March 10, 2017

"You cannot afford to be mediocre and you cannot afford to be average"

Theirworld is marking International Women’s Day 2017 on March 8 by talking to inspiring women from across the globe. Read the full series here.

Teresia Wairimu is a civil engineer with a bias on bridge design and construction. She has designed over 40 bridges in her career spanning 19 years. 

Teresia is the engineer behind the longest Bailey bridge in East and Central Africa across the Galana River in Tsavo National Park, Kenya.

Who inspired you when you were younger? And who inspires you now?

My father was my greatest inspiration when I was younger. He made me believe that I could become anything I wanted to be. I admired his dedication to his work as an ambulance driver.

I also get a lot of inspiration from my husband who is my senior in my profession. I admire his dedication and integrity.

I have always admired women who have managed to excel in their profession without sacrificing their families.

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Help to change the embedded values that stop girls from fulfilling their potential. Share a picture of yourself holding up a message and use the #RewritingTheCode hashtag.

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What challenges did you have to overcome to get where you are today?

Gender stereotyping and finding a family and career balance.

What’s the best advice someone has ever given you? And what advice do you have for young girls and women?

You cannot afford to be mediocre and you cannot afford to be average. Being a woman in a male-dominated world does not give you any advantage. You must work hard to earn your position.

What has been your biggest achievement in life so far?

Excelling as a lady engineer without having to give up my family.

What skills or attributes do you think women bring to the workplace?

Patience, resilience and women tend to be more people-orientated.

In a technical field like engineering, women are able to bring out the soft side of the profession

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