Stories Of Women in Engineering - Marta Cabeza Cobelas - ALTEN Belgium

Stories Of Women in Engineering – Marta Cabeza Cobelas

Interview with Marta Cabeza Cobelas

My name is Marta. I am a project manager at ALTEN, Belgium.

In a few words, could you give us your vision of the place of women engineers in the professional world? 

In my experience as a woman in engineering, I’ve observed a growing integration of women into the professional world. Despite progress, the reality is that most of the teams, from university to my current workplace, still consist of more men than women. But as an engineer, my focus is on being competitive and valued for my skills and expertise, transcending gender considerations. The goal is to be recognized for contributions, regardless of whether one is a man or a woman in the field.

What role can women in engineering play in inspiring and empowering others to make a positive impact on the world?  

I think the most crucial thing is for the women to demonstrate engineering skills in my field, develop expertise and demonstrate that gender does not define ability. Visibility for young individuals, both women and men, in science and technology is vital. Encouraging their interest from an early age and highlighting women’s achievements can promote this inclusivity.
In today’s tech-driven world, every field is impacted, extending beyond traditional areas like cars or airplanes. Take, for instance, the application of augmented reality in fashion. As a woman engineer, my goal is to emphasize that no profession is exclusive to men or women.

What are some exciting trends and developments in the field of engineering that could attract more women to the profession? 

Visibility is key, especially for women achieving milestones in traditionally male-dominated fields. Last year, for example, three Spaniards passed astronaut tests, including a woman. While this shouldn’t be a headline, emphasizing such achievements can inspire other women to reach similar heights. It is a fact, there are currently more men than women in the technology sector, but a growing number of women pursuing tech careers ensures that achievements and visibility will increase over time. Eventually, the goal is not to be labelled as “women in engineering” but simply as engineers.

What support systems or mentors have been instrumental in helping you overcome obstacles and achieve your goals?

My primary mentors and main mentors have been my parents, both mathematicians. In our home, there has never been an academic or professional disparity between genders. Both my brother and I studied engineering, and I grew up in an environment full of scientific knowledge, without any gender distinctions in the field.  

What does Building Tomorrow’s world mean to you & in your industry?  

I share the perspective that technology serves as a crucial tool propelling society forward. The diverse applications of technological tools across various sectors have significantly contributed to the advancement of industries, thereby benefiting society. In the pharmaceutical industry, technological progress plays a pivotal role in optimizing manufacturing processes. The integration of data analysis and automation not only enhances efficiency but also minimizes risks, leading to more effective results. This efficiency, in turn, enables the industry to produce a greater quantity of drugs or treatments. Importantly, it empowers companies to allocate more resources to research and development, enabling progress in curing various diseases and benefiting a greater number of patients.

How can engineering contribute to a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future?  

Highlighting and promoting the achievements of women engineers inspires new generations, fostering a more equitable environment. In summary, the presence and contribution of women in engineering are crucial for shaping a future that is more sustainable, inclusive, and successful.

What challenges you the most in your work – your team, your clients, yourself? Do you feel empowered to make decisions?   

Nowadays, my main priority is to continuing my professional growth as a project manager in the pharmaceutical industry. However, my broader ambition involves gaining a comprehensive understanding of the entire sector to actively contribute to its transformation into Industry 4.0. To align with this evolution, I am currently exploring the study of machine learning to enhance my skill set in utilising data for more efficient processes within the pharmaceutical industry.

Write the story with us!