Ioulia Dolganova, a women rep in a world of men

Ioulia Doganova, a proficient and driven woman from Russia, always expected to do something with her passion for technology. Even as a child, Ioulia wasn’t ‘your average girl’, instead of playing with dolls or kitchen sets she found construction tools, cars and modelling compounds more interesting. Nowadays, Ioulia is a successful instrumentation engineer in the Netherlands who has adapted to a world of men.

Once in a lifetime

In 1992, Ioulia decided to explore her enthusiasm and talent for technology so she attended the State Academy of Oil and Gas in Moscow.  “Immediately after finishing high school, I was very eager to study instrumentation engineering.  I chose the State Academy mainly for its quality and location.  The academy is well known for its curriculum; they offer a specialised education, ensuring that engineers understand all processes within the oil and gas industry while maintaining a strong focus on instrumentation.  I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I had to study at the academy as it gave me the opportunity to earn a highly respected and specific degree without having to take additional courses to achieve my goal.  I have not heard of any similar study here in the Netherlands, in fact, most of my colleagues enrolled in other engineering studies followed by specialised courses which took them an extra two or three years”.

Superior women

Over time, Ioulia has perceived how the industry has developed from a woman’s perspective and although she feels that the label of a ‘man’s industry’ is valid, she defines that the industry has sufficient space for women.  “There are no female instrumentation engineers working with me at the moment.  I have worked with some in the past but in general, the technical field has never been a woman’s place.  However, in recent years more and more women have joined this profession as equally competent counter parts.  The latest studies in European secondary schools show that girls are excellent students of technical courses, often superior to their male classmates.  “This makes me feel confident about the future role of women in the industry”.

Infinite passion 

During my years in this profession, I have been part of many interesting projects and encountered many incredible events.  I have learned that I particularly favour small projects enabling me, in a short period of time, to have a clear overview of the whole process from starting concept to a finished product.”  Ioulia has worked as an instrumentation engineer since 2001.  During this period, she has obtained broad knowledge and experience in the technical world and she has shown the industry that one can meet and surpass any expectation, regardless of gender.  In more than thirteen years of technical experience, ranging from very small to multi-billion dollar projects Ioulia’s character is one to be admired due to her enthusiasm and passion to keep pace with time, reaching professional peaks equal to men.  “Maybe I would like a slight change in the future but for now I am very happy with my present work.  Sometimes, when I am assigned to very large projects where I really feel under pressure, I have the idea to move into a management position.  Although these positions require an incredible amount of energy and I have a family that requires my attention too.  I think if you work hard and like what you do you will always be recognised – which, ultimately leads to satisfaction”.