skip to primary navigationskip to content

Profile of Rhea D’Jesús

Rhead'jesus

My name is Rhea D’Jesús (née Flarry, Pembroke1999) and I am currently a department manager for global spare part supply at Procter and Gamble. I lead a team who identify, classify and supply chain manage all new spare parts for the global Pampers production lines in 40+ locations.

My team reviews all equipment improvements made for our proprietary Pampers production lines (you cannot buy a Pampers production line- the technology is designed and developed by P&G, for P&G), and ensures that the right spare parts are purchased for where and when they will be required.

The decision to work in Engineering was largely driven by discussions at the dinner table when I was growing up. My Dad worked as a civil engineer and my mum as an HR professional in manufacturing. Studying Manufacturing Engineering (MET) was a natural choice, as was starting my career as an Engineer in Manufacturing after graduation.

I describe myself as an engineer with a heart for manufacturing. I am motivated by opportunities to use the stereotypically female parts of my skillset in technical environments: communication; teamwork and coaching. The combination of being able to count and able to communicate effectively is not as common as you might hope.

What has helped the most in my career has been the experience of not being the only female engineer in my environment. I’m not a “one of the guys” type, and I’ve sought out environments where this wasn’t required. We were 4 female Engineering students at Pembroke from the 20 in our year; 11 in MET from 44, and at P&G our women’s network on site has 80+ female engineers and managers. Our plant manager is female, as is half of the lead team. Whenever I get a response of “ooh, that’s unusual”…I reply that I know lots of female engineers.

The biggest challenge I have faced has been to use the word engineer when describing myself. I worked out early on at University that I’m not a software programmer or a mechanical designer, and that my biggest skill is problem solving in an industrial setting. Somehow this didn’t conform to my personal stereotype of an Engineer, and at the beginning I kept putting myself in situations where programming or design was required in order to prove that I really was an engineer.

rhea 2

 

I have 2 young children aged 2 and 5, and balance family life with a full time work schedule. My husband works for the same company andwe share nursery drop offs and pick-ups. Neither of us have family nearby, but over the years we have built up a pool of trusted babysitters for emergencies. It’s a stretch sometimes to find enough hours in the day but we make it work.

 

 

 

I don’t have any advice for others, but if I could give my 18 year old self anything it would be confidence. Aged 36 I’ve finally learned to bring everything I have to offer to the job, rather than just a limited idea of what an Engineer should be doing. Engineering is about so much more than design.

 

Images credit: Rhea D’Jesús

Published 15/12/2017