Women in cybernetics
"A girl contacted me on Facebook the other day, she was about to apply for studies,” says Elisabet Haugsbø, Engineer at the Marine Cybernetics Advisory in Digital Solutions. “She asked, should I apply for technical cybernetics? She was doubting if she was good enough. I told her that if you want to study it, you should. And if you get in, you’re good enough. Men don’t think like this.”
Haugsbø says she felt honoured to receive the Women in Tech award, which is organized on an annual basis by Teknisk Ukeblad, Abelia and Oda-nettverk. She still doesn’t know who nominated her. Anyone can nominate via registration at Abelia’s website, and there are hundreds of nominees. A panel of five experts choose the winners, based on the candidates who are perhaps doing things a little differently than others.
Haugsbø is part of the Digital Solutions cybersecurity team, and has been technical responsible for key customers, for example Statoil and Maersk. She is experienced in onsite testing. She got her M.Sc. in cyber engineering with a focus on medicine and biomechanics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.
The goal of the Women in Tech event is to inspire more women to choose careers within technology. “We need both men and women to have a well-functioning organization,” says Haugsbø. “We need the best people. If we cannot pick from 100 percent of the population, we’re excluding a lot of talented people,” she says.
Choose what’s right for you
To her, the most important thing is that people choose with their hearts – whether they be men or women. If a woman wants to choose a traditionally female career, she should of course do so. But she should also know that if she has a desire to study a technology subject, she should follow that desire and not be discouraged.
What is thought of as a female or male occupation is culturally determined.
Haugsbø points out that IT has been a female dominated field in Asia for years. “In the last 10 years or so, men have been tending to go into mechanical engineering whereas women tend to pick IT. So they have opposite problem, there are not enough men in IT,” she says.
The workplaces that bring in a more balanced group will also benefit, says Haugsbø. “We all have different perspectives. Mixing up things gives better results,” she says.
So why should women choose technology?
“Because it’s fun!” says Haugsbø. “They should pick whatever is more interesting to them.”