Supplier Quality Engineer, Siemens Mobility, Inc.
In recognition of International Women’s Day, the Sacramento Valley Manufacturing Alliance (SVMA), would like to recognize some of the Women in Manufacturing in the Sacramento Region and share their stories with the region’s manufacturers. If you know of a woman in manufacturing, or a woman contemplating her future in manufacturing, please share these stories, and inspire the next the generation of manufacturing excellence.
Kai Dilliingham is a supplier quality engineer, with Siemens Mobility, Inc., located in Sacramento, CA. Siemens is a manufacturer of rail transit vehicles and locomotives for the North American market. Kai has been with Siemens for 9 months, after graduating from Sac St with a BS in mechanical engineering.
Kai said her favorite part of the job is always expanding her knowledge about the design and operations of the locomotives assembled on-site, while ensuring the quality with every locomotive that Siemens delivers. Every day presents a new challenge but she finds the Siemens quality team to be extremely supportive. With that said, she finds the biggest challenge is finding solutions to issues in a timely manner that ensures Siemens meets their delivery due dates.
While still fairly new at Siemens, Kai is already looking at her future and the opportunities to move into a managerial role.
Kai notes that while she has found the work environment to be overall supportive, her biggest challenge is the mindset of some males who feel that women are not supposed to work in a manufacturing/production environment.
Kai’s words of advice to women interested in manufacturing, “Don’t give up. Even if it seems hard at first, I promise you it will get better. Never feel as though you’re alone and can’t reach out for support. There are many women that came before you and would love to help mentor you along your pathway in manufacturing.
Kai feels passionately that the manufacturers and organizations like SVMA need to hold more showcase events, tours or pop-up events for the public because it provides an opportunity for women to actually see manufacturing in action and converse with people in the industry.
Kai cites Mike Bell, Director of WFD at the CA Mobility Center as her mentor, Mike’s advice: Learn as much as you can. Research an engineering topic you’re interested in and build your expertise.
Kai already has her eyes on the future as she plans to be her first home next year.