Article by: Disha Vaghela

Intellectually stimulating, in high demand and offering opportunities to experiment, STEM is a great career choice.

I hail from a small town in India and when I was around 13 or 14 years old, I had an amazing opportunity to learn about computers at school. This was my very first introduction to the field and I have been captivated ever since. I have always had a strong desire to build things and enhance people’s lives. I want to create solutions that provide utility and make a positive impact. As I progressed through my education, it became clear that engineering was a natural pathway for me to fulfil my dreams.

After obtaining a degree in Software Engineering, I leapt into the world of engineering. I love that this field provides the freedom to express my creativity.

It’s common to hear others talk about the challenges that women in tech face. When I first started I didn’t encounter any notable challenges. In fact, there were numerous positive experiences. However, as I started advancing in my career, I began to notice subtle shifts. I sensed that some of my male colleagues struggled to accept female leaders gracefully and at times, I felt like an outsider in the room. Despite innovative and out-of-the-box solutions, it often seemed that my efforts were unnoticed or undervalued.

But I believe it is important to be strong, confident and authentic. I firmly believe that with the right attitude and mindset, you become an unstoppable force.

As a migrant, I left India a few years ago to start a new chapter in Australia. CGI is my second employer since arriving here.

Right from my very first day, I was warmly welcomed by everyone, from colleagues to support teams, including directors and VPs. Throughout my career here, I have consistently felt supported and encouraged to take on challenges and push myself further. The work environment is truly inspiring and I believe that I can develop here, from both a technical and leadership perspective.

What has particularly resonated with me is the strong culture of open communication and the willingness of people to help one another. I consider myself fortunate to be part of a team where collaboration and support are valued. Yes, there are challenges in being a female engineer working in a male-dominated sphere but this has never stopped me. It helps that my colleagues are so approachable because I never have to think twice about approaching someone with doubts or questions, no matter how trivial.

The presence of wonderful and supportive mentors, like my director John Taylor, has been instrumental in shaping my early days here. Additionally, I am grateful for colleagues such as Damian, James, Manu, and Biswajit, who have not only guided me through the intricacies of our industry and company but have also become cherished friends. Overall, my time at CGI has been nothing short of rewarding.

If you’re a woman starting your journey in the tech industry or considering joining, it is important to understand a few things. The tech industry is amazing, offering endless opportunities for creativity and the chance to build something new and exciting. While it is true that there may be fewer women in tech, don’t let that discourage you. Stay true to yourself and be confident in your abilities. Never stop learning and do not be afraid to ask questions. Express your ideas. And it is crucial to surround yourself with people who will empower and encourage you.

If this resonates and you are interested in pursuing a career at CGI, I encourage you to visit the CGI Careers site today.