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|Nguyen Hoai Thu, production manager at GE Energy Haiphong|
Nguyen Hoai Thu is the production manager of electric cabinets at GE Energy Haiphong. Thu is always busy with work and phone calls without fixed working hours.
She said, “Sometimes I don’t have time for my children. It is said that engineering is a challenging career for women. However, it is even more difficult for us to fulfill the different roles of engineer, mother, and wife.”
Indeed, the engineering industry is challenging for both genders. In today’s dynamically changing business environment and stiffly competitive global market, clients’ demands become more sophisticated and volatile.
At GE, the company standing in the forefront of digital transformation with exports to markets around the world, investments are being made in continuous learning in order to streamline processes, improve productivity, and apply cutting-edge technology.
Thu went on to say that, “It is crucial that you have aspiration, determination, and perseverance to acquire knowledge. Unless you keep learning, you will be left behind whether you are male or female. I have had the chance to work with several female engineers possessing these characteristics. They are eager to learn and quick to catch up with market trends.”
Working at GE for eight years now and five years in the engineering industry, Thu believes that feminine traits help women to tackle problems smoothly.
According to her, there are a number of favourable incentives for female employees at GE as well as in Vietnam with the on-going push for gender equality. As GE places high values on integrity, honesty, and transparency, female employees are empowered to make the most of their abilities.
This has encouraged Thu and her female colleagues to believe in their abilities. In addition, GE also holds training courses and foreign exchange programmes around the world to help female employees sharpen up their skills and expertise.
Female engineers have competitive traits like meticulousness and attention to detail compared to male engineers. In addition to ensuring the technical quality and customer requirements, GE also puts high importance on price and delivery time to stay competitive in the market.
"The key factor is to strike up long-term contracts at a reasonable price and with timely delivery. Thus, I need to be very careful with every single word and number. Tracking daily data helps me to identify the most competitive price to maximise profit," she shared with VIR.
Moreover, women at the management level can comprehend others’ feelings better than male leaders. “Vietnamese people value the skills of listening, sharing, encouraging, and trusting others. At the GE factory, I manage both office and factory workers who are responsible for different tasks. Therefore, it is important to understand their job and characteristics to achieve a better balanced working environment,” she said.
|GE Energy Haiphong is an advanced digital factory implementing the Brilliant Factory initiative amongst seven selected factories across the GE supply chain worldwide. The factory specialises in manufacturing major wind turbine components and accessories and has recently expanded production to transport equipment.|
Thu often spends time on the factory site to learn about her work and engage in regular exchange with her colleagues about the group’s development strategy, which consequently improves their productivity.
However, there is heavy pressure on women to care for their families and children. "I am still a woman. Being raised in a family with an engineering tradition, I was married to an engineer, so I receive much support from my family and my husband."
“Despite being this lucky, I always encourage young women to develop careers in engineering with passion and bravery. When you are enthusiastic about engineering, you will feel more driven in your career. The engineering industry is teeming with bright prospects for employment, learning, and development. You will always find success by making constant efforts," she stated.
|Raising the profile of women in STEM
Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the world economy, they hold less than 25 per cent of positions in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). American company GE has shown the positive impact of narrowing the gap.