March 03 2015 21Comments

Female Engineers – Winning with the Velvet Glove

So this blog and others like it have exhausted the facts and figured about women in engineering and how wonderful it all is for us to be there. I want to talk about something I’ve experienced that gave a new spin on why companies should hire and promote female engineers. Not all female engineers will agree to this but there is something to say about the inherent soft-skills that women possess and how this can be put to use to the advantage of the project team.

One of the first female engineers in the South African construction industry told me that a female engineer should always be wearing a boxing glove on one hand, and a velvet glove on the other. Well most of my career thus far has involved me using the boxing glove, in recent months I’ve come to understand what the old bird meant about the velvet glove.
On my first project with my new company, I was eager to earn respect within the team as a project engineer. Somewhere along the way, I started doing more Client-interfacing. I coordinated and accompanied the Clients team to site-visits, met with people to diffuse difficult situations and managed their (very long) wishlist of changes and corrections on the plant. The more I worked in this role, the more I liked it and the more my PM/ project sponsor assigned me to these tasks.
Was this hard engineering? No – really it wasn’t. The hard-engineering decisions were still taken between corresponding engineers on their team and ours. Yes, I missed the hard engineering of being on site and making things happen, and the pace and impact of project engineering. But there is a certain level of technical know-how required to interact with a technical Client’s team, that made it necessary for an engineer to do this. And somewhere along the way, I guess someone realised that I could be good at this.
Having a really large Client’s team (up-side of 20 individuals) it really was difficult to manage every request and expectation. I flew to the middle of the Northern Cape, as well as to Cape Town several times to meet with individuals and groups to ensure they were being personally attended to. I really put my heart into this as I could see its affect on the project and our image as a company. I find that so often, we forget the impact of the image we portray at a grass-roots level after a project is sold.
I left the Company before the project’s completion and before I did, I had many calls from members on our Client’s team to say goodbye and good luck. Although, truthfully, I probably did less for the project’s execution than any other engineer on the team, it was unbelievable to hear the feedback I received. Contemplating on it, I realise that this is something that maybe is missing from engineering consultancies. Balancing Client relationships with project progress is a PM function, but with the masses of time a PM has to spend on project execution, he/ she can’t also afford to take care of the requests and concerns of an entire Client team as well.
Female engineers are ideal for this role that requires charisma as well a technical prowess, professionalism and charm. Being – for the most part – better communicators than men, less intimidating and more accommodating, women at the Client-interface can reshape the image of a company. Women with good interpersonal skills can be trained to work at the apex of technical, project and social interactions – perfect for Client relationship-building in a technically-minded industry. Their unique set of skills tied to their femininity can be a great advantage to their careers and this should be leveraged by project managers and sponsors.

nycvhiuwstryt

21 comments

  1. rg2 h tht bh

  2. cześć chcialbym Ci zaoferowac uslugi

  3. I like the efforts you have put in this, thank you for all the great content.

  4. ¿Necesita un préstamo rápido por Internet o un préstamo por Internet? Consulta nuestra oferta.

  5. I intended to compose you a bit of note in order to give many thanks again about the awesome basics you’ve contributed above. It’s generous of people like you giving easily all a few individuals could have advertised as an e-book in making some bucks for their own end, and in particular considering that you could have done it if you considered necessary. The basics additionally acted as a easy way to be aware that many people have a similar passion the same as my very own to see way more with regards to this problem. I think there are thousands of more pleasurable times up front for those who start reading your website.

  6. I needed to draft you one little observation so as to say thank you as before for those great knowledge you’ve documented here. It has been certainly pretty generous of people like you to convey freely exactly what a number of people could possibly have made available as an e book to earn some cash for their own end, chiefly considering that you could have done it if you considered necessary. The creative ideas additionally acted as the easy way to be certain that most people have a similar dream just like mine to find out a little more in regard to this condition. I’m certain there are lots of more enjoyable moments ahead for folks who discover your blog.

  7. I intended to create you a bit of note just to give thanks again for all the breathtaking guidelines you’ve discussed at this time. It’s extremely generous of people like you in giving publicly just what many individuals might have offered for an ebook to generate some dough for themselves, mostly now that you might have tried it in case you desired. These principles as well served to be a good way to fully grasp that other people online have the identical fervor much like my personal own to know the truth many more regarding this matter. I am sure there are numerous more pleasant periods in the future for many who looked over your site.

  8. I am commenting to let you know of the fantastic encounter my cousin’s daughter experienced reading your site. She even learned many issues, not to mention what it’s like to have a wonderful giving mindset to have many people quite simply grasp chosen grueling subject areas. You really exceeded our expectations. Many thanks for giving the informative, healthy, educational and as well as easy thoughts on the topic to Jane.

  9. I wanted to send you the very little remark to finally thank you the moment again over the remarkable tactics you have shared on this page. This has been simply surprisingly open-handed with you to offer unhampered what most of us would’ve offered for sale for an ebook to help make some money on their own, precisely seeing that you might have tried it in case you desired. Those suggestions in addition worked to become good way to realize that some people have the identical keenness similar to my personal own to realize significantly more when it comes to this matter. I believe there are several more pleasant sessions up front for people who scan your site.

  10. I am also writing to make you know what a impressive encounter my friend’s girl gained reading through your web page. She learned plenty of pieces, which include what it’s like to possess an amazing helping mood to let most people smoothly know several impossible subject matter. You truly exceeded our own expectations. Thank you for offering these invaluable, safe, explanatory and even fun tips about this topic to Julie.

  11. I simply wanted to thank you so much once more. I do not know what I would’ve taken care of without these suggestions shared by you regarding that subject. It was actually an absolute intimidating problem in my position, nevertheless taking a look at this specialized tactic you solved the issue took me to leap with happiness. I will be happy for your service and thus sincerely hope you really know what an amazing job you have been putting in teaching some other people using your webblog. Most likely you haven’t got to know any of us.

  12. I precisely needed to appreciate you once again. I am not sure the things that I might have handled in the absence of the entire points provided by you on such a problem. It has been a very frightful dilemma in my circumstances, however , noticing the skilled mode you processed that made me to jump over fulfillment. I am happier for this help and in addition hope that you know what a great job you are always getting into instructing others through the use of your web blog. I know that you have never encountered all of us.

  13. My spouse and i got quite glad that John could deal with his preliminary research through the ideas he grabbed out of your web page. It’s not at all simplistic to just continually be giving out methods that many others have been selling. And we also fully understand we have got the website owner to be grateful to for that. The main explanations you have made, the simple site menu, the friendships you can help foster – it’s got many great, and it’s really helping our son and the family imagine that the matter is excellent, and that is pretty indispensable. Thank you for everything!

  14. I simply wanted to thank you so much once more. I do not know what I would’ve taken care of without these suggestions revealed by you over that subject. It was an absolute intimidating problem in my position, nevertheless taking a look at this specialized style you resolved the issue took me to leap with happiness. I will be happy for your service and then sincerely hope you realize what an amazing job you have been providing teaching some other people using your webblog. Most likely you haven’t got to know any of us.

  15. My spouse and i got quite happy that John managed to do his preliminary research through the entire precious recommendations he grabbed out of your web pages. It is now and again perplexing to just continually be giving out procedures which others may have been selling. So we grasp we have got the writer to give thanks to for that. The main illustrations you have made, the simple web site navigation, the relationships you will help foster – it’s got many incredible, and it’s really helping our son in addition to us recognize that this theme is satisfying, which is certainly unbelievably vital. Thanks for the whole thing!

  16. I am just writing to make you understand what a notable experience my wife’s girl had using your web site. She mastered so many pieces, which included what it is like to possess an excellent helping nature to let other people with ease learn some problematic things. You truly surpassed people’s expected results. Thank you for producing these precious, trusted, informative and in addition fun tips about this topic to Lizeth.

  17. I simply wanted to thank you very much once more. I do not know what I would have tried without these techniques shared by you regarding that subject matter. It was before an absolute scary scenario in my position, nevertheless taking note of this specialized tactic you solved the issue took me to weep with happiness. Now i’m thankful for your support and thus trust you really know what an amazing job you were putting in training the mediocre ones via your webpage. Most probably you haven’t met any of us.

  18. My wife and i were very thrilled when Raymond managed to round up his web research with the precious recommendations he was given while using the weblog. It is now and again perplexing to simply possibly be releasing tricks which usually the rest might have been trying to sell. We really understand we now have you to thank for this. Those illustrations you made, the straightforward website navigation, the relationships your site make it possible to promote – it is mostly wonderful, and it is making our son in addition to us understand this topic is thrilling, which is certainly wonderfully vital. Thanks for the whole thing!

  19. Thanks for the advice on credit repair on this excellent site. Some tips i would tell people should be to give up the particular mentality that they may buy currently and shell out later. Being a society many of us tend to try this for many issues. This includes vacation trips, furniture, along with items we wish. However, you’ll want to separate your current wants out of the needs. If you are working to boost your credit score actually you need some trade-offs. For example you’ll be able to shop online to save cash or you can look at second hand merchants instead of high-priced department stores pertaining to clothing.

  20. Thank you for your entire labor on this web site. My mom really loves managing investigations and it is obvious why. My partner and i learn all regarding the lively tactic you produce sensible things through your web site and in addition invigorate response from the others on the situation then our favorite princess is truly starting to learn a whole lot. Take advantage of the rest of the year. You have been doing a stunning job.

  21. I am glad for writing to make you know what a nice encounter my wife’s girl had studying your web site. She mastered several pieces, which include what it’s like to possess an awesome helping nature to let other individuals with ease know precisely some problematic subject matter. You truly exceeded people’s expectations. Thank you for producing these practical, trusted, informative and in addition fun tips about this topic to Kate.

Write a Reply or Comment