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Inspirational Women in Siemens Mobility - Davina Ojegba

Category: testimonial, Female Initiatives, International Women’s Day, What Our People Say, Staff Testimonial, Siemens, Siemens Mobility, female, women in engineering, female potential, female focus, STEM for females, female staff, female colleagues

Davina Ojegba, Health and Safety Advisor,  Rail Infrastructure - Crossrail Project Siemens Mobility Limited

As part of International Women’s Day, we are talking to inspirational women in Siemens Mobility to get insight into their lives both personally and in their careers to share their inspiring message to candidates and employers on creating an inclusive and equal world.

“Being here has opened up my entire world and mindset laterally. I feel valued in my work and I can speak freely. I look forward to continuously growing and developing as a person.”

Davina Ojegba, Health and Safety Advisor

Rail Infrastructure - Crossrail Project

Siemens Mobility Limited

 

Tell us about your Career Journey?

It all started at a mummy and toddler playdate 8 years ago where I met a mum whose daughter and mine became friends. She was an engineer and was considering a shift in her career during her maternity leave. We spoke about many things, one of which was my cloudiness about what I wanted to do when returning to work. I struggled with my sense of self quite severely as I managed a new marriage, post-partum anxiety from my rainbow baby, a delayed depression from an earlier miscarriage and a dawdling career where I was working as a temp, not utilising my Honours degree, amongst other things.  She reassured me quite casually that I could do a few things in construction and kindly referred me to Women into Construction.

Would you be able to share a bit about your education?

When I was 18 I left London to study a Law degree at University of the West of England. It was a bittersweet season in my life which left me with a Diploma in Law. I didn’t want to practice Law and with no career guidance, I couldn’t see the value in it, so I parked it away as a chapter of my life never to be spoken of. My very firm Nigerian mother, who was taking her degree in Education at the time in 2005, was firm in advising me on not giving up. She categorically gave me no options and so I embarked on some research to see where my skillset lay. I had worked in many industries over the years supporting HR, Financial & Executive teams where I enjoyed the growth and learning experiences. As this was my second time studying at higher education, I decided I was going to make it work.  I was ready for a change, so I chose to study Business Operations and International Logistics at London Metropolitan University part time.

After studying Law & Business Operations, how did you move to a career in Health and Safety?

Fast forward to early 2015, I decided I was ready to register my interest in getting back into the work, so I registered with Women into Construction where I met the lovely Kath Moore MBE. As I completed my application form for a Document Controller role she reviewed my CV and recommended I should consider a role as Health and Safety officer. I kindly declined as it wasn’t the role I came in for, I didn’t even know what I was turning down.  A year later, when I was ready to get back into work, I was directed by Women In Construction to an open day ran in partnership with the Job Centre, Transport for London, Women into Construction and Gingerbread. 

The open day was to select women for work experience opportunities in order to improve the inequalities in the female representation of women in the construction industry. There were transport and engineering companies of which Siemens Mobility was one of.  In a room of over 150 women, I was among the 25 shortlisted to undertake a one-week training programme with Gingerbread to later be placed with one of the employers in the room during May 2017. In all that time I was still keen on that Document Controller role. It turns out, there was another opportunity to interview the employers for the role we initially selected at the end of the training. At this point I decided to switch my option to be on the Health & Safety team. Fortunately for me I was offered the role as Health and Safety Administrator for the duration of the work experience.

From this open day, I got to spend two amazing weeks work experience on the Crossrail project with a warm welcome from Ian Mathews, Peter Turvey, Neil Akehurst and Mike Garton amongst others. On my last day of the placement I was offered a permanent role with the Health and Safety team here at Siemens Mobility. As serendipity would have it, that very first day at the job centre I sat next to the person who would eventually become my work experience manager and current line manager Neil Akehurst. I started working permanently with Siemens Mobility in August 2017 and have grown immensely in my time here.

What do you enjoy the most in your current role?

I truly love working at Siemens Mobility. The culture, ethics and value system are very progressive and in line with who I am and aspire to be. Being here has opened up my entire world and mindset laterally. In my current role I mostly enjoy the opportunity to connect. Working at Siemens Mobility allows me to explore that fully. The seamless standard of innovation and collaboration in any Siemens Mobility project or office amazes me. My time in the role as Safety Coordinator and now Safety Adviser has been challenging and yet incredible. I am able to utilise my passion and enthusiasm for wellbeing, inclusion, health and safety on a daily basis.  What else could I ask for. My team in London & Mass Transit are and continue to be a huge anchor in my life and continue to positively challenge my personal growth and development. So it’s understandable that I feel valued in my work and I can speak openly and freely. It is without doubt that I have grown as a person in the three and a half years I have been here. I sincerely look forward to each year in my career at Siemens Mobility. 

 

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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