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    Humanizing Growth

    She Sparks Change: An Electrical Engineer Charging Up For Success

    Engineering is one of the industries dominated by men, regardless of the geographical location. In the US alone, only 9.55% of electrical and electronics engineers are women!

    This is astonishing—especially that gender diversity and inclusion are two of today’s most important issues.

    By sheer numbers alone, the possibility of shattering the glass ceiling in engineering seems daunting. But here at Penbrothers, we have an Electrical Engineer—a female at that—who has proven to be one of our most valued leaders.

    We tell the story of Carmella Joy Papa, our Senior Manager for Admin Operations and Procurement.

    Starting as a One-Woman Team

    Carmella joined the Penbrothers team in September 2022 as a Procurement Manager. This initial role involved strategic sourcing and procuring of resources for the organization to operate effectively to save costs.

    Carmella shares it was the first time Penbrothers hired someone for the Procurement team, as this was its first time formalizing its procurement process.

    Carmella started as a one-woman team. She established standardized processes and procedures, as well as the collaboration between her team and other departments within the company.

    An Electrical Engineering graduate and registered Master Electrician, Carmella added value to the technicalities of the job, including facilities upkeep and maintenance. Penbrothers leaders saw her potential and dedication, resulting in her promotion even before she got regularized!

    A group photo of the Penbrothers service delivery team.
    Penbrothers’ Service Delivery team

    Carmella shares, “In my fourth month, I was offered an expanded role to oversee admin operations, as I am an electrical engineer by profession.”

    See also: The Accidental Manager: How A Millennial Unexpectedly Rose From the Ranks

    Looking Up to Her Leadership Role Models

    Now that Carmella is not only in charge of procurement but also of admin operations, this means she has to manage people.

    Initially, this hasn’t been an easy process for her. “I’m an introvert by nature, but my role encouraged me to expand my circle and collaborate with others,” Carmella says.

    A group photo of the Penbrothers service delivery team in an outing.

    She also shares that her bosses serve as her role models in leading her own team. The most important leadership lesson she gained from her mentors: the value of providing guidance and support without micromanaging. 

    Carmella finds joy in imparting her wisdom and knowledge to her team, knowing that these can help them thrive in their roles and career. 

    Out of the four core values of Penbrothers, Kapwa-Tao (sense of kinship) resonates with her the most. “This leadership role made me more empathetic towards others. I don’t just look at my team members’ performance and what they bring to the table. I also look at who the person is in front of me,” Carmella says.

    Read more: The Story Behind Penbrothers

    What Growth Means to This Woman Leader

    What Carmella learned about growth is that it “means not only stepping out of the comfort zone” but also being in a supportive environment of dynamic and dedicated professionals.

    Carmella says that Penbrothers has opened a lot of opportunities that help her grow not just professionally but also personally.

    I am happy with what I do, and it inspires me to become the best version of myself,” Carmella ends.

    Watch Carmella’s full story here:

    Filipino engineers are not just dynamic and more than qualified to get the job done, but they also have leadership qualities that make them ideal team members. Their work ethic is exceptional while their technical skills are at par with their counterparts from different parts of the world.

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