A lot can happen in a year… so we thought we’d touch bases with one of the ladies we profiled last year during #INWED18 to see if much has changed since then! 

Catching up with New Zealand Steel Process Engineer, Mikaela Keir who is in the Steel Making Technical department.

On a day to day basis she’s involved in the monitoring of process control and output quality. As well as the tuning of process variables to produce molten steel with in various specifications, and investigation into operational efficiency and optimisation to reduce operational costs. She also looks into the improvement of throughput and/or product quality.

What do you love about your job?

For me, the best part of my job is the variety it offers.

NZ Steel Casting Production Engineer, Mikaela Keir.

Some days I will be outside in the slab yards, checking product quality and interacting with customers. Other days I’m in the plant talking with the operators, understanding the issues they face and what changes can be made to improve the process or increase production. Other days I am in meetings with suppliers looking at new technology or with higher level managers reporting on how our area is progressing and where the business is going.

Every day is different and comes with different challenges and successes.


What are the key challenges facing women in Engineering?

A key challenge women face in engineering is the outside perception that they are hired over men on the basis of improving diversity. In both my academic and professional life I have encountered the stigma that I had it easier than my male counterparts due to being a female in a male dominated industry.

For me, this lead to a feeling that I had to go above and beyond to prove my place.

It is brilliant that companies are identifying the lack of diversity and putting steps in place to improve, and this will benefit the next generation of engineers once we get through this prickly time of change.


What impact do you want to make in your career?

I want every person and team I work with to feel valued, and know that they are making a positive contribution to the wider workplace.

It’s very easy in such a large industry to feel like just another number. As a leader, it is important to make sure we are all aware of our impact and how we can work together to foster a workplace conducive to growth and opportunity.


View Mikaela’s profile from #INWED18 here.