Hanieh is the Vice president OF ACA NZ Branch.
Being a female, being an engineer, and being successful still looks impossible in some industries – and even in some countries.
Luckily, we live in New Zealand and have inspiring female role models like Edith Clarke who was the first woman to graduate with an electrical engineering degree from MIT in 1918, and Elizabeth Yates who became Mayor of Onehunga in 1893 (the first female mayor anywhere in the British Empire).
About six years ago, I moved to Wellington from Iran with a Masters degree in Corrosion-Materials Engineering and started my New Zealand career as a materials engineer on an interesting project at Callaghan Innovation. Then in 2016, I moved to Auckland and after being certified as a Coating Inspector NACE, Level 1, started my new journey as a Materials-Corrosion engineer in Structures Asset Management team at WSP (formerly Opus). Since then I’ve worked on a number of different projects, mostly challenging but rewarding and mainly out-of-office (e.g. site inspections, day and night).
Projects I’m currently working on (including Auckland Harbour Bridge, NZTA and Auckland Transport highway infrastructures) are usually located in high- risk environments which require specific trainings and certificates such as working at height and in confined spaces. I’m happy to work in these kinds of projects as that proves to me I have the same ability as my male colleague engineers to deliver successful projects. I’m also glad to work in an organisation which is dealing effectively with diversity in the workplace, gender equality and rights for its female employees.
Being a productive person in society is great, but we owe this position to those who support us directly or indirectly. I believe paying back to society is important, and that’s why I’m also working as one of the youngest volunteers for Meals on Wheels with the Red Cross. This gives me a sense of happiness and boosts my positive energy.
I am so happy that we have lots of successful female role models in this era, and hope to see more female engineers in corrosion and coatings industries. I believe that together we will make this world a better and safer place for the next generation.