Women in Engineering – Melvis Wachira
August is the month dedicated to celebrating women, and the powerful role they play as leaders in the workplace.
Having joined Bosch Rexroth Kenya as Sales Manager in September 2020, Melvis was promoted just a few months later, in December2020, to Country Manager, Bosch Rexroth Kenya, the position she currently holds.
Getting to know Melvis
- What academic qualifications do you hold?
B.Sc. Mechatronic Engineering.
- What was it that enticed you to the engineering sector?
I was interested in maths and science from a very young age, and along the way I figured out that engineering was the path for me.
- What work experience do you have?
Prior to joining Bosch Rexroth in the second half of 2020, I gained experience in product management at Schneider Electric.
- What would you say is your greatest strength?
I have a persistent and resilient personality, which helps me see the positive side of things.
- What do you feel is your greatest weakness?
At times I can be a perfectionist. I am aware of this and constantly put a check reminder on myself.
- What is your greatest accomplishment in life?
Professionally, rising to my current position counts as a great achievement. I have received some awards, which are recognised as accomplishments. They are SILL (Social Impact Leadership Lab) pitch winner, energy awards and GGITC (top 12 global finalists in Paris), and I have been awarded Fellowships and am now an Afrika Kommt Fellow and WomEng Fellow.
- What advice would you give younger women who want to succeed in the workplace?
My honest advice: push yourself out of your comfort zone and never settle for less. Grab opportunities, even those that seem difficult. You will learn a lot from these experiences. Also, get yourself a mentor (or mentors) to walk the journey with you. Lastly watch, listen, ask and learn from those ahead of you.
- What challenges do you face in your chosen industry?
Dealing with people’s unconscious biases can be challenging, as they are not even aware that they have them.
- How do you achieve a work-life balance?
I don’t have a perfect work-life balance, but I’m happy that I can find some harmony between my professional and personal life. My biggest tip on this has been setting my priorities right.
Getting her hands dirty. Asked about advice she would give to younger women aiming for workplace success, Melvis says: “Push yourself out of your comfort zone and never settle for less. Grab opportunities, even those that seem difficult – you will learn a lot from these experiences.”