Empowering Women in Engineering Through Inspiration and Advice
In celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, we asked Goldman Sachs engineers from across the globe to share their experiences.
What inspired you to pursue a career in Engineering?
Josefin: I have always enjoyed solving problems and learning new things, from how to beat my grandfather in chess, to teaching myself HTML to create a personal blog. I wanted a career where I could keep learning so immediately I set my sights on a Computer Science BSc and a career in technology. Now I can be as curious at work as I am in my spare time.
Alexa: No one in my family comes from a technology background, but I could see that the products and companies people were most excited about all leveraged technology. I figured out that even if tech wasn’t a major part of all businesses now, it was going to be. I wanted to be on the right side of that transition.
Ruchika: My analytical brain has always liked finding a reason for every phenomenon, and combined with a passion for mathematics, this lead me to engineering.
What key challenge is your team working on?
Ruchika: My team is focused on reducing the time to market for new products, which presents challenges at multiple levels. Figuring out the point of convergence between different lines of business and standardizing platforms and tools has been key to our strategy.
Josefin: My team are building a platform allowing Goldman Sachs engineers to write data pipelines on top of our Data Lake. The platform is currently being used by hundreds of users, with thousands of pipelines already written.
What is your greatest accomplishment as a woman in engineering?
Daisy: This is my 20th year in Goldman Sachs Engineering! When I joined, the Engineering Division (then called IT) was much smaller, I feel proud to have taken a leap of faith and now be part of an organisation which puts engineers at the centre of business decisions.
Alexa: The summer of my freshman year I worked as a teaching assistant for Girls Who Code (GWC). After my first year of engineering school, I was feeling overwhelmed and was unsure if I’d make it as an engineer, but I was determined to make my students believe in themselves. A few years later, they are software engineers and data scientists at top technology companies and universities and one even returned to teach for GWC.
Josefin: That I’ve never been afraid to bring in a new perspective or try a new challenge. I believe speaking your mind and questioning how things are done are key traits of an engineer. The best ideas evolve from different people with different opinions.
What inspires you most to advance technology?
Alexa: I love data. We are in an unprecedented age of data collection and this data leads to powerful insights. For example, user engagement data is incredibly valuable. What a user says and what a user does do not always align. Data enables us to see through to the truth and make decisions accordingly.
Daisy: Technology is a key driver of business growth across the firm. We drive commercial outcomes through technology, delivering a real impact to the firms bottom line. This in turn motivates us to continuously learn, develop and progress technology to maintain our competitive advantage.
What is your advice to your younger self?
Ruchika: Take responsibility for your own career. At Goldman Sachs, often your role is up to the individual to define. Throughout my career, the roles I have played have been driven by performance and skillset alignment, but often my own aspirations and advocating my own path has led to the most satisfaction.
Josefin: Always be inquisitive. When I started university, I didn't know the difference between an int and double, and it felt very overwhelming. But Computer Science is constantly evolving, it's not about having the most knowledge right now, but having the willingness and curiosity to figure out what's next.
Daisy: Speak up. Good ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, regardless of seniority. Don’t be afraid to express your ideas. Having confidence to contribute shows you are keen to learn.
To discuss your future within Goldman Sachs Engineering, register here.