As a global company, one of our greatest strengths is the diversity of talent that shapes our thriving employee communities. Together with our employees, we embrace our role in creating an equitable world and a more sustainable future. We honor that commitment by empowering, celebrating and supporting each other along the journey.
This is the story of Sivashangari from Penang, Malaysia. We hope her experience and determination in pursuing a career at Flex will serve as motivation for young minds to join us in making the world a better place.
If back in January you would have asked me, ‘What are your goals for 2020?’ I would have smiled broadly and told you I’m on my path to becoming an engineer. And no matter how many times I fail, I’ll always believe that it is the courage to continue on my way that counts.
Hi, my name is Sivashangari Gopal, but my friends call me” Shang.” This is how I started my engineering career at Flex.
From university to real-life engineering
I was born in Klang, Selangor, a city famous for its royal, historical human settlements and traditional monuments. A curious person by nature, I was looking to venture into a career in engineering. I traveled up north to finish my degree at the University Malaysia Perils.
Upon graduation, I dreamt of an opportunity to start my career, searching high and low. As soon as school was behind me, I moved back home with family, hoping I might find an engineering opportunity close to home. Being with my family was great, but I felt something was missing. I craved the chance to prove myself. That’s when I decided it was time to embark on a new adventure in Penang.
Life at Flex Penang
Moving to Penang proved to be a wise decision. I got a contract-based job as a mechanical design engineer with Flex, and my life changed for the better. I landed in a place where I met amazing friends who became family. Working in a global company and feeling supported in a friendly environment, I learned how to speak up to customers and multitask.
My engineering colleagues at Flex Systems Penang often invited me to share ideas and later included them in tests and projects. I always felt they valued each conversation and contribution. If my skills were appreciated this much as a new contract employee, I couldn’t wait to land a full-time job.
Balancing life in uncertain times
Following performance reviews, my manager informed me that he was ready to welcome me as a permanent employee. I was so close to fulfilling my dream of becoming a full-time engineer with Flex.
But then COVID-19 happened. One moment I was on cloud nine; the next, I was moving back home, looking for ways to cope with the challenges brought by a global pandemic. I kept in touch with my friends from Flex while taking care of a younger sister who needed me. I missed learning about processes and products that make our world better.
Thankfully, a month later, my former colleagues let me know about a new opportunity in the engineering department. We supported each other even if we were no longer a work team, united by the idea of staying calm during uncertain times.
When I learned of the new opportunity, I submitted my resume and went through the interview and hiring process again. Today, I am back at Flex, working as a full-time employee, alongside an incredible team.
I can safely say that I became a stronger woman amid all the challenges of 2020. I learned that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves, to take things one step at a time.
I’m Shang, and I’m a woman in engineering at Flex
The culture at Flex Penang is great. I’m grateful to work at a company where women are encouraged to pursue engineering – and are celebrated for being strong, smart and equal. Looking back, I think being strong, resilient and having a constant desire to learn is what motivated me to pursue and continue my career at Flex.
Sivashangari’s story is an inspiration for all women who have graduated with an engineering degree and are looking to positively impact their communities.