A woman driving the automotive industry

According to a 2012 report by the U.S. Congressional Joint Economic Committee, only 14 percent of U.S. engineers are women. This disparity has not deterred Meghann Lloyd who from a young age knew she wanted to work in the automotive industry. She now encourages young women interested in math and science to explore a career in stem like she did.

 

TRANSCRIPT

According to a 2012 report by the U.S. congressional Joint Economic Committee, only 14% of U.S. engineers are women.

This disparity has not deterred Meghan Lloyd, who from a young age knew she wanted to work in the automotive industry.

She now encourages young women interested in math and science to explore a career in STEM like she did.

I am an account manager at TE Connectivity, where we are a world leader in enabling connectivity through all different industries.

Me personally -- I am in the transportation solutions division, and we're providing terminals, connectors, sensors, cable assemblies, mechatronics, and high-speed data solutions in the automotive industry.

One of the reasons I love my job and I love working in this automotive industry is that it's so global.

So, on a day-to-day basis, I am speaking in the maybe early morning with Europe, maybe during the day with North America, and then possibly late in the evening with Asia.

So, on a regular basis, I'm having meetings in multiple time zones a day, working and collaborating with teams both technically and commercially around the globe.

It is a lot of cross-functional collaboration between getting a request from a customer.

Maybe it's a request for quote.

So, receiving that information, I immediately would go to my product management team, who's responsible for the design and development and what we'd be able to offer.

Now, they are then passing on our interface directly with the plant, who is then working on the feasibility of manufacturing a product and what we can do, where is best to build it.

At TE Connectivity, we certainly have catalogues of our off-the-shelf components.

We've established a long history of products that work well as is and can be adapted if needed to meet a customer's application.

But we also are doing new designs.

So, we can do anything that's customized for the exact needs of the customer, the exact needs of the function, where it's going on the vehicle, what parameters it needs to meet.

And so that's what I have a lot of the samples of -- my off-the-shelf products that have already been proven in the field.

They can be then used in multiple different areas, different parts of the vehicle.

When I joined the automotive industry, I knew I would be a member of a minority.

I knew that women were definitely less represented in the automotive industry, but that wasn't gonna hold me back.

And I would honestly say it has not been an issue.

It has not been even something I notice.

Yes, obviously I can see that there's a few more men in the office, but it's never been anything that holds back my work or my ability to work with my co-workers.

I mean, there's a lot of past precedent that's maybe following old systems that females were meant to go one way, males to go the other.

But I think we're past that.

I think we're at a point when we can see the -- the affinities that our kids have at an early age.

And we just need to promote that.

Even at a young age, I was very much enjoying science and math, knew I wanted to maybe go into that area.

But really it locked it in when I was 10 years old and my father brought home a Viper from work.

So, took one look at that car, knew I wanted to be a part of the automotive industry.

Whether it be in engineering or any other aspect, I knew that's where I wanted to be, but engineering is what really caught my eye.

Any degree you're pursuing, any higher education you're pursuing, they all equally have their difficulties or their workload, for sure.

They all do.

But when I chose engineering, I knew it would be a workload that would have a lot of lab time that maybe doesn't count in your credit hours.

So, it is a little more intensive in terms of your time commitment to your education.

But for the most part, if you can enjoy math, if you can enjoy working with other people -- 'cause right from the start, from your first classes, they put you in teams.

They want you to emulate an environment that you're gonna be working in, in the future, which is a lot of teamwork, a lot of collaboration.

So, any engineering degree, you're gonna be working in teams, whether it's lab groups or project teams where everyone has to pull their own weight, everyone is expected to go above and beyond 'cause then that just makes the whole team result that much better.

So, I think college is a time that, while you do define your major, you're able to still take the time to do internships, to do maybe a job shadowing, to make sure you know this is what you want to pursue.

Automotive industry was great for me.

It's what I knew I wanted to do, so immediately in college I pursued an internship to be sure and to know, what area of the automotive industry did I want to be?

Did I want to be working with a supplier?

Did I want to be working with one of the OEMs, one of the big three local here?

What did I want to do?

That could only be really determined by trying it out.

The importance of STEM in our country is mainly because you can't find any aspect of life that doesn't involve some portion of science, technology, engineering, or math, whether it's medical, whether it's engineering, whether it's your connected life.

Our world is becoming more and more connected from the time you wake up to the time you're going to sleep.

And in order to keep that perpetuating and going forward and evolving and continuing with innovation, we need more and more people to go into these careers that are gonna keep the ball rolling, keep our whole world cycling in a very smooth and even more connected way.

And that wraps it up for this time.

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Until next time, I'm Hari Sreenivasan.

Thanks for watching.

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