Title: Senior Manager of Global Product Strategy and Customer Experience, Rheem Mfg. Co.

Age: 43

Educational Experience: Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, University of Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela, and an MBA in project management, University of Phoenix

Professional Credentials/Accreditations: Patents: sensor coupling verification in tandem compressor units; airflow - confirming HVAC systems and methods with variable-speed blowers; tandem compressor discharge pressure and temperature control logic; solenoid control methods for dual-flow HVAC systems; system for operating and HVAC system having tandem compressors; system for controlling operation of an HVAC system having tandem compressors; automated climate control system with override; system and methods for variable control and operation of HVAC components; system for operating and HVAC system having tandem compressors; and interlaced microchannel heat exchanger systems and methods thereto

What does your day-to-day job entail?

As an emerging leader at Rheem, my day-to-day job includes leading a skilled team of senior product managers, product managers, product specialists, and a technical writer for commercial air products; leading product strategy with the cross-functional team leaders; and contributing as a commercial air market subject matter experts to Rheem’s strategic initiative for one customer experience.

What caused you to/when did you fall in love with engineering?

Curiosity and the willingness to solve problems. I love to work on innovation and new technology. Specifically, I fell in love with engineering when I designed and constructed my first high-performance alternator for NASCAR race cars and then watched those alternators in action during a race at the Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas.

What challenges do women face in this profession? Can you give a personal example? Why aren’t there more women in engineering? How can we increase the number of women in engineering?

Awareness of successful women leaders in the engineering profession is not high. I encourage all women in the engineering profession to volunteer their time at schools and universities, where they can encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in engineering.

How many years have you been active in the engineering sector? What’s changed the most in that time? What’s changed the least?

I have 24 years of experience and two years of internships. In that time, the technological innovations in different sectors changed the most and the passion among women for innovation has changed the least.

What drives/motivates you every day?

Working with a highly skilled set of project managers drives me to be better every day. I strive to be a better coach to my direct reports and many other emerging cross-functional leaders in the organization.

What remains on your engineering bucket list — what do you aspire to do that you haven’t accomplished yet?

When you work in the engineering profession, the bucket list is always endless. Technology is changing the industry every day, and I aspire to always be part of the latest and greatest innovations that redefine what it means to be sustainable and responsibly use natural resources.

What’s one thing no one knows about you?

I really enjoy ballroom dancing, and I’ve been taking professional lessons. Ballroom dancing is not only my passion but is a way for me to relax and rejuvenate my mind.

List any mentors who’ve helped you succeed and describe precisely how they’ve shaped your success.

My mom was always my main mentor. Early in my career, my first boss, Blanca Sanchez, was also a great mentor. She taught me that nothing is difficult if we're always learning. She'd always say, “the math is easy; working with people can be challenging.”

Later, I met Betty Ungerman, and she helped me to believe in myself and use my creativity. She taught me how to generate new ideas. I'm very lucky at Rheem because I have the great support of numerous female leaders, like Karen Meyers, Kim Albrecht, and Diane Jakobs. Finally, I have a great mentor and boss in Farooq Mohammad. He is a humble and inspiring leader and person.

What advice do you have for prospective female engineers considering entering the field?

Define your goals and stay focused. Be flexible and learn how to communicate with people.