Evita Naumenko

Let's find out more about Evita:

When and how did you realize that you want to pursue a STEM career?

I have two gorgeous children and a very supportive husband, however I have always wanted a successful career as well - I wanted to make that little bit of difference around me, nothing too ambitious but to be able to leave something behind me and be able to say that I have created it and make my children proud.

I moved to UK 7 years ago and started all from the beginning. Luckily enough my first job was in an electrical/manufacturing company where I got an insight of electronics, electrics, design and manufacturing. I gained a bit confidence in my English and decided that if I am not going for my degree now, I probably never will. And choice of engineering came quite organic - I am maths person with strong logics so STEM is the only correct area for me and engineering in particular has that “added value” for me – you are a creator.

How does the Open University help you achieve your goals?

The Open University was my only option to realise my dream. I am working full time, have family commitments and no brick university could provide me with the flexibility I need. Depending on the assessment times, my family life fits around the studies or studies fit around my other responsibilities. And I can get one to one support whenever I feel I need it, not to mention that only here you can meet so many people from different backgrounds, engage with them and get such a fantastic support whenever you think you are giving up. You are studying in your own pace; at the comfort of your own home and still don’t feel alone.

What would you say to someone who thinks that maths is hard or that maths is pointless?

I believe that not everyone is true maths person, however maths is not complicated at all. There is always a correct answer; not every time it comes easy, but it is there. In some subjects we feel more confident than in others, but the solution can always be found, calculated or worked out. For me it has always  ‘ticked the boxes’ as I do not like vague arguments or possibility to have infinite correct answers.

Have you ever been the victim of a gender stereotype?

I have been lucky enough as I haven’t been valuated less in my work due my gender, my ability to work and solve problems have always been taken into account. I feel I have stepped in this field in very interesting time when women are actually welcomed to join and their point of view is valuated.  I believe we can do it and we need to gain that little bit of confidence, no matter what field the person is trying to make their career, you need to prove that you are capable to achieve something. Engineering is not different – no matter of gender you will be taken into account if you are passionate and good at what you are doing. We should not be afraid because of stereotypes, there are brilliant engineers/women to take example from.