Looking for a Komatsu website outside of North America?
Career development

Women in engineering: A career at Komatsu

June 22, 2020 / by Leah Harnack

Women in engineering at Komatsu

Each year, June 23 is a day for groups to organize activities to celebrate women in engineering and recognize how they contribute in making the world a better, safer and more innovative place to be. The Women’s Engineering Society launched International Women in Engineering Day to support women in achieving their potential as engineers, applied scientists and leaders; to encourage and promote the education, study and application of engineering; and to work with organizations and influencers to promote gender diversity and equality in the workplace.

On this day we recognize the work and dedication from all our amazing women engineers. We share their insight on being an engineer at Komatsu and advice for those starting out.

A wealth of opportunity

As an indispensable partner to the mining, forestry, industrial and construction industries, joining Komatsu means being part of something big. There are a wide variety of career options available and our employees know their work is shaping the future of society.

“As a manufacturing engineer, I make the process of building midsize excavators and forestry machines more efficient and more economical. I love working in a variety of areas, taking on projects that span the entire property.” — Becca Resnik, manufacturing engineer, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.

“Application engineering requires mining experience to understand all the intricate details needed for accurate productivity modeling and successful equipment integration at the customer’s operation. Many times, I am asked to visit an operation to determine if things are going well or if there is a need for improvements to get the most out of the equipment.” — Michelle Burich, senior mining application engineer, Warrendale, Pennsylvania, U.S.

“I have the best job. I am constantly amazed at how much I pull from my experience to work through issues. It is a mix of marketing and engineering, focusing on technology improvements for our electric drive trucks.” — Dianna Russick, product manager, Data Solutions, Peoria, Illinois, U.S. 

“My role as a procurement engineer is to work in areas of sourcing material and services, make negotiations with vendors, supply chain activities for quality, delivery management, foresee demand and supply troubles and assessment of suppliers before placement of orders.” — Smita Sarkar, procurement engineer, Kolkata, India

“I work in automation, which helps improve safety and productivity. The industries we serve are changing quickly with advanced technology and innovation — it’s an exciting time to lead that transformation.” — Megan Scheppa, senior engineer and team lead, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.

A global company with a family feel

Whether you want to travel the world or stay close to home, there’s a place for you at Komatsu. Our employees have opportunities to travel to parts of the world that many people never get to see. 

“Traveling to mine sites and working with the mine operators is critical to many of the projects that I work on. There are no substitutes for being able to see firsthand how the mine functions throughout a shift.” — Michelle Burich, senior mining application engineer, Warrendale, Pennsylvania, U.S.

“They supported my growth through engineering and becoming a principal engineer and supported my move across to operations, giving me a chance to see a different side of the organization. I’ve been involved in projects all over the world. The world’s your oyster while you’re working here.” — Lorinda Lakay, senior business unit manager, Wadeville, South Africa 

“People get surprised when they get to know my travel schedule and managing my home, my work-life balance. My job calls for extensive travel and being out of the home for consecutive days. Successfully managing this is surprising, as well as motivating.” — Roselin Mishra, product development manager, Kolkata, India

Committed to your advancement

As part of a large company, you have access to a wide range of training opportunities and support services. We continually advance our technical capabilities and knowledge together. 

“Engineering has afforded me the opportunity to work on some complex and often challenging projects. There are different ways in which an engineering problem can be approached, and each comes with its own learnings. Each project that I have worked on has afforded me the opportunity to learn new skills.” — Sewela Portia Moketla, senior product engineer, Wadeville, South Africa

“Komatsu has given me challenging and higher-level responsibilities that not only helped me to develop confidence in my potential but also enhanced my social networks and profiles within and outside the organization. It has entrusted confidence in me that motivates me to challenge and push myself harder.” — Roselin Mishra, product development manager, Kolkata, India 

“Komatsu’s culture of continual improvement has given me motivation to strive harder and progress further than any other company that I have worked for.” — Jessica Pennington, certified quality engineer, Longview, Texas, U.S.

“For women pursuing a career in engineering, this will be one of the most rewarding decisions you will make for your future. Expect to be challenged day to day, but don’t expect you’ll perform the same job twice in a month — especially if you become a mining engineer.” — Michelle Burich, senior mining application engineer, Warrendale, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Make an impact

Commitment to community is in our DNA — Komatsu was founded to provide jobs and sustainable growth for its community and that remains a top priority for our operations worldwide. Our employees work to address societal issues that impact us all, including environmental sustainability, community support services and workforce development.

“I believe it's definitely good for people in the industry to give that knowledge back to anyone coming in. I think it is our duty to provide that knowledge and expertise. I like to encourage them not to give up, because a lot of people have the perception that engineering is a difficult industry. It's difficult for some aspects, but that doesn't mean that you should not attempt or try to accomplish your career dreams.” — Victoria Flenard, manager — Shovel CPS — Engineering, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. 

“I love working with the kids. I think it’s important for them see what an engineer’s day would be like to get them interested in what we’re doing. Stick with it and have fun with it — it should be something you love doing.” — Megan Scheppa, senior engineer and team lead, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.

Find your future

“Research, research and do more research – Engineering is a broad field, there are many ways one can contribute to the field of engineering.” — Sewela Portia Moketla, senior product engineer, Wadeville, South Africa 

“Engineering is a fun field to be in, especially if you are a woman in a male-dominated field. It can be challenging sometimes but you know you are special, and you can do everything you put your mind into. Keep honing your skills, take risks and do not be afraid to make mistakes.” — Bernadette Canasa, project manager, Continuous Improvement, Peoria, Illinois, U.S.

Explore the possibilities at komatsu.com/careers.