineering is more female representation, more inclusive cultures, fewer biases, more education and awareness, and better support networks for career development. By embracing these changes, we can create an industry that realises the full potential of women's talents and contributions, benefiting the whole industry.
At Caeli Nova, I like to encourage open and respectful communication across all team members. I think it's important that everyone's voice is heard and valued. In the future, I want to celebrate our diversity more often, encouraging everyone to share their experiences and learn from one another. Also, I will continue to promote reflection and recognition of our own biases across the team to create a safe space for everyone."
Jarred Durling, Senior Design Engineer:
"Inclusion matters to me because it allows me to be myself and perform at my highest level. When I feel valued, respected, and included in the workplace, I can bring my authentic self to the table, enhancing my confidence and productivity. When individuals from different backgrounds come together, we can leverage our unique experiences and insights to approach issues from various angles.
At Caeli Nova, I'm actively working towards creating an inclusive environment by communicating with my colleagues in a friendly and respectful manner, using humour when appropriate to make people feel comfortable and at ease. During problem-solving meetings, I set the stage and make it clear that every suggestion is valuable, eliminating the prospect of 'silly' ideas. These actions help encourage a welcoming atmosphere where everyone feels included and empowered to contribute their ideas.
To create a more inclusive environment at Caeli Nova, I would like to understand my colleagues' backgrounds better to further understand their viewpoints and get to know them on a more personal level. I will achieve this by encouraging everyone to join and be part of the Caeli Nova 'Roundtable' discussions, which gives team members the forum to discuss and share their past experiences."
Victoria Salter, CFO:
"My passion for inclusivity is enabling women to continue to progress their careers after having children. Whether that is working flexible hours or working part-time, I trust my team to get the job done in the way that best suits them.
One of our engineers said that she is happy to have female leadership in the company as she can aspire to having a senior role and a family alongside each other. If I can be this role model in any way, then I'm delighted! It shows that, in the right company, you can be dedicated to both career and family. We try to build a culture within Caeli Nova, for men and women, that allows this to be possible."
Pablo Reguera Duran, Design Engineer:
"Inclusivity really matters to me because it's all about promoting fairness, equality, and respect for everyone. It's about embracing diversity and promoting collaboration, which unlocks the full potential of each individual. When we embrace inclusivity, we create communities where everyone feels valued, empowered, and able to contribute with their unique talents for a healthier society as a whole.
At Caeli Nova, we dedicate time to ensure our employees are aware of certain practices that reduce inclusivity. For example, we have built diversity into our recruitment processes by targeting underrepresented groups and implementing blind resume screening to mitigate bias. We have also introduced comprehensive sessions that educate employees about unconscious biases, cultural awareness, and inclusive behaviors, with team members feeling comfortable and free to share their own past experiences or current ones looking for improvements.
Creating an inclusive environment is an ongoing effort that requires commitment, open dialogue, and continuous improvement. Through mature conversations we can move towards a workplace where every employee feels valued, respected and empowered to enjoy and be themselves at work. Personally, I will get more involved in promoting more open sessions, looking to broaden the topics being discussed to help enrich our company culture further."
Tim Wakeford, CEO:
"Since founding Caeli Nova, we have always made it a priority to create an inclusive working environment for our team, in which everyone can feel comfortable bringing their true selves to work each day.
We're proud to have seen a diverse range of people join Caeli Nova and achieve a lot in a variety of roles over the last few years. Several of the women in our engineering function joined us as we were building the business and have had leading roles in many of our achievements, whilst taking on increasing levels of responsibility and moving into senior roles at the same time.
We believe that continuing to focus on building a diverse team in an inclusive setting will help to optimise our ability to find creative and effective solutions to the difficult aerospace engineering challenges that we look to solve at Caeli Nova.”
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