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As a child, Samragni Dutta Roy was interested in electrical devices, often asking her father, an engineer, how everything worked. “It always amazed me how everything around us had science behind it, and that was the bud of my interest in STEM”, says Roy.

Today, Roy works as an Electrical Design Engineer at Siemens Energy, Inc, where she challenges stereotypes while excelling in her dream job. “I love to take on challenges, learn new things and implement them in real-world scenarios. My work at Siemens Energy focuses on this,” says Roy. “The best part about STEM careers is that you get to solve real-world problems.”

As for being a woman in STEM, Roy’s advice is to “Never think of gender as an obstacle in your career path. The STEM fields give you a variety of career options, so focus on the area that interests you the most.”

Fairygodboss spoke with Roy about her work at Siemens Energy and advice she has for other women in STEM.

Tell us about your job.

At Siemens Energy, I am working as an Electrical Design Engineer, where I design Voltage Regulators for both U.S.-based and international utility companies. My work encompasses designing new voltage regulators, working on their optimizations, and leading various research and development projects for the continuous improvement of our products. 

I have been in the transformer industry for the past 10 years and a member of the Siemens Energy family for three years. Over these 10 years, I have gained expertise in designing various types of transformers, ranging from distribution transformers to voltage regulators.

What first got you interested in pursuing a career in STEM? 

Since my childhood, I’ve always been keen to know about the electrical devices in my house, asking my father about how everything works. He used to explain the technical basics to me — It always amazed me how everything around us had science behind it, and that was the bud of my interest in STEM. 

Ultimately, my inspiration for pursuing a career in STEM was my father. He is a brilliant engineer, and I always aspired to be like him. As I grew up, I became interested in electrical engineering, particularly power systems.

What projects or programs are you currently working on?

My current work mainly involves research and development projects. These projects primarily focus on new designs of Siemens Voltage Regulators, continuous improvements to the products and the implementation of state-of-art technology. I recently teamed up with other Siemens Energy engineers on a long-term, innovative project that would embrace new technologies.

I’ve always believed that you can give the best output at work when passion meets profession. Personally, I love to take on challenges, learn new things and implement them in real-world scenarios. My work at Siemens Energy focuses on this. I feel passionate about implementing new ideas that will enhance our products. Though this sounds simple, practical implementation is extremely difficult. And that’s what excites me. 

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced working as a woman in STEM?

Way back when I had just started my career in STEM, some people had the stereotype of men being superior in this field. I’ve always observed fewer women in school and work, especially compared with those in non-STEM fields, because of this perception.

It’s challenging to put in extra effort to prove yourself and break that mindset. While I never had a problem putting in that effort, I could feel the difference, and that motivated me to go the extra mile and break the stereotypes. But I feel that society has progressed a lot since then and is now more accepting of women in STEM.

Does your company provide any resources or programs to support women in your field?

Siemens Energy offers equal opportunities to men and women. In my view, that thought process and the working culture of equality are a big support to women in STEM at the company.

What’s your favorite aspect of the culture at Siemens Energy?

At Siemens Energy, we work as a team to provide customer solutions. My favorite aspect of the culture is the team effort we put toward building a quality product from start to finish. Everyone involved in the chain (marketing, engineering, planning, procurement, stores, production, and quality) has a significant contribution toward the final product.

What is something at work that you’re especially good at?

I try my best to think outside the box. When it comes to designing a product, one cannot be confined to fixed boundaries. I try to implement innovative ideas to find the best design. 

What are you trying to improve on? 

I believe that I’m forever a student. Hence, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and skills. I’m currently working on cross-country collaboration.

What is the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?

The most memorable piece of career advice for me has been, “Aim for the long-term goal and the shorter things will fall in place.” I’ve tried to apply this advice throughout my career, be it in major decisions like choosing my career path or smaller ones like finishing a project. 

What advice do you have for other women who are beginning a career in STEM?

Never think of gender as an obstacle in your career path. The STEM fields give you a variety of career options, so focus on the area that interests you the most. The best part about STEM is that you get to solve real-world problems. Build your knowledge from valuable resources, take up challenges and provide practical solutions.

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