SWEDEN "The misconception that one has to be big and strong to work as an engineer prevents girls from applying for that type of education," says Mikaela Malmrud at Forsmark's nuclear power plant.

She is first out in this week's series of articles where News from Vattenfall shines a light on women and their professions within Vattenfall, to mark the International Women's Day on 8 March.

Mikaela Malmrud started working at Forsmark 10 years ago and is in charge of all new installations and fitting work carried out at the plant. As one of seven unit managers, she is part of the maintenance department's management team. She previously worked as a maintenance manager at a small pharmaceutical plant in Uppsala.

"I applied for work at Forsmark because I wanted to develop personally and join a company with a larger maintenance department than the one I was in."

A move she doesn't regret as she gets to work both with technology and people.

"I get the opportunity to develop both people and engineering solutions – all combined with operational work. I like this mix. My interest in engineering probably comes from my two older brothers who I looked up to as a child."

What should Vattenfall do to increase the proportion of women in your workplace?

"Focusing on women in Vattenfall as you are doing now is in my opinion a good thing. Highlight examples that show that traditional moulds can be broken. Three out of the seven managers in our management team are women, which is actually rather good."

"I think in general that secondary schools can do much more when students are about to apply for college. Schools should be better at explaining what the different professions entail. I have a daughter who studied engineering at Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), but why do girls often choose chemistry programs and not mechanical engineering and electrical engineering? I feel that many wrongly think that one has to be big and strong in the jobs these courses lead to."

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