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Sustainable Manufacturing

Come on, ladies! Dare to explore exciting career opportunities in automation

Publicerat 1 mars 2024 i Sustainable Manufacturing

Maryam Dolatabadi and Asunción Pastrana Costa are experienced automation experts at OMRON. They appeal to girls and women: “Be brave, you are urgently needed in the industry!”

Girls play with dolls, boys with toy trucks. Women teach in schools, men build cars. You’ve probably all heard these common clichés. Although gender equality has progressed in recent centuries, stereotypes can still be found in many minds, schools and boardrooms. “It's time for a change,” says Maryam Dolatabadi and Asunción Pastrana Costa, who both support the OMRON team as automation specialists. They explain why more women should work in technical professions and how they can help counter the increasing shortage of skilled workers in many industrial companies.

Important step against skills shortage

A look into lecture halls, laboratories and seminar rooms shows that there are fewer female than male students on technical degree courses. Experts say that developments like demographic change, digitalization and decarbonization will significantly increase the demand for engineers and computer scientists. However, there is already a shortage of dedicated specialists. Women are urgently needed to counteract this development. Girls should be given more information about professional diversity and career opportunities in robotics and automation, for example. Closer cooperation and increased commitment from business, politics and society is needed. So let’s see what Maryam and Asunción have to say.

Maryam Dolatabadi: “I have a natural curiosity for automation technology.”

„I don't think one action alone is enough; many areas have to work together,” says Maryam Dolatabadi, who works as an application engineer at OMRON in Dortmund. Born in Iran, she studied Automation and Robotics Engineering at the Technical University of Dortmund and Electrical Engineering and Control Systems at the K. N. Toosi University of Technology in Tehran: “Germany is such a progressive country in many areas. However, it lags behind when it comes to women in technical professions. I would like to call out to German girls and women: take a look around and try something new!”

In her position as Application Engineer Fixed Robotics, Dolatabadi works very closely with customers and develops robot cells or automation solutions that are precisely tailored to individual requirements: “This joint development is incredibly exciting. Even at school, I always wanted to know exactly how something worked. This curiosity and joy of constructing and creating is something I can live out in my job.”

It is important to try out many things at an early age, and develop strengths and skills: “We should look for other women as role models and be a role model for others. Many people think that jobs in "the industry" are dirty and sleazy. That's not true at all. Other women can show what it's really like – as an engineer, for example. It's such an important field, a profession with a future: get involved! Don't let others tell you what you should do and be, but find out what suits you!”

Asunción Pastrana Costa: “It's time to say goodbye to narrow corsets.”

Her colleague Asunción Pastrana Costa agrees. The 32-year-old works as an ATC Solution Engineer (Vision) at OMRON Europe in Stuttgart. After graduating in telecommunications engineering from the University Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Pastrana went to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). She wrote her thesis on “Signal Processing”: “I find image processing and vision technology incredibly exciting. Even as a child I saw myself as an inventor. I think girls should be introduced to new, exciting topics much earlier. We should stop trying to squeeze our children into fixed categories.”

Automation technology is a fascinating field that will become increasingly important in the future as it supports people and creates value. “And we need to stop thinking in clichés: I can work as an engineer, physicist or mechanic and still be female,” Pastrana adds. 

For OMRON and the society in general, getting more women into tech apprenticeships and STEM fields is very important for making things fairer between genders and helping everyone achieve their best. It's also an opportunity to fix the lack of skilled workers. Right now, it's tough to find enough young people interested in STEM careers, and with the population getting older, this is becoming a big issue for many industries. We need to come up with ways to get everyone, especially women, more excited about tech. This could help make sure we have the talented people we need in the future. 

Take a look in our blog for other parts in our ‘women in automation’ series of articles!

Read our other Sustainable Manufacturing blogs

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