International Women’s Day GE’s female leaders share their perspectives

GE has long been committed to women’s  advancement both in society and in the workplace. In this post, some of GE’s  female leaders, both in Africa and elsewhere, share advice and reveal what  it’s like to work in a male-dominated field.

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GE has long been committed to women’s  advancement both in society and in the workplace. In this post, some of GE’s  female leaders, both in Africa and elsewhere, share advice and reveal what  it’s like to work in a male-dominated field. play GE has long been committed to women’s advancement both in society and in the workplace. In this post, some of GE’s female leaders, both in Africa and elsewhere, share advice and reveal what it’s like to work in a male-dominated field.
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This year’s International Women’s  Day, observed on 8 March, has gender parity as its theme – or, in other  words, the ratio of women to men with access to the same levels of education  and opportunities.

GE has long been committed to women’s  advancement both in society and in the workplace. In this post, some of GE’s  female leaders, both in Africa and elsewhere, share advice and reveal what  it’s like to work in a male-dominated field.

Challenge  Stereotypes

The so-called STEM industries – science, technology, engineering and maths – have struggled to attract women, in part as a result of social expectations that men are more suited to this type of work. However, women in these careers have found that even though they have been told they don’t have the mindset for a technical position, they have thrived in these roles and shattered stereotypes.

play Alexandra Munteanu, GE Healthcare  Country Manager for Romania and Moldova.

 

“There are specific jobs where a  more technical mind set is needed, but there are many women with great  technical skills and with the proper help, they can build on this talent and  reach the career they work for and deserve. In the Healthcare sector we are  quite balanced with regards to the gender workforce split. I always encourage  young women to embrace their true passions when it comes to choosing their  careers, as this is one of the most important ingredients for success, no  matter the sector where they intend to build it,” says Alexandra Munteanu, GE Healthcare Country Manager for Romania and Moldova.

Fight for Work/Life Balance

Some technical industries can  seem uninviting to women who want to work but are also conscious of family  responsibilities and expectations.  Many  women consider work/life balance a non-negotiable when evaluating job  opportunities. Oil and gas companies in particular can have a hard time  attracting female candidates as the sector is associated with lengthy periods  spent on oil rigs without family contact. Setting boundaries and having  conversations with managers about needs for family and personal time are  vital to creating a more welcoming workplace.

play Julie Dewane, vice president Global Supply Chain, GE Oil & Gas Global, based in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

“The industry just needs to  present a more compelling picture of the benefits offered for working mothers,”  says Julie Dewane, vice president Global Supply Chain, GE Oil & Gas Global, based in Boston, Massachusetts. “I  don’t think we do a good job of painting an appealing picture of engineering  for young women and this is something we need to work on as an industry,” she said.

Take Advantage Of Company Resources

Many companies offer support  networks for women that include training, mentorship and general  encouragement as women travel through their professional journeys.

GE has its  own network, GEWN, and many women have found its resources vital in  succeeding at work.

“GE has seen my potential and  supported me in my career progress efforts,”says Carol Koech Jenbacher Sales  Leader for Sub-Saharan Africa. “Learning about senior executives’ experiences  through the Women’s Network events has really inspired me. There is this  feeling that everything is possible for women.”

play Irene Kathukya, Engine Sales Leader  for Africa at GE Aviation

 

Above  All – Have Confidence And Do Your Work Well

When it comes down to it, hard  work will be rewarded. Women performing high quality work and confidently  setting examples for other female employees will only improve the state of  women in the workplace.

Irene Kathukya, Engine Sales Leader  for Africa at GE Aviation, said: “This is not about your gender, but about  the excellence of your work and delivery.”

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