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Insights Celebrating women engineers: The importance of paving your own path

Piriya Choudhry is a Senior Engineer for Energy and Utilities. Like many of the women engineers at Atkins she has risen through the ranks because of her determination, sheer hard work and passion. What makes her different, is her insistence that anyone, regardless of gender, can be a success – as long as your talents match your ambition and you seize every opportunity that comes your way.

14 March 2018

Tell us about your background and inspirations
Coming from the hill state of Uttarakhand, I grew up marvelling at the skill of engineers. For me it was all about seeing roads being laid across the most perilous terrains, bridges being built across the mighty river Ganga – and not forgetting the imposing architectural feat of the massive Tehri dam – these are the things that really inspired me. What awed me as a child proved to inspire me as an adult – eventually resulting in the decision to become a civil engineer.

Do you think engineering can help improve the lives of people?
Engineering enables so much good in the world. In college I was drawn to the pressing issue of pollution in our country and around the globe. I was determined to contribute in some way to help fix that problem. That’s one of the reasons I decided to specialise in environmental engineering from IIT Kanpur. And that’s how I progressed to starting my career at Atkins. It’s the opportunity to live my dream of making this world a better place through my career choice.

Tell us what you enjoy about working at Atkins
We are a leading engineering, design and project management sector in a company that provides its employees with limitless opportunities to grow and realise their true potential. The best thing about working at Atkins is that your career growth is largely dictated by your work and your determination. Your career progression isn’t limited by age or experience, but rather how you use your talent and engineering skills.
I feel like I’ve grown and developed by leaps and bounds at Atkins – working on a wide variety of projects and even leading big projects at an early stage of my career. It may seem like a cliché to say the sky is the limit, but it’s true at Atkins. All you have to do is reach out for it. The global exposure and travel opportunities are the cherry on the cake.

Tell us how Atkins' policies benefit women in the workplace
I believe strongly that there is no other engineering firm in India that offers as much flexibility and support for women who are balancing their career and personal commitments. As long as the talent and determination is there, you’re able to pick your preferred specialism. I don’t know where else we would get this opportunity or choice. The environment is one of encouragement and support for women – a place where you never feel undermined, threatened or made to feel inferior in any way. It’s an inclusive environment that believes in equal opportunities for everyone – and as long as you embrace those opportunities, you’ll thrive.