Success Stories from Women in STEM working with GeoMax Technologies
Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Women working with GeoMax Technologies
According to official data, women in Spain earned, on average, the best marks in technological degrees and yet only one out of every four students enrolled in a technical degree is a woman. This demonstrates the unfortunate gap between potential and actual representation in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, especially surveying.
GeoMax is proud to profile the following three women that hold leadership roles in engineering and geomatics profession and represent expertise in surveying. Each provides details about their work and perspectives as women in STEM
Maria Ramirez: Topography Engineering
Maria Ramirez brings perspectives from a twenty-five-year career in geomatics alongside raising three children. After studying topographical engineering at university, she worked for 20 years as a topography engineer and has been leading the company she founded, TOPOBIM, for five years.
Here she reflects on her choice to study topography and difficulties she encountered in the field as a woman. She also provides advice for other women in STEM and shares some of the technology she uses in her work:
“My father is an agricultural engineer, so topography sounded quite close to me. Out of 80 in my class, 64 were men and 16 of us were women. Now it is different, but I don’t think it has evolved to total parity - there is still a large majority of men.
Without a doubt, the reconciliation of family and professional life is a challenge. Personally, I have given priority to family life, so I have not had the professional development that I could have had.
In my opinion, women in STEM must exercise leadership and assert themselves since we are still in a male-dominated world and we are far from the desired parity.
Change will undoubtedly come through education but, at present, more initiatives are needed to help eradicate the gender gap that currently exists in STEM careers. I strongly believe that women can do the same jobs as men and should be compensated equally for their time and skills.
The survey solutions I am most comfortable working with and that fit my needs are GeoMax hardware and software. They are particularly user friendly with a good price – performance ratio.”
Ruth Paz: Agricultural and Industrial Engineering and Computer Science
An agricultural engineer who began her career in Pontevedra, Ruth Paz is passionate about computer science and industrial engineering. She is also married with a daughter.
In 2008, she founded PROCAT, a company dedicated to providing technical services to the public administration. In this interview, she discusses her current work with digitising public infrastructure, including the GeoMax technology she uses, and the growing presence of women in the STEM fields.
“We work in the four Galician provinces. Currently our objective is the digitalisation of the public administration. We specialise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), municipal infrastructures, urban planning, street maps, numbering, inventories of assets, and more.
Currently, the information available to public administrations is on paper or in digital files without original coordinates. Our objective is for the administration to have all the information available in coordinates so they can have a global vision of their municipal area, which will help them make decisions immediately.
It is also important that the public information is accessible to all citizens. We are implementing web viewers so all public information can be consulted from any mobile device, in real time and in a simple way, for any user profile.
For the digitalisation of information in the field we used GeoMax total stations and GNSS devices, as well as the necessary GeoMax X-PAD software for data collection and its subsequent direct upload to GIS.
When I started, women used to be a very unbalanced part of this sector, but now they are becoming more and more common.”
Rosa Espino: Geomatics Engineering
Rosa Espino, a geomatics engineer, has a background in topography and has been self-employed for almost thirty years, balancing her successful surveying career with raising two children with her husband.
She has worked for construction companies, the city council, and a multitude of clients – some of whom are still surprised when a woman appears with a GNSS smart antenna or a robotic total station. Here she shares her perspective on women’s progress in surveying, achieving work-life balance with a family, and a story of when work and family history unexpectedly merged:
“As women in surveying, we are making progress but there is still a long way to go. You have to impose yourself.
The most attractive thing about my profession has been the work-life balance. I have raised my children in the fields - the children were on a tractor at the farm while I was doing a survey.
One anecdote: I worked for the association of Friends of the Chimneys of Almendralejo - a project I was particularly excited about because they are in danger due to their poor conditions. It was also a way to contribute to their conservation. It consisted of measuring the heights of the chimneys. When I was measuring, the president of the association told me one of the chimneys had been built by my great-great-grandfather. It made my work even more satisfying.
In my surveying work, I use GeoMax equipment. What I value most is the after-sales service and support. GeoMax devices are high quality, technologically advanced and well-priced.”