Sky’s her limit
YOU ARE ONLY limited by the foresight or capacity of your mind. If you think that you cannot do something, then you will not get it done. And, never think that you can only be this or you can only be that, because that’s what you will end up being.
This is Shaina Goodrich’s mindset, one that has caused her to believe that if she wanted to climb the highest mountain, she can do it, because in her point of view: the sky is the limit.
This is why it was not a surprise to her family and friends when she chose a career which was dominated by males worldwide. Since June, 29-year-old Goodrich has been the chief engineer at the Sandy Lane Hotel, where she is responsible for maintenance engineering and 30 males in her department.
Her responsibilities are large, but her demeanour is humble. Her objective in life was to be an ambassador for other females and also the youth of the island.
“I am responsible for the facility and making sure that everything is working okay. It’s a big hotel and we have got a number of different components within the hotel. We have got to monitor the sewage plants, make sure the air conditioning is working properly, make sure the push buttons in the room are working properly . . . .”
“Here at the hotel the standards are very high, and I am expected to deliver high standards. And because I am also on management, I am on call a lot. My job is demanding but anything worth having is worth working for. Once you have good time management you can get everything done on time and effectively. But there is never a dull moment for me because I am always doing something new,” said Goodrich, who made her career choice while studying science subjects in sixth form at Queen’s College.
Goodrich holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with management from the University of Birmingham and a Bachelor’s degree in project management from the Cave Hill School of Business of the University of the West Indies. She stressed that she was especially proud because she successfully completed her engineering course while others withdrew.
“There were very few females in my class. We started with about 110 people and there were 12 females. When we finished there were about 56 people and 12 females . . . . All the women got through and that’s a testament to our resilience.”
“But to be honest, I didn’t feel awkward or out of place in my class because in my family there are practically all boys . . . . and if you are studying the same discipline as somebody it means you have the same educational background and aptitude to get it done. It’s not as though anybody did you a favour for you to get there. I never felt odd . . . .”
“But, I was never in a situation before where there were no females at all on staff. The two ladies that work in the engineering department work on the administrative side. It was not shocking to the guys when I joined the department. It just took a little bit of getting use to, but the guys are very supportive. They do what they are asked to do; they corporate and there’s a sense of ownership,” said Goodrich.
When asked about her future goals, the family oriented engineer quickly responded “I don’t think I’m limited to Barbados, I honestly don’t think I’m limited to anything.”
She added: “I would always want to have some kind of impact or contribute in some way. But in terms of personal growth and experience. . . .I don’t have a limit to what I want to achieve.” she explained.
“I’m not a politician; I can’t go out and write legislation or enforce something, so to speak. But whatever you do every day in your life, you are still representing yourself as a person or an individual but you are also representing yourself as a Barbadian.”
“So taking pride in Barbados and what the country stands for is how you can be an ambassador. I see a lot of the values we would have known the older folks to embrace are slipping away, traits that are intrinsically Barbadian.”
She added: “Children learn by watching and copying. So if they see adults acting in a certain way, then they will think that it’s okay and then they will copy it and take it further. As adults we have to be mindful of how we act and how it impacts on the youth. It annoys me to hear people [saying] oh the youth this and the youth that – but who do we have to blame but parents and others in the community?”