sue-wright
sue-wright
When you work with talented people who are doing their best, great results are possible, and work is enjoyable.

Sue Wright has a long career spanning over 35 years with TE.  She began her career as part of the Industrial Engineering Rotation Program with AMP Inc., before TE's acquisition. Sue has since progressed through her career to take on various roles such as Plant Industrial Engineer, Product Engineer, Team Lead and Product Manager. She currently works as a Project Manager Engineer within TE's Data & Devices business. 

What do you believe women need to do today to design a unique career path in engineering or leadership?

The best way to design a unique career path in engineering is to become skilled at your specific job. As expectations for the job change, or new tools become available, keep learning the new things. If a colleague is stuck on something that you know how to do, share what you know. Teaching other people deepens your own knowledge. Stay up to date with current trends in your discipline through networking, professional organizations and media.

At the same time, always be learning about other technical and support functions that you work with. For example, if you are a mold engineer, be interested in the product design. Talk to the technicians in the plant to find out why some molds run well, while others don’t. Find out from the resin supplier if a resin is common or very specialized. Find out from finance or industrial engineering what the cost drivers are for a product or plant, and what the volumes are, so you know what is worth spending your time working on. Go measure some parts with an inspector to see how it is done, how easy or hard it is, how long it takes, and if the measurement output is good or not so good. If you don’t understand something, keep getting additional information until you can explain it to someone else. Be open to ideas from other areas about your own discipline. Be thinking about how to apply what other functions are doing to your own area. Collaboration makes you a better engineer.

Be interested in what is going on within your business unit. When your business unit or team faces a challenge or problem, offer ideas and/or volunteer to be on the team that is working on the solution. If a new project comes up, offer to work on it. Volunteer for the most difficult challenges. These are likely to be the most interesting, and to expose you to the widest network of colleagues.

If there is something you want to do, make sure you talk to your boss and HR about it. They can’t read your mind, so you need to tell them. If it is something you really want to do, bring it up several times. They are busy. After a few times, if there is no progress, find out from them what you need to do to make it happen. They may need a business justification, or perhaps they feel that you need to improve in an specific area before you are able to do what you want.

If you want to become a leader, and are starting as an engineer, you probably are good with facts, data and problem solving. This is a great starting point. To be a good leader, you need to also be great at getting the best out of your team. This requires an additional set of skills and behaviors. Some of these are accessibility, listening skills, coaching skills, time management skills, written and verbal communication skills, the ability to have difficult discussions, the ability to handle conflict effectively, the ability to get support from other organizations, the ability to set good goals and to prioritize work, and the ability to get things done through other people. As an engineer and team member, you can practice and develop these skills as you work. As these skills develop, you will start to be asked to lead projects or groups, or you can ask to lead a project or groups.

"Be thinking about how to apply what other functions are doing to your own area. Collaboration makes you a better engineer."

When did you know you would become an engineer?

When I was in high school, a flyer from a prospective college caught my attention. To paraphrase, it asked: “Do you like to solve problems? Do you enjoy science and math? Maybe engineering is for you.” This seemed like the perfect fit for me.

  1. Unleashing Potential

At TE, we focus on enabling women to reach their full potential through inspiration, networking, mentoring, and professional development.

Why TE?

First and foremost, the people I have worked with throughout my career do their best to satisfy customers and continuously improve. When you work with talented people who are doing their best, great results are possible, and work is enjoyable. Because the company embraces change, there are always new opportunities for interesting work and career development.

sue-wright
sue-wright
When you work with talented people who are doing their best, great results are possible, and work is enjoyable.

Sue Wright has a long career spanning over 35 years with TE.  She began her career as part of the Industrial Engineering Rotation Program with AMP Inc., before TE's acquisition. Sue has since progressed through her career to take on various roles such as Plant Industrial Engineer, Product Engineer, Team Lead and Product Manager. She currently works as a Project Manager Engineer within TE's Data & Devices business. 

What do you believe women need to do today to design a unique career path in engineering or leadership?

The best way to design a unique career path in engineering is to become skilled at your specific job. As expectations for the job change, or new tools become available, keep learning the new things. If a colleague is stuck on something that you know how to do, share what you know. Teaching other people deepens your own knowledge. Stay up to date with current trends in your discipline through networking, professional organizations and media.

At the same time, always be learning about other technical and support functions that you work with. For example, if you are a mold engineer, be interested in the product design. Talk to the technicians in the plant to find out why some molds run well, while others don’t. Find out from the resin supplier if a resin is common or very specialized. Find out from finance or industrial engineering what the cost drivers are for a product or plant, and what the volumes are, so you know what is worth spending your time working on. Go measure some parts with an inspector to see how it is done, how easy or hard it is, how long it takes, and if the measurement output is good or not so good. If you don’t understand something, keep getting additional information until you can explain it to someone else. Be open to ideas from other areas about your own discipline. Be thinking about how to apply what other functions are doing to your own area. Collaboration makes you a better engineer.

Be interested in what is going on within your business unit. When your business unit or team faces a challenge or problem, offer ideas and/or volunteer to be on the team that is working on the solution. If a new project comes up, offer to work on it. Volunteer for the most difficult challenges. These are likely to be the most interesting, and to expose you to the widest network of colleagues.

If there is something you want to do, make sure you talk to your boss and HR about it. They can’t read your mind, so you need to tell them. If it is something you really want to do, bring it up several times. They are busy. After a few times, if there is no progress, find out from them what you need to do to make it happen. They may need a business justification, or perhaps they feel that you need to improve in an specific area before you are able to do what you want.

If you want to become a leader, and are starting as an engineer, you probably are good with facts, data and problem solving. This is a great starting point. To be a good leader, you need to also be great at getting the best out of your team. This requires an additional set of skills and behaviors. Some of these are accessibility, listening skills, coaching skills, time management skills, written and verbal communication skills, the ability to have difficult discussions, the ability to handle conflict effectively, the ability to get support from other organizations, the ability to set good goals and to prioritize work, and the ability to get things done through other people. As an engineer and team member, you can practice and develop these skills as you work. As these skills develop, you will start to be asked to lead projects or groups, or you can ask to lead a project or groups.

"Be thinking about how to apply what other functions are doing to your own area. Collaboration makes you a better engineer."

When did you know you would become an engineer?

When I was in high school, a flyer from a prospective college caught my attention. To paraphrase, it asked: “Do you like to solve problems? Do you enjoy science and math? Maybe engineering is for you.” This seemed like the perfect fit for me.

  1. Unleashing Potential

At TE, we focus on enabling women to reach their full potential through inspiration, networking, mentoring, and professional development.

Why TE?

First and foremost, the people I have worked with throughout my career do their best to satisfy customers and continuously improve. When you work with talented people who are doing their best, great results are possible, and work is enjoyable. Because the company embraces change, there are always new opportunities for interesting work and career development.