Megha Agrawal, Technical Project Manager, Red Lion Controls.
MS in Computer Controls & Automation, Singapore
BS in Electronics Instrumentation & Controls Engineering, India.
Megha Agrawal is a Technical Project Manager at Red Lion Controls. She has a Master’s degree in Computer Controls & Automation from Singapore and a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Instrumentation & Controls Engineering from India Megha is also pursuing a certificate in Strategic Management from Harvard University. She is a mother of two girls (5 yrs. & 2 yrs. old) and lives in Boston.
Talk about the culture of your company. What makes it inclusive or supportive of women in engineering and automation?
Red Lion has a very collaborative culture and values its employees. As a team we are always supportive of each other and are ready to lean in where team members need help, allowing the employees to be themselves and bring new ideas to the table. We are always encouraged to upskill ourselves. For example, Red Lion’s educational assistance program led me to pursue a certificate in Strategic Management.
As a woman working at Red Lion, I have always been treated with equality and respect. I am fortunate to lead some critical projects and my male colleagues value my opinion and skillset. During the pandemic, it has not been easy to manage work with young kids at home. Red Lion has been very supportive and provided me the flexibility to balance my professional and personal life.
Describe a recent company project (in which you were involved) that went particularly well. How did you and your team go about ensuring success?
We had a strategic project for a large Oil & Gas company where the customer had requested for some product enhancements on a tight timeline. To implement this solution, we took unprecedented steps and worked with the cross-functional extended team of Product Management, Engineering & Sales. As a result of this collaboration, we were able to deliver on time, gaining customer’s trust and loyalty for a longer-term relationship.
What first drew you to engineering and this industry?
My father, who is an Electrical Engineer, inspired me to pursue engineering. Since childhood, I saw my dad working on complex circuits. He taught me to look at a problem from different angles and find the optimum solution. Over a period of time, I started loving complex problems and found myself gravitating towards engineering function. By the time I reached high school, I knew that I wanted to be an engineer. To this date, I discuss electrical engineering concepts with my father and he still teaches me something new every time.
Describe your biggest career challenge. How did you solve it — or what was the outcome or lesson learned?
I believe that challenges are simply obstacles on the way to success. Like everyone, I have experienced few such obstacles in my career. One of those challenges was very early in my career when my technical expertise was questioned in this male-dominated industry. I still remember 12 yrs. ago, I was at a site visit in Indonesia, and several people couldn’t believe that a woman could do the job. I dealt with such situations by staying focused and trusting my work. I always strive to upgrade my skills to demonstrate high levels of engineering competence which has helped me build my reputation.
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to believe in herself and not seek approval from others when making decisions. I would also tell her to always have a goal and keep working towards it—the key is to consistently take small steps towards the goal. In the end, it’s ok to make mistakes as long as we learn from them.