Meet one of our changemakers, electrical engineer Cecilia Welchez. Cecilia is a native of Honduras and works as a power product analyst for Scatec’s Operations & Maintenance (O&M) team. She is based in Egypt, where Scatec, the largest solar developer in the country, is embarking on a journey to build a leading hub for green hydrogen and ammonia.
She was the first woman engineer in her department when she joined the company seven years ago.
“I am very proud of being the first woman engineer in my family – the daughter of a single mother and the first in her family to make it to university. I’m also proud to be the first woman O&M engineer in Scatec, operating the first plant in Latin America. I also happen to be the first certified drone pilot in Honduras,” she says.
From an early age, Cecilia knew that she was destined to become an engineer. She enjoyed math and science and remembers playing with circuit boards and repairing devices in her youth. Her first job after university was as an engineer in the construction industry. It was a very male-dominated environment and she struggled with English language at work, she reflects, something that impacted her confidence early on.
“When the perception is that this is a ‘man’s job’, your confidence takes a hit. I was told that this was too tough of an environment for a girl.”
But Cecilia was not swayed. She stayed on, working hard, and delivering results. She not only learned English, but Portuguese as well.
“I proved that it was not a man’s job. Women can do amazing things in this field.”
Cecilia is an advocate of bringing more women into Scatec and into the engineering profession, especially when it comes to the more operational roles out in the field.
“The lack of exposure to these types of jobs can scare off young women engineers. So, we need to give them more exposure, more mentorships, and more paths towards leadership opportunities. We can fill more key roles with women and in doing so, we can change the industry.”
Cecilia believes that diversity is critical when it comes to achieving business results.
“We are a global company and by hiring diverse talents, we can bring more insights, more ideas and new ways of thinking to the table, which in the end helps us to make better decisions.”
Being a changemaker isn’t about doing things the easy way. It’s about working day in and day out to make a difference. Cecilia knows that gender balance challenge in engineering won’t be fixed overnight. Change can be slow, tedious, and demanding – but worth it.
“If I can encourage more women to study engineering and take jobs out in the field, where your career can be truly exciting,” says Cecilia, “then I have done something to change things for the better.”