The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is to break the bias. We ask our colleagues what this means to them.
What is your name and what is your role at Yellow Door Energy?
My name is Dina Otoum and I am a Design Engineer at Yellow Door Energy. I have been working at Yellow Door Energy for almost 4 years. My main responsibility is to design solar photovoltaic projects in Jordan. My latest and largest project to-date is the Carrefour Solar Park in Wadi Al Aash, which has a capacity of 17 megawatts and provides clean electricity to 35 Carrefour stores in Jordan.
What does “Break the Bias” mean to you in terms of gender equality?
“Break the Bias” means challenging gender discrimination whenever we encounter it, whether it is a minor stereotypical incident or a major one. It means having the courage to speak up and being vocal in cases of injustice. When we attempt to “Break the Bias”, we can together move towards a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world, where difference is celebrated and appreciated.
What gender stereotypes have you faced in your career? How did it affect you?
Throughout my career, I have been often told that I was too “aggressive, loud, and stubborn”, as opposed of being seen as assertive and confident.
Even in 2022, engineering is still a male-dominated profession. As a female engineer working in this field, sometimes I see that my input is sidelined or ridiculed. I trust in my own capabilities to embrace the challenge and continue to break the bias.
How would you describe Yellow Door Energy’s culture regarding women in the workplace?
I am grateful that the work culture at Yellow Door Energy is supportive and collaborative, regardless of gender, race or nationality.
Our colleagues are treated equally and we are assessed based on our professional performance and ethics. The fact that we have both men and women in executive positions shows that Yellow Door Energy supports an inclusive and gender balanced culture.
What advice would you give women who are seeking career growth?
I would advise them to have more faith in themselves and embrace their goals.
If they work in male-dominated professions, then they may face challenges due to their gender. It is important to speak up against such issues.
Lastly, I would also advise them to seek out mentors or managers who are supportive and understanding. I am fortunate to have a great manager who supports me through the challenges. It makes a big difference when you’re the only female engineer on the team!