Science and Technology play an important part in helping us reach LEGO® builders across the globe - from Manufacturing, Production and Supply Chain to eCommerce and Consumer & Shopper Engagement (and there are many more!). Children are our role models, but we also know the positive impact role models can have on kids as they grow up. So on this International Women in Engineering Day, we would like to inspire the next generation of Engineers! We have asked some of our amazing engineering colleagues from across our Operations teams to tell us about what they do and share who inspired them to become the people they are today. Here is what they said:
Sophia is a Project Manager at our factory located in Jaixing, Zhejiang province in China and has been with the team for six years. Her current role involves exploring and implementing the automation opportunities in the packing and production area of the factory.
“I was inspired by my father who is an engineer, so he is why I work in operations engineering. When I was between seven and 10 years old (in a time before computers!), I remember him working at his desk drafting technical drawings during the evening time. When I woke up in the morning, I would always see the drawings on his desk (I understood years later why people call design concepts for “blueprints” because designs are originally drafted on blue paper). Because my father was an engineer, he was able to disassemble household appliances, and he fixed them while I was sitting next to him watching. He would also introduce the mechanisms behind the appliances to me. I found it fascinating.
“It’s now my role to inspire. I have a four-years old daughter who is a super fan of cars. My advice is to not be limited by any stereotypes. Be brave and be curious to chase your passion!”
Nancy has been a member of the team for 13 years and is the Senior Vice President in LEGO Manufacturing, Monterrey, Mexico. Her inspiration comes from her family.
“Good role models are important. As kids we learn by following the good example adults show us. My father inspired me to be an engineer. He was a Production Supervisor at a manufacturing site. Back then engineering was seen as a man’s job. But he encouraged me to do what I wanted. So I became a Mechanical Engineer.
"Now I run our manufacturing site in Mexico so we can deliver play experiences for kids and adults in the Americas market. Every day is a new adventure which keeps my brain very active. Most importantly I enjoy what I do and, hopefully, this means other women will be inspired to take on other roles in engineering.
"I try to inspire my three daughters every day – as my father did with me. With self-belief and hard work, I know we can all achieve our dreams.”
Doina Gumeniuc is a Senior Trainer in Mould Engineering in Billund, Denmark. Her engineering inspiration stems from Niels Bohr’s work in quantum physics.
“I train colleagues who create the machines that make LEGO bricks. It’s a great role because I get the freedom to be creative. There’s a ‘how-to’ theory part to my role. But I also find ‘learning through play’ incredibly valuable. My motto is: learning shouldn’t be boring and frustrating. So it helps that I’m encouraged to experiment and continuously improve.
“For me, the LEGO Group is a place of opportunities. Learning is central to this, and I am encouraged to continually learn in parallel with my role. The outcome helps me grow as a technical specialist and enables me to further improve training. Beyond that, who knows? All I know is that I’m excited by the possibilities.”
Imola Kazinczi joined us eight years ago as a Global Job Trainer. Now she’s a Senior Industrial Engineer based in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary. As a girl, she dreamed of joining an F1 pit stop crew.
“I test DUPLO® and LEGO system elements, so they look cool in the box. My work is always engaging as it draws on my problem-solving skills. Plus, I get to work with new technologies. There’s a positive attitude to failure here too. It’s seen as a learning opportunity. That’s our mindset.
“The LEGO Group always challenges itself. I like this approach. We aim to bring something new and unusual to give our customers the best possible experience.
"I used to be a teacher. But it was my dream to become an engineer. I finally graduated as a Mechanical Engineer specialising in Production Technologies. My latest learning journey is in Robot Modelling at the University of Napoli. I still find time to play with LEGO bricks with my family though."
Irlanda Castillo is a Mould Maintenance Specialist and has spent 10 years with us in Monterrey, Mexico. Her engineering inspiration is Katherine Johnson who calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard’s space mission.
“I take care of the moulds we use to create LEGO bricks. Me and my team are like mould doctors. I turn data into graphics to support smarter decisions that help to avoid damages. Once we’ve detected the problem, we create a team to investigate the cause and solve it with a variety of tools.
“One of the best aspects of working here is sharing experiences. We work on projects and solve issues with colleagues from other sites. We’re always developing different methods to overcome obstacles and optimise resources. So it’s satisfying. The culture here also means we’re all engineers together. We’re treated with equality and respect. Everyone here is. This makes a big difference I think.”
Juliana Ramirez Lopez
Juliana Ramirez Lopez is an Additive Manufacturing Engineer based in Billund, Denmark. Juliana has been part of the team for 15 months and her role model is Colombian artist, Devora Arango.
“I admire her for defying convention. She was brave enough to wear trousers when no other women did. She’s a daily reminder that we must challenge stereotypes. No job is meant for a man or a woman. We dream what we become; we’re the authors of our path. That’s why working for the LEGO Group works for me.
“We might not be the first company people think of for engineering and new technologies. But we invest in both. We’re not afraid to take risks either.
“If you’re considering a career in engineering, especially the girls out there, I’d say go for it. Don’t be scared. Be curious. This is the basis of engineering. Curiosity will set your potential free."
Laura Chávez is our Moulding Operations Director Monterrey, Mexico. So she’s in charge of producing every shape and colour of LEGO brick imaginable and has been with us 10 years.
“Getting LEGO bricks made on time and in line with our quality standards is what I do. Next, they are decorated and packed to reach our many customers around the world. It’s also my job to make sure we all work in a safe environment.
“Overcoming challenges demands this - it’s how we learn. The LEGO Group makes sure we all feel safe, appreciated and equipped to do the best job possible.
“Women inspire me. My mom was one of the few women engineers in her field. I liked hearing about how she analysed and solved problems. I also see how the women in Operations here create an impact and open the door to others. Right now, my inspiration is my daughter. I want her to know that everything is possible and she can have a positive impact on the lives of many people.”
Michaela Chrastna is based in Kladno, Czech Republic. Michaela’s journey with us began in February 2022. She’s an Equipment Manager in Research & Development Pack & Packaging Equipment Development on the Sustainable Materials Program. Michaela loved solving riddles when she was a child.
“I’ve loved solving riddles and math exercises since childhood. I was (and still am) stubborn in finding a solution. At work, I solve serious technical problems but I still feel like that little curious girl exploring new adventures.
"I love the freedom I have here to make full use of my potential and creativity. I also enjoy being a moderator in our group discussions. On Technical projects, we all bring our unique point of view. My role is to align them, drive progress and transform our future.
"13 years ago I struggled to find a woman engineer to be a mentor. My story here started with the “Say Hej to... LEGO Women in Engineering” event last year. Finally, I got to meet some amazing women engineers.”
Noemi Borbath has been with us for over 11 years and is based in Billund Denmark. She’s a Senior Training Specialist and has a background in Environmental Engineering.
"I joined the LEGO Group as a graduate. I spent 18 months rotating through three departments: Environment, Health & Safety, Value Chain Innovation and Part Design Quality. After the programme, I moved to Consumer Perceived Quality in Corporate Quality. Here I was a go-to person for the Design organisation for quality issues. I also developed quality-related training and presentations.
"Working here is like being a part of a huge, fun family. You can learn so much and meet so many different people: unicorns, magicians and all the good cops. But one of the biggest motivators for me is the product. It’s easy to forget how much joy we bring to so many children and adults. If I do, I just pick up a box and get on the floor and build.”
Natalja Szereda joined us in January as a Senior Logistics Engineer in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary. She loves having new problems to solve every day.
"My role focuses on optimising workflows and working areas. This means creating processes that are transparent, easy to repeat, and improve area efficiency. I’m learning all the time and logistics is an area that fits with my ability to create logical solutions.
"There are so many opportunities here at the LEGO Group. I’m surrounded by helpful colleagues and, if you have the ability and skills, you can have a fulfilling career - whoever you are. I feel very proud to work here."
Do you feel inspired to become a LEGO Engineer? Join us at our next virtual event ‘Say Hej to Inspiring Women in Engineering’ where you will meet some of our truly incredible colleagues! Click on the link below to learn more and sign up.