Name: Liz Palmera-Nunez
Occupation: Manager, T&D Engineering
Employer: Newfoundland Power
Education: Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical)
What does your typical workday involve?
During a typical work day, one of my biggest tasks is checking in on my team members and assessing progress on various projects. I like to discuss our priorities, progress, goal setting, and also troubleshoot any issues. My work is mainly in the office. During construction season, I am in the field conducting site visits on all the projects.
What do you most love about your profession? Why did you choose this career?
Engineering is one of the most rewarding and fun professions. I chose it because it allows me to be creative every day, make a huge impact on the world, and offers job security with a high salary for life.
I love my profession because it challenges me every day and it is a constant adventure.
When did you realize you wanted to work in STEM?
I came from an engineering family. Both of my parents were civil engineers. I was always encouraged to be curious and creative, to fix things and find solutions to problems. And I also liked science and math courses.
To me, it was never a question. I knew I was going to be an engineer.
What were your favorite subjects in school?
My favorite subject was math. I loved it from the first time I learned about numbers. The more challenging it was, the more I loved it; I treasure those memories when I learnt something new or solved a problem.
That is why I am a good engineer. It is not the comfort of having the solution, but the challenge of finding it.
What advice would you give girls, who are still in school, who might be considering a career like yours?
Math is the core of any STEM field; learn as much math as you can, not as little as you can get away with. Most engineering fields have good career prospects, but you should study the current job market before selecting a field.
Why do we need more women in skilled trades and STEM?
STEM and skilled trades are careers where gender difference prevails. We will benefit on multiple levels if we had more women in these careers. They can not only improve the growing shortage of skilled workers but also give these careers a perspective that men don’t have. Therefore, more women in STEM and skilled trades can improve the quality of life and the safety for both genders.
Who was your role model? What about this person inspires you?
The most influential role model on both my professional and personal life progression has been my mother. She has taught me the value of hard work, being strong and most of all resilience. Growing up in Colombia my mother defied traditional cultural norms by becoming a Civil Engineer herself. I have seen first-hand her perseverance throughout the many challenges she faced in life, and she has not only been a valuable life mentor but my biggest aspiration. She knows what I am capable of and continues to encourage me to pursue my dreams.
What do you do for fun? What are some of your hobbies/activities?
When not busy with work, I enjoy a very active family life with my daughters and husband. We love dancing, going on walks, watching movies, and eating out.
What superhero do you relate to most? Why?
Aside from the powers and tragic history, I can relate to Wolverine because he is just a man trying to lead a normal life. He is trying to find his place in the world and his own identity, while trying to make the world a better place, if possible, through his abilities.
Anything else you wish to share?
I am a feminist, an immigrant, a person of color and a female in a traditionally male-dominated field. In most aspects of society, I am a minority but I know that I deserve the same opportunities and rights of any other person, and I have worked hard to achieve a degree of success. I advocate for all minorities, and I am living proof that diversity is important.
STEM for GIRLS
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