Faith is a graduate Mechanical Engineer, registered by The Engineers Board of Kenya and a member of IEK. She studied BSc. Mechanical Engineering at Kenyatta University. She is currently working at Mabati Rolling Mills as a Mechanical Engineer in the maintenance department. Previously she worked with Africa Star Railways (former China Road & Bridge Corporation), as a Locomotive maintenance technician. Off work she enjoys cooking, art, reading & traveling.

Q: Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like

A: Key objective of the maintenance department in MRM is to ensure optimum equipment availability for production, which is our core business. This is ensured by proper planning and execution of Preventive Maintenance, daily routine equipment checks, and coordination with the operations team. My typical day at work begins at 8.00 am when I have a brief toolbox talk with my team concerning the safety precautions to be taken during work and how they shall execute assigned duties. For the rest of my shift, I supervise maintenance jobs in progress, manage spares, do reports, attend to breakdowns (if any), etc.

Q: Did you always know that working in engineering was what you wanted to do? How did you decide to go into Mechanical Engineering?

Yes. My grandfather was a mechanic so I wanted to be able to fix cars like him. I was fascinated by the whole vehicle system and mostly he would drive me around after doing some repairs. Later on in high school, I started to build a foundation towards my career aspiration in Mechanical Engineering by doing well in sciences and mathematics.

Q: I don’t think it’s any secret that many women in STEM have felt their gender has affected the way that they are perceived and/or treated. Have you ever been in a situation like that? How did you handle it?

A: Yes, on so many occasions I have been judged because of my gender and age. People assume mechanical engineering involves heavy tools and dirt from grease, and no lady can deal with it. I handle this by doing my job well and being hands-on during maintenance activities. Eventually, everyone feels am part of the team and doesn’t view me for my gender.

Q: What is your take on the number of women in engineering? Why do you think that’s the case? What do you think can be done to change that?

A: Clearly there is a gender disparity of women in STEM in Kenya. On the brighter side the number is increasing, thanks to mentorship and women empowerment forums. Also let us raise our children gender unbiased, self-confidence is built from childhood.

Q: How would you explain your engineering field to a young girl?

Mechanical Engineering is a field that deals with machinery & equipment. From their design, manufacture, operation & installation.

Q: What message would you give to young girls to inspire them to pursue Engineering?

Follow your passion & interests. If engineering is what you want to do, pursue it.