Breaking Barriers

In this series, our health care team members share how they bring Sodexo’s core values to life everyday. For Shalini Shaw, it’s about breaking down gender barriers and solving problems as a biomedical engineer to advance patient care.

After graduating from college with a B. Tech degree in biomedical engineering, I was excited to begin my career. But in India, when I first applied for these jobs, I was told they were not suitable for women, because they required interacting with heavy equipment as well as travel. I figured I’d change their minds later, and accepted my first job in the sales division at a healthcare company.

While I made the best of it, I was frustrated because I wasn’t applying all my education. So when a former colleague referred me to the Sodexo position at the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, I jumped at the opportunity.

Sharing Expertise

I love my job as a Junior Biomedical Engineer at Sodexo because I am able to apply my knowledge, helping to maintain x-ray machines and other radiological and lifesaving equipment. I work alongside a team of 11 engineers, including two other women.

Everyone has been so supportive, helping me learn and grow my career. I owe a great deal of my success to my manager and colleagues, who have shared their expertise with me. We used to inspect the machines together, but now I am trusted to troubleshoot issues independently.

I’ll never forget my first week on the job, I accompanied a specialized engineer to troubleshoot a piece of equipment. He explained the machine in such a nice manner that I diagnosed the problem and closed the call myself. That was a very proud moment.

Championing Safety

When my manager asked me to become the safety champion, I accepted the responsibility with open arms. I was glad that he believed in me, and I was happy to be the first woman in the role. I like to think I might have started a positive trend, because there are three women safety champions at different sites today.

Impacting Patient Care Biotech engineering is a wonderful career because you get to solve problems everyday, and when you do, you are helping doctors, nurses and medical professionals do their jobs. Your contributions directly impact patient care and wellbeing, which is very meaningful.

Regardless of your gender, if you are interested in taking up new challenges and enjoy learning, this job might be for you!

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