People of MECHA: Aathira Nair

  • Outside of your career what do you like to do in your free time?

Outside of my 9 to 5, I like to play badminton, travel, cook, read and blog. During the third lockdown in Auckland, having run out of ideas on things to bake and make, I craved a more creative outlet. It was during this time that I started my blog - Girl in Mech ( Girl in Mech is my portal to share my pitfalls, progression and learnings, in the hope of creating a community. The blog, combined with my weekend travels consumes most of my free time.


  • What are some of the issues facing women in industry and how can people in Mech/Tron make industry a more equitable space?

I would say the biggest issue that women face in professional environments, especially ones that are typically male dominated, is not a getting a safe environment to nurture their growth. By ‘safe environment’, I mean having a space where they feel valued as an individual, with their unique set of skills and having a support system that helps them overcome the insecurity and hurdles that come with being the anomaly.

  • If there is any advice you could give your uni self what would it be?

As the saying goes; it’s about the journey, not the destination. Once you graduate, grades are a thing of the past. Unless you are planning to do further studies, as a graduate engineer, you start off with a clean slate. From that point, you cannot piggy back on your grades to progress. You have to put in the hard yards to grow your technical and soft-skills, in order to grow. So while in uni, focus on the learnings, not the grades. It is the learnings that will act as foundation for you to build a successful career on.


  • How can people find out more about what working in the industry is like? 

The best way to find out more about working in industry is through networking – no one knows a field better than those have committed years to it. Attending networking events, like the ones MECHA and Engineering New Zealand organize, is a good starting point. I might also add a plug for the Girl in Mech blog here, where I share my personal experiences in working in industry.