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Equality and sustainability – two topics that are regularly the focus of attention in the 21st century, and that is for a good reason. Climate change has a serious impact on our environment and thus also on our economic and social development. According to the United Nations, women are more vulnerable to these impacts than men because they are more affected by poverty and thus more dependent on natural resources for food and income. However, these natural resources are threatened by climate change.
At the same time, women and even girls are considered influential figures when it comes to generating awareness for the climate crisis and are real game-changers that contribute significantly to climate improvement. Therefore, the theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” and thus honors women taking climate actions worldwide.
We would also like to take this opportunity to introduce some of the women in our company who make a daily contribution to a more sustainable future.
Welcome, Denise. Please tell us why you like working at Komptech and what drives you every day in your job.
I have been working at Komptech for several years and have seen the company, which makes such a valuable contribution to sustainability, grow. The areas of responsibility have become more and more varied and the team has grown from its challenges. I work in an insanely great team that always supports and is there for each other.
The number of men and women in your department is very balanced. How would you describe the position of women?
In general, I would say that women need to show more commitment to achieve the same status. Luckily, that is not the case for me professionally. I also think that there are clear improvements in this matter. For example, women are now offered many more opportunities when it comes to their education than some years ago. Regardless of whether it is about an apprenticeship, school, or university degree. However, I would not want to miss the men in the department either, because you can always learn from each other, whether woman or man, young or old.
That is very nice to hear. Now about sustainability: How important is it to you to make a contribution?
As the mother of a daughter, it is very important to me that she also has an environment worth living in and that she can grow old and be happy. Not only is it nice that I can contribute to sustainability in my job, but we are also taking steps privately. Waste separation is particularly important to us and we have a large garden in which we grow fruits and vegetables in summer. Moreover, we try to defy throwaway society, which means we think twice before we buy new things, we try to use things as long as possible, repair them or pass them on so that they can be used again.
What tip would you give to women who are trying to make the world a little greener?
Many small steps also lead to the goal.
Hello Claudia, thank you for your time. Can you please tell us a little bit about how you got into manufacturing?
3 years ago I decided to switch from sales to electrical engineering. I wanted to assemble something with my hands and end up with a product that would benefit others. After 1.5 years of training and the final apprenticeship exam, I got the opportunity at Komptech to show what I can do. I have never worked for a company like this before. At Komptech, I as an individual and especially as a woman, are an important part of the process. That moment was so overwhelming for me that from then on it was clear to me that I would never want to work anywhere else.
Would you say that you faced challenges along the way that you would not have had to face as a man?
Yes, both at home and in previous jobs, I was taught that women cannot make it in technology. Nevertheless, I asserted myself and convinced people of the opposite. Now I am doing the master craftsman’s examination. I also have the feeling that a rethink is taking place and improvements are visible, whether women are addressed in job advertisements or the acceptance of women within companies is increasing.
With your work at Komptech, you also contribute to sustainability. Is it important to you?
Yes, very much, especially when it comes to plastic there are currently too few good alternatives. It is, therefore, even more important to process the waste accordingly. I like to contribute to this with my work. After all, future generations should also benefit from it and grow up the same way or even better than us.
What tip would you give to women who are also interested in a technical profession?
Just do it! As long as you do what you love, you have nothing to lose. It is for sure the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Hello Barbara. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. Please tell us what your job at Komptech means to you.
I care a lot about the environment. I think we missed many warnings, problems, forecasts, and cries for help. Sometimes, we probably were not even aware of them. But in the end, we all want future generations to live as well as we do. The fact that Komptech is also committed to this and produces machines that help to recycle waste is very important to me. With this, Komptech makes the world a better place. The fact that I can make a contribution with my work shows me that I am in the right place.
What else drives you in your job?
It was particularly important for me to continue applying the knowledge I had acquired during my university career. I studied Translation and Dialogue Interpreting for Russian, Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. When it comes to technical documentation, my technical skills can be perfectly combined with technology. I am currently also doing a master’s degree in Technical Documentation at FH JOANNEUM, whereby Komptech allows me to combine theory with practice. You learn something during the weekend and apply it directly to your job on Monday.
Have you ever struggled with prejudice based on your gender?
I have been brought up with men doing technical jobs while women do other jobs or even focus on the household. So for me, it was particularly important to break out of these traditional gender roles. Of course, I also had to struggle with challenges, but just like everyone else. What matters to me is equity, not equality. What is important is competence, experience, and ongoing further training – gender is irrelevant.
What advice would you give to women who are interested in a career similar to yours?
Where there is a will, there is a way. Once you know what you want in life, you can achieve anything, regardless of gender.
We are very proud of the contributions that our colleagues make every day – for a more sustainable environment and equality.
Did you know that…
The first International Women’s Day took place on March 19, 1911, with over 1 million participants from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Denmark. International Women’s Day has taken place on March 8th since 1975 and is considered a global day of commemoration. In some countries, such as Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cuba, or Mongolia it is even a national holiday.