Hi girls (and guys 😉)!
My name is Eva SAMBA and I’m currently a Civil Engineer at EDF Renouvelables in Paris-La Défense 😊 My role is to bring my civil engineering expertise to renewable energy projects (solar and wind), mainly in the design and construction phase.
Basically, I take part in calls for tenders in France and abroad to define the civil engineering infrastructure for wind and solar farms and I write the specifications for the contractors. I am also consulted in case of necessary checks on projects under development or already built to analyse risks, make recommendations and evaluate budgets.
I am very passionate about my job, and this passion began when I discovered in the media a woman who, at the time, was head of a Senegalese agency in charge of implementing major infrastructure projects for the State of Senegal. I inquired about her background and from there my desire to study science with the main objective of becoming a civil engineer :D! It was also a personal challenge to show that women, as well as men, have the capacity to succeed in this field! To achieve this, after my High School Graduation, I continued my studies at the Higher Polytechnic School of Dakar (Senegal) from where I graduated with a Professional Bachelor’s degree in Renewable Energy Technology and a Civil Engineering degree. I then worked as a trainee in a company that supplies solar micro-grids (autonomous energy systems whose operation is independent of the conventional electricity grid). Six years later, I joined an agency of the State of Senegal in charge of the implementation of rural electrification programs, notably through the installation of solar mini grids in localities very far from the existing electricity grid. Finally, at the beginning of 2019, I came to France where I continue to work in the field of renewable energy.
I moved to France for family reasons. The hardest part was of course to be separated from my friends and colleagues after so many years together. Fortunately, I had no apprehension about my professional reintegration in France.
Being a woman in the field of civil engineering is certainly not an easy task, but I am fortunate that I have not yet experienced any particular “sexist” situation with my colleagues. Ok, I confess that sometimes when I go on site, some people are annoyed with me because of the working conditions and want to go in my place, believing that I won’t be able to do it, but of course I always manage to do it 😉 ! Also, it can happen that some workers on site don’t accept instructions coming from a woman, but when this happens, it is necessary to impose respect without direct affront. I would be delighted to talk to those who are interested in my sector of activity to give you more details because in my opinion, the percentage of women in scientific professions is low because the promotion of scientific fields is not systematically done by women!
The advice I can give you is to believe in you girls and give yourself the means to succeed because to want is to be able! Personally, I have never met a person who has failed in her studies or her professional career because she is a woman. On the contrary, we are usually the best at what we do with passion and dedication. This quality is not negligible and employers do not hesitate to point this out. So go for it!
Written by Monika