International Women's Day: An interview with Prof Tiziana Rossetto, Professor of Earthquake Engineering, UCL
1. Can you name one woman who has inspired you (in your field or other), and why?
Professor Anne Kiremidjian, Stanford University
When I was an engineering graduate, Prof. Kiremidjian was the only highly esteemed female professors in my field of engineering that succeeded in her professional career whilst also having a family. This was extremely rare at the time.
3. What are your top tips to other women to succeed?
Do not mix success in life with work ambition, and remember that what other people believe is success may not translate to your personal wishes. Do something you enjoy and collaborate with people you like working with and you will be successful.
4. How do you celebrate successes, your own and those of others?
Lots of cake!
5. What do you do, in your organisation or outside, to inspire the next generation of female talent?
I have given talks on my research designed to inspire, mentored a number of young female engineers and even presented to 300 school girls when 8 months pregnant, to show that an engineering career does not mean giving up on having a family.
What wisdom would you have told your younger self, if you had the chance.
That you can say "no" to people who ask you to take on more and more work.
6. Are women-led events and discussion panels useful?
I prefer events with a gender balance and a diversity of backgrounds and opinions (much more interesting).
7. What is your advice to others to achieve a work / life balance?
To choose a mode of working (or negotiate this with your employer) that allows you to spend some time with your family, and create some space for yourself. Even with flexible working hours, it is still very hard to achieve a work/life balance, which requires strict time management and a constant review of work-load.
8. How can an organisation encourage gender equality, inclusion and diversity?
By standing by the ethos of respect for all, and creating flexible working environments to cater for different working patterns.