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Inspirational Women in Siemens Mobility - Sophie Coupe

Category: Women, testimonial, International Women’s Day, Staff Testimonial, Siemens, Siemens Mobility, women in engineering, celebrating women, STEM for women

Sophie Coupe Wiring and Mechanical Assembly Operator 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.

“Don’t sit around waiting for someone to notice your skill and achievements. If you think you deserve that promotion, that new job, speak up, go for it. You are one face in a crowd of thousands, stand up and make yourself known.”

Sophie Coupe

Wiring and Mechanical Assembly Operator

Siemens Mobility Limited

 

Lets start with getting to know you. Can you tell us a bit about yourself. Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Poole, Dorset although the majority of my family are from greater Manchester. At school I did GCSE’s and started learning business studies, realising very quickly that it wasn’t for me. After a year off, I went to college to do Media Studies which I enjoyed creatively, but the career prospects were very limited.

When I was growing up, I had ambitions that ranged from becoming an Archaeologist and dreamt of finding undiscovered items, owning my own bakery or tea/reading room to even joining a forensics team! Some of these I am still passionate about today.

But my first ever job, and where I am at the moment, is at Siemens Mobility where I started off working in the factory in Poole, specifically on traffic light Pushbuttons.

Tell us a bit about your career path from when you started at Siemens to now?

I’ve been here for five years, initially on a temporary basis and now I’m a permanent member of the team. I have had the opportunity to work in a range of different areas of the factory and I’m currently working on the upgrade line of SVR radios as a wiring and mechanical assembly operator.

Working at Siemens has opened opportunities for courses to help me with my career development. I participated in a course last year called Seven Pillars of Business Confidence run by a wonderful woman named Adie. The course introduced me to some incredible women that I would never have met had I simply kept my head down on the factory floor. The course boosted my confidence in my own abilities. That course was the best career decision I have made so far, creating connections with other factions of the company and showing my capabilities outside of mechanical assembly.

What challenges did you face in your career and how did you overcome them?

In recent years, Siemens Mobility has become more diverse in areas that were previously male dominated. I expected when I started my role to be the only woman in my department, and I was. I was very shy and socially awkward.

After a few months, I got used to the new environment and found I settled in well. Until there was opportunity for improvement. I had little to no experience of how to progress my career. I worked very hard, simply because it made things easier of the rest of my team and I enjoyed being the one they turned to for help. I was the in-between person for the team and the technicians, and I’d eagerly learn how they were fixing our problems in case they were to arise again.

Like most, I’ve dealt with people that had preconceived views for being younger and less experienced in a role. As I worked hard, and was keen on career progression, I was very interested when leadership roles started showing up and I thought, maybe I can do that. I faced some challenges which knocked my confidence and I fell back into my shell. But I opened up and found there was a lot of support from my colleagues and the HR Team.

I also found the [email protected] group, which is an internal inclusive network that works to address diversity challenges to attract, support, develop women within Siemens Mobility. After one session with them, I found myself practically buzzing with energy. The strength of the women I had met filled me with pride and I admired them. I wasn’t alone.

What attracted you to Siemens and what do you love about working here?

It was my brother-in-law that introduced me to Siemens! I had never heard of the company and all my colleagues found it hilarious that I had never heard of Siemens before!

I love how diverse the factory has become. I have spent hours listening to people speak about their cultures and beliefs and honestly, it’s one of my favourite topics. The way people light up when they talk about their passions and family really brightens your day.

The most rewarding thing about my job, is that it has given me the opportunity to increase my problem-solving skills.

How has Siemens supported your career?

I have a mentor who has helped me over the last year. She is an absolute star and an amazing friend that I am so grateful to have met.

What advice do you give to others who have a similar story to you?

Don’t sit around waiting for someone to notice your skill and achievements. If you think you deserve that promotion/new role, speak up, go for it. You are one face in a crowd of thousands, stand up and make yourself known.

What contemporary figures inspire you?

Amelia Earhart. She was my age when she began flying and went on to break the women’s altitude record at 25. She showed how strong women can be. She accomplished so much from such a young age and inspired so many young girls to follow their dreams.

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Do you see that business woman driving her BMW? Do you see that woman running the homemade trinket stall with her daughter? Both of these women are successful, neither more than the other, but because they are happy. Don’t assume you need to be paid £50K a year to be successful, don’t assume you need the latest iPhone or whatever gadget is on the market right now that costs more than your first car. Success is when you find your passion. It is when you realise you are happy in life.

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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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