Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day – An interview with SVP Jane Zhu

This week, Veritas Technologies has been celebrating Engineers Week, which has encouraged engineers to visit schools and introduce students to engineering experiences for the last 30 years. As Veritas employees, we are always looking for ways to connect with our communities around the world, from eMentorships for high school students in Roseville, MN, USA, to donating laptops to schools in Maharashtra, India.

Today, as part of Engineers Week, is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. With the help of thousands of DiscoverE volunteers, the worldwide campaign helps “girls develop an interest in engineering, build their confidence in their problem-solving skills, and create a STEM identity.”

This is a mission familiar to the members of Women at Veritas Empowered (WAVE) who support the professional and leadership development of female employees. The WAVE team works to foster a diverse and inclusive workspace through awareness, mentoring, recruitment, and community engagement programs. 

We wanted to learn more from our global WAVE sponsor and Veritas’ Senior Vice President of Engineering, Jane Zhu, on her introduction to engineering and what advice she has for future generations. 

When did you discover your passion for engineering?

"It is hard to tell exactly when I discovered my passion. I do remember in middle/high school, two of my favorite subjects were math and physics. I loved to solve various challenging math and physics problems, and I would get excited whenever I could find a better way to solve the problems than my teachers’ approach."

What were the first steps you took towards a career in engineering? 

"Frankly, I didn’t design my steps to get into engineering. It’s entirely because of my interest in the field. Looking back, building a solid foundation in math and physics, choosing computer science and engineering as my major in college, and applying for a software developer position helped me get into engineering. I loved these school subjects and felt that I could do better than the boys in these areas."

What do you like most about engineering at Veritas?

"We have many talented engineers at Veritas. What I like the most is their passion for building top-notch solutions that help customers address their business challenges. That’s why Veritas is number one in data protection, number one in software-defined storage, and the first to bring an integrated data protection appliance to the market eight years ago!"

How do you feel about the future of girls in engineering?

"We have been making good progress in getting more women in engineering. However, the pace is still not as fast as we would like to see. Even though companies and colleges are taking steps to encourage more girls to enter the engineering field, I strongly feel that we need to start way earlier in education (pre-school, toddlers, etc.) to move the needle. With everyone’s commitment and relentless effort, and with an increased number of women in leadership positions, I am confident that more women will get into the engineering field in the future."

For girls interested in a career in engineering, what opportunities should they pursue?

"For any girls interested in the field of engineering and technology, they should consider all opportunities. I would recommend: 

  • participate in engineering related projects early, 
  • get a mentorship with women in engineering, 
  • always seek training/practice opportunities associated with cutting edge technologies; 
  • apply for an engineering-related position; 
  • and take on the lead role in engineering projects. 

Not every project will be successful. It’s ok to fail. We learn from our mistakes and enjoy the experience we gain along the way."

Jane Zhu, seated alongside Veritas colleagues invested in leading WAVE, speaking with session attendees on workplace best practices.Jane Zhu, seated alongside Veritas colleagues invested in leading WAVE, speaking with session attendees on workplace best practices.

Thank you, Jane, for sharing your experience today, and every day, through your leadership and WAVE sponsorship. We are lucky to have you on #TeamVtas and we look forward to welcoming future women you have inspired to join Veritas Technologies.