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Home » Women in STEM » Inspiring success at all stages of an engineering career

Laura McGuckin

Lead Program Manager, Ericsson

Svetoslava Kostova

CI/CD Engineer, Ericsson

Career progression can flourish in a supportive and collaborative environment, especially when employee development and wellbeing are highly valued throughout an organisation. 

Svetoslava Kostova and Laura McGuckin are engineers at different stages in their careers, yet they share a passion for the dynamic nature of what they do. “There’s so much room to grow as a woman,” says Kostova, a recent graduate. “There’s something new every day. No one looks at you differently because you’re a woman. There’s always great support.”  

McGuckin, who started as a graduate and is now a Lead Program Manager, agrees. “What I love is that we’re given the freedom to try out new ways of doing things. Sometimes you fail, but you learn, and Ericsson is really supportive about that.”  

Pursuing engineering 

During her electronic and computer engineering course, Kostova secured a nine-month placement at Ericsson, getting hands-on software experience. “I fell in love with it, and I knew software was for me. I was gutted after the nine months were up, but the company offered me a permanent job after college. I love it.” 

Laura joined the company in 2006 after studying computer science at college and has always had plenty of opportunities to take on different roles and challenges. “There’s a lot of opportunity to try new things, so I don’t stagnate or feel bored in a role. It keeps you interested.” 

Maternity leave in STEM 

For many women, taking maternity leave and going back to a STEM career after can be daunting. The approach Ericsson takes to maternity leave and the support they provide on return to the workforce helps to alleviate many concerns. “I have three boys and I was always encouraged to take the maximum leave I could,” says McGuckin. “Each time I returned, the overwhelming feeling I got was that people were excited for me to come back. I was given the space and support to adjust, and there were quality training materials provided to get upskilled quickly.” 

Growing with mentorship 

Mentorships and internal support can help develop new skills, fast-track career progression and grow a professional network. Kostova has experience as both a mentor and a mentee. “I am very passionate about mentorship. When I joined the company, my mentor helped me integrate into the team and walked me through the processes. There’s no silly questions, everyone is happy to help,” she says. “Mentors aren’t just for new employees, but for everyone, no matter how far along they are in their career.” 

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