‘We Need More Women in Engineering’[People and Culture] Published 14-12-2022
Betsy Villa Brochero: ‘I have grown as a person, and as an engineer’
Meet Betsy, a graduate from Gunnebo’s new trainee programme
Betsy Villa Brochero is one of the first graduates from Gunnebo’s new Upskill trainee programme. Originally from Colombia, she has now begun working full-time for Gunnebo as an Automation and Digital Transformation Engineer at Gunnebo’s factory in Doetinchem, the Netherlands.
How did you become an Upskill trainee?
Since I was in high-school I had been looking for an opportunity like this. It was my dream always to live in a foreign country, to be independent and able to speak different languages.
I was looking for graduate traineeships, and I applied for Upskill in Germany. But had a call from Gunnebo HR to say there was an opportunity in the Netherlands and I would be a great fit for it.
I have learned a lot, I have grown as a person, and as an engineer. I learned a lot from people here who have a lot of experience. It has been a great journey for me.
Betsy programming an Artificial Intelligence machine on the shop floor
What was the most important thing you learned from Upskill?
That you need to improve your soft skills. I am a technical person, I get very excited when I talk about my project and technical subjects, it is what I like. But you also need to be able to develop your soft skills, to manage a project, to learn to handle people and present and communicate your ideas clearly even when you don’t speak the same language.
One class I really liked during the course for all Upskill trainees at London’s ESCP Business School was cross-cultural effectiveness. We are an international company, and I work with the Innovation Hub in Italy. I need to communicate with them nearly every day. Sometimes we disagree, and we need to handle these disagreements. I find this really fascinating that I work here but with a team from different countries.
What is it like being a woman in engineering?
To be honest, sometimes I feel a little intimidated, I am the only woman engineer here. We have some women in finance and administration, but in engineering I am the only girl. Sometimes I feel proud of myself.
I think it is import to include more women in this field, to see more female colleagues working on different projects together. I work as a volunteer for different organisations for women, Women in AI and Robotics, and also the Organization of Women in Science for the Developing World.
I try to inspire other girls, to try to send the message that they can also work in this field. That they don’t need to be afraid, that they can speak up and say what they think, that their ideas are valued too. It is a really interesting experience for me.
Why did you decide to accept the job offer with Gunnebo?
I really like my job, I really like what I do, I have a lot of freedom, I can talk directly to my manager, my opinion is valued at Gunnebo. Even when I was a trainee they asked me what do I think, what is my opinion and ideas. I feel at home, it’s like my family, they help me when I need it.
My life is really nice here. I cycle to work. I like my job, I can work with robots and automation. I work with a really good team, and my boss is a really good person, he listens to my ideas. And I have a lot of freedom and flexibility here compared to other companies.
Read more about the Upskill trainee programme here