Luiza Culeașcă has a background in Bio and Biomedical Engineering as well as Graphic Design. She studied at the University of Bucharest for both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
She is now a Service Engineer in the computerised tomography (CT) team at Siemens Healthineers in Romania.
Previously she worked with digital and analogue radiology systems, fixed and mobile and also some ultrasound systems.
What sort of person are you?
I am a really passionate person when it comes to my work, and I am really grateful to the experiences and the people who added value to this journey that made me who I am today.
Who were your mentors/who encouraged you?
When I first started, the idea of a woman servicing medical equipment was barely blossoming in the minds of many employers across the country.
I knew that it would be harder to prove myself just because I was a woman.
However, fortunately, there were a couple of people, colleagues at that point, who saw me for who I was beyond my appearance and gave me the opportunity to show my potential. At that point they were the only ones who believed I could do what they were doing. Among them was one particular person who was like a pillar for me and my career growth. He was one of the calmest and steadiest people I have known, always prepared to explain what I could not understand and to push me to be better every single day. He made me believe that I am more than what others saw and that there is a spark in me that needs to be nurtured in this field.
Looking back, all of them taught me most of the things I know today and because of that, now I can proudly call myself a service engineer.
Working as a woman engineer in the field
What advice would you give to women field engineers in terms of safety/security/being out in the field?
I know the world can sometimes be cruel because the actions and words of some individuals are based on the mentality that women are not up for the job of engineer. However, there is one thing I have learned throughout the past years:
“passion knows no gender.”
So, my advice to other women engineers would be:
“Go out there and do what you love, and do it with passion.”
Passion is not questionable. It can’t be refused, judged, or misunderstood and that, from my point of view, is the ultimate weapon.
What are your tips for feeling confident and not out of place?
Well, feeling confident and believing constantly in myself, that is truly a battle I still fight, to this day.
I think it is important to understand the fact that nowadays confidence in oneself is really hard to maintain. We need constant validation from our colleagues, our friends, our bosses, our family or even strangers.
What saves me when I get lost in constantly striving to keep my head above everything and still believing in who I am?
It is focusing on the simple and unique moments in the daily life of an engineer.
For example, the moment when I diagnose what is wrong with a piece of equipment after a really long and frustrating time troubleshooting.
Or after an installation when I turn on the system and everything is up and running and I realise that I did that.
Every challenge that we overcome is a step forward in believing that this is our rightful place. We are not made to fit in some box or be classified or labelled, so keep on challenging and overcoming!
Recruiting women into field engineering
The number of women in field engineering is increasing. How can this be helped?
I have two main ideas to increase women engineers.
Firstly, I think publicity. Publicity, especially in the workplace is a great way to make people understand that being a woman engineer is possible. It also gives women hope that we too can be working in a field that was once thought to be only for men.
Secondly, I think that there should also be some open talks or workshops on how both men and women should act when they are part of the same team. I do believe we need more guidance in that direction. If we have that it will ensure both parties work completely honest and well with each other without creating a feeling of discomfort, discrimination or special treatments.