For Women’s History month in March we began a series of blog posts to celebrate the great achievements of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). To highlight successful women in STEM we have interviewed some of our very own talented employees. Today we are featuring Charlie Pemble, Manufacturing Engineering; read below for what she has to say.
What does being a woman in STEM mean to you?
So important and exciting! It never occurred to me when at school that STEM subjects were male or female-dominated. It was only when I applied to university and I was 1 of 6 girls in 250 engineering students that I realised the gender skew. People are continually surprised when I tell them I am a Manufacturing Engineer. I have many female engineering friends excelling in their specialities. Children need to see that their gender plays no role in their ability to excel in STEM fields.
How did you come to be working on this topic/in this field?
My dad is an engineer, my grandfather was an architect. I always knew engineering is where I wanted to be. My older sister is a physicist and suggested Mechanical Engineering as a fitting university course, so I went for it and thoroughly enjoyed it! Through working in industry I realised my strengths are in manufacturing, which is why I have settled as a Manufacturing Engineer.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a woman in STEM?
Only ever the reaction when I tell people my job role. I have never faced any gendered challenges in any job I have worked.
Why is your work important?
It is important to me because it is exciting. I have long term tasks I can plan for and short term tasks I need to be reactive to, so never a dull day. At the end of the day, it is about ensuring our customers are happy. I don’t have direct contact with them, but any engineering issues that have come back through the Support team, or any building issues through the Production team, need to be addressed. This is so customer can receive their order in a timely manner and have quick resolution to any issues they might have when a product arrives.
What do you think the future holds for microfluidics and/ or single cell research?
Great things! We have a very talented Production team that can build all sorts of catalogue and custom products. I think they will succeed in anything that R&D throw at them. Looking forward to the product changes and new product releases.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
The people! I work with a variety of different people from different areas of the company with varying backgrounds. Discussing issues with different people helps you see different viewpoints. This can help with the complete resolution of these issues.
What are your future career goals?
I am an Incorporated Engineer through the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. I am working towards become a Chartered Engineer. I hope to stay at Blacktrace and increase my product and application knowledge.
Want to learn more about single cell technology? Have a look at our website!
Read the other blog from our women in STEM series:
Or read about our previous researchers spotlight on Dr. Julianne Fischer: