Many technical companies run programmes designed to introduce graduates to the workplace which are increasingly appealing to women and Eaton, a global technology leader in power management in the electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power sectors is one of them.

 

Helping women realise their dreams in tech

The Eaton Leadership Development Program – Engineering & Technology is designed for graduates entering the company: one of them is Maria Zaretskaya, 24, a graduate of the University of Southampton with a degree in aerospace engineering, having done A-levels in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry. She is about to embark on the second half of the two-year programme. Previously, while at university, she did internships with the European Space Agency and spent six months living in Paris as part of the ERASMUS program, a European student exchange programme.

“In my first year I worked in hydraulics at Portsmouth,” says Maria, who was originally from Minsk, Belarus, but who has lived in the UK since she was 11.  “I was a product engineer helping to redesign part of a valve that is part of a product line of proportional valves used in wind turbines, heavy industry machinery and a great deal else.”

For her second year, Maria has just relocated to Turin, Italy, to work in the automotive department of the company. “I’ll be working on improving the efficiency of the valve actuation for advanced passenger car engines,” she says. And what exactly appeals about working in the technology industry? “It has so much variety,” she says. “And it’s exciting as you’re always on the edge of technological development.”

 

Success story

Katherine Chelliah, 25, finished the programme last year and is now a project engineer in fuel systems in Eaton’s aerospace division. In her case it was a love of airplanes that drew her towards the industry: her father was a pilot and as a child she was a member of the Air Cadets. As she grew older, she realised that she didn’t want to be a pilot herself but she did want to work with planes.

“When I finished my masters, I worked for a leading aircraft manufacturer,” says Katherine, who studied aerospace engineering at the University of Surrey. Eaton is a supplier to them which is how I got to know the company."

"Initially I was seduced by the glamour of aerospace, but now I love the constant learning involved.”

"One of the people on my college course was already working for Eaton as a stress engineer and encouraged me to come on board. When I joined the Leadership Development Program I spent a year working on a feasibility study about using additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing, within the industry.”

Katherine, who studied maths, physics and chemistry at A-level, now co-ordinates the different kinds of engineers working on any one project. “I’ve always liked physics and understanding how things work,” she says.

“I like seeing the separate parts of an aircraft and seeing how many hugely different components go into making one project. Initially I was seduced by the glamour of aerospace, but now I love the constant learning involved.”