Sabina, tell us a bit about your background and how you got into engineering
I’ll start from the beginning! I was born in Africa, Ghana specifically, and I moved to Sweden with my family at the age of 11. I arrived in Sweden at the end of the winter season, and while I was beyond ecstatic, the outrageously cold conditions in my new home combined with the feelings of uncertainty in what seemed like an unfamiliar country was profound.
Within what seemed like weeks, I was starting in a school with others new to the country and learning a language that seemed impossible to grasp at the time. But this challenge was soon overcome and after a short period, I could hold conversations with locals with an established “skånska accent”. I thoroughly enjoy communicating and connecting with people. Developing my interpersonal skills is a priority, you could say that it is a passion.
I absolutely love Sweden as my home away from home, as now my family lives in London. While in London, I began building on my earlier years in Sweden. The interest in practical learning I had discovered in Sweden, led me to seek engineering as the next logical step.
Earlier in my studies, I found that I most enjoyed subjects that were not only focused on theory but that encompassed practical elements. My then student counsellor suggested a combination of practical based subjects to explore. One of the option modules was carpentry. It soon became a favourite subject and I excelled in class. It was evident that topics that would allow for a hands-on experience would be the ideal study plan to adopt. Following this mindset, I went on to enrol for a Level 2 engineering at college, and then moved onto Level 3 in manufacturing engineering. Finally, I progressed onto an apprenticeship programme in the lift industry, where I completed an NVQ Level 3 in engineering maintenance, specialising in lift servicing.
Tell us about you experience as a lift engineer
My experience when I joined the lift industry certainly reflected the stereotypes of the wider ‘women in engineering’ community. For example, the lift industry is largely a male dominated field, where lack of female engineers is noticeable. Due to this, while I had high visibility in the internal team, the lack of awareness and diversity proved challenging. This holds true for both internal and external interactions pertinent to my role. To manage such challenges, I actively engaged in activities that allowed for exploratory conversations far beyond the workplace. For example, I occasionally volunteered with my local educational charity to discuss topics in engineering. Further, I intently took steps to exhibit behaviours and attitudes that would allow for open-mindedness in others, while aiming to promote how different experiences could be beneficial to diverse team dynamics.
What are your feelings about your new path into operations? Will you use your engineering experience in your new role?
My new path into operations and to operate out of the office is one that I am extremely excited about. Although, I hope to spend time in the field with engineers as regularly as my role would permit. I hope to build positive relationships with both internal and external stakeholders, as well as aim to deliver exceptional service and support to our customers and field engineers. In my previous role as a service lift engineer, I regularly communicated defects that I hoped would have meaningful influence on critical decisions. However, my attempt to impact cross-functional conversations were often limited thus, this new path into Ops, is an opportunity to use my engineering experience to be an internal advocate for our customers and engineers and an external champion for WeMaintain.
What is it you enjoy about engineering?
I enjoy engineering because of the creativity at the core of the subject. Rapid changes in the workplace and society have frequently resulted to adapt concepts such as questioning, exploration and data analysis to solve problems and to create innovative products and services.
Your thoughts on joining WeMaintain?
WeMaintain is at the forefront of what I believe is a critical time in the building operations space, specifically, where it concerns the lift industry. In my short time here, I have noticed a high sociability among the team. Similarly, the business mission to “put the best of people and technology at the heart of the build environment” is effortlessly displayed in every interaction both internally and externally. Presently, my aim is to learn from such an incredible group of people and to exhibit the company’s values of uniqueness, grit and care in my own interactions. I am glad to have joined a team that have unreservedly dedicated time and resources to help me assimilate but more importantly develop beyond my current capabilities.
If you're interested in working with WeMaintain, check out our available positions here .