A chemical engineering graduate from Ohio State University, she recently completed an M.B.A in business administration and management at Temple University in Philadelphia, while working as global product marketing & communications manager, digital solutions for energy industries, at ABB, where she has been for nearly a decade.
She explains her role as walking a line between R&D and product management companies, and those in the sales, marketing and communications sphere, helping engineering teams bring their solutions into the marketplace and communicating how the product can be useful to customers.
“I have one foot in the business world and another in the technical world, so it’s a great blend of skill sets,” she explains.
Samantha observes that marketing and communications meetings tend to be dominated by women, while in product management it is around 20 – 30%. However, that number has grown in the nine years she has been at ABB and continues to do so. ABB takes a lot of pride in employing women in the more technical fields and embraces diverse and inclusive teams.
Samantha’s favorite school subjects have always been math and science, and in college, she took part in several volunteering activities for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to help inspire young women to engage in these disciplines and encourage them to get involved.
Samantha explains that historically, women may have been siloed into areas such as education and nursing, but now there is a seismic shift. “For example, one of the women in my team is a cybersecurity expert, a whole new engineering field that is actively trying to recruit women.” It’s these forward-thinking values that give Samantha great pride to be a part of ABB, working behind the scenes to make the world’s industries work better and drive global change.
Asked whether she has ever felt different at work, she describes one or two occasions where people have over-explained something to her she already understood. “Mansplaining, I guess you’d call it,” she says. “I don’t think people realize it is even happening and it’s certainly not ill-intentioned, so I just listen and move on.”
Her advice to young women who want to be engineers? “Have a ‘can-do’ attitude and try not to be hard on yourself - if it was easy, everyone would do it. Apply yourself, keep an open mind, stay curious and have a learner mentality – you never know what opportunities could open up.”