Natalya Polyakova

Area Engineering Lead, Russia


Natalya has started her career at Sibelco in 2004, as assistant to the Country Manager in Russia. Later, she had the opportunity to join the Engineering team and become Area Engineering Lead.

Today is 'International Women in Engineering Day'. Why is a day like this important, according to you?

Engineering is usually considered as a ‘men’s area’. A day like this shows women who want to pursue a career in engineering that this can be very challenging, but it shouldn’t scare you: jobs in engineering can be very interesting and exciting. Gender shouldn’t define whether or not you choose to study engineering. If you feel like this is what you want to do in your life, just follow your instincts and ignore your doubts. You won’t regret choosing a career in engineering!

What attracts you to working in engineering?

I learn new things all the time, have challenging goals to achieve and a great team of fellow engineers. I meet many people from other functions as well, to work together on projects. I never could’ve imagined that when I started to work for Engineering in Sibelco, I would get so much support and help from the Engineering team. I’m very thankful for this!

What does a typical day for you, as Area Engineering Lead, look like?

My role always implies unexpected challenges. I work on a lot of different projects in the area that falls under my responsibility, so my days are very varied. My way of working has changed a lot because of Covid - in the past I was travelling a lot, but now we have to try to manage our projects via Teams meetings. I hope to be back at the Sibelco sites soon, since I really like seeing a project evolving with my own eyes, and working closely together with my colleagues.

What was the biggest challenge you dealt with, when you look back at your career?

A typical challenge you might encounter when working in engineering, is that you need to study everything in detail as much as possible. Consequences of having missed a small detail in the beginning of a project, can be much larger than you would think. You also have to be flexible – it happens that in a later stage of your project, a solution you were going for isn’t working as expected, and you have to restart the project. You have to look at issues from many different angles and consider all opinions and knowledge of the people involved in a project.

What advice would you give to other women pursuing a career in engineering?

Working in engineering is never boring. You will constantly be learning new things, and work with many interesting people. If a career in engineering looks appealing to you, you are on the right path: just go for it!

Do you also want to pursue a career in engineering at Sibelco? Keep an eye on our 
 for the latest vacancies.

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