Interview with Ana Torralba, senior engineer at SENER Aerospacial, on International Women's Day
We spoke with Ana Torralba, senior engineer in the electrical engineering department of the Communications division of SENER Aerospacial, on the occasion of International Women's Day.
Since joining SENER Aerospacial, Ana has been working on developing radio frequency and microwave equipment on satellites, both for commercial and scientific missions. She has worked on projects such as Mission Receiver and Search and Rescue Transponder, the Galileo program, DCS Receiver, MTG D&G, and MWS, MWI and ICI Back-End Modules for MetOp Second Generation.
Ana, tell us about your career. What drew you to the sector?
I have always been drawn to science, since I was at school. When I had to choose a degree, I decided to opt for telecommunications engineering, thinking that it would be a good way to pursue my interest, not only for science but for the "creative" possibilities that any engineering offers.
I came by chance to the space sector. When I was finishing my degree, my classmates were starting to work in telephony or consultancy firms, but I was clear that I did not want to follow that path, even if it was very well paid. I was aiming to work in design. The opportunity for a fellowship came up with Mier Communications (now SENER Aerospacial); I loved it and here I am today.
The fact that more women are being included in positions of responsibility may be an opportunity to make changes. For more diversity, greater innovation and the capacity to develop new ideas that contribute to a more sustainable future. Ana Torralba
How much do you think female leadership can contribute to build a more sustainable future?
It is clear that, so far, business and company models have failed. We have not managed to reduce environmental impact and the feared climate change, which is already an irreversible reality.
Therefore, we have to think of new ways of doing things. The fact that more women are being included in positions of responsibility may be an opportunity to make changes. For more diversity, greater innovation and the capacity to develop new ideas that contribute to a more sustainable future.
Specifically, diverse and inclusive work teams are beneficial for project development. From your point of view, do we need structural changes to how work is organized to make sure we can all contribute and work as a team?
Remote working, which was imposed on so many of us two years ago, has actually helped everyone to participate in equal conditions. Each of us, as part of a team, contributes positively, but sometimes work-life balance needs, or concerns can affect our concentration. We need tools that allow us to find the balance between professional and personal life.
Education is essential to advance personally, professionally and socially. As a professional, what would you say to a young woman who wants to pursue a degree in the field of science and technology/engineering?
I would say that if it is what you want to go, don't let anything get in your way. Get stuck into a world in which women are a minority and, so what? Work, fight and make a mistake, because you will be in equal conditions to enjoy and to shine. There is nothing more satisfying than working on something that you love.