Semcon Tech Women – a way to create networks for women
Johanna Klarin works as a product designer at Semcon’s Gothenburg office and is one of the initiators of Semcon Tech Women – a network for women with various skills and experiences in technology development.
“Johanna, would you like to bring this up a level to all the women in the division?” That was new. I’ve always loved arranging events and after-work meetups, and I believe that the social element in a company is extremely important, for both well-being and performance. In my division, we women occasionally organised “girl after-works”. I’ve never been involved in a women’s network before, but when the question came up, my answer was an obvious ‘yes’.
Important to highlight women’s perspectives in tech
In a sector that is unfortunately still rather male-dominated, it’s easy to sometimes feel rather alone as a woman. Even when I was studying, there were very few women in my engineering courses and there was no real chance to build up a network. And then when we went out into the labour market, we got spread out even more. There is often a lack of role models for the women who are new to the labour market, and also for those who are still studying to be engineers. It is important to highlight that we are here, that there are more of us all the time, and that we are important to the technology sector.
Fun and challenging to be a consultant
I work as a product design engineer and have worked with everything from automotive cleaning systems to shop vacs to salad bars. Very different products and the assignments have been very different as well – everything from packing components to drawing plastic parts in CAD to building part number structures. This is a proper mismash, but it is also precisely what is most fun, and most challenging, about being a consultant. You’re always thrown into completely new contexts and you never stop developing and learning new things.
Semcon Tech Women
Ever since I started at Semcon in 2018, I’ve always felt welcome and appreciated and I’ve never been treated differently because I was a woman. Of course, it is unfortunately the case that there are still few women in some departments, while at others, women are in the majority. The idea behind Semcon Tech Women was to create a network with all of the women at the Gothenburg office so that we could get to know each other on a personal level, and to give us the opportunity to create a wider professional network with different skills and areas of expertise. There are not many of us and we are spread out in different departments. Some of us are the only women in our departments, and others are working out at clients and almost never see our women colleagues.
We try to meet about once a month and have organised different fun events like barbecues, karaoke, canvas & cava. Our latest event was a makeup night with one of the women at the office who moonlights as a makeup artist. And who knows, maybe we’ll find someone else with an exciting talent who wants to share it with us in the future. After the last year of network events, you always run into some woman colleague in the corridor that you stop and talk with. It feels now like you have many more women colleagues and I hope that we will be able to welcome even more of us into the office and the network in the future.
Title: Product Design Engineer
Education: Design Engineering at the University of Skövde and Master’s in Product Development and Materials Engineering from Jönköping University
Worked at Semcon since: August 2018
I have most fun at work when I…: Am working with a wonderful team and I feel that I am developing