Around 25% of Valmet Automotive’s personnel are women. We interviewed women both at our car and battery plants in Uusikaupunki and Salo, asking them what it is like to work in technology industry. Below we have compiled their views and greetings for those thinking about a career in the field.
Working at the battery plant
Miia and Satu from the Salo battery plant enjoy working in a factory environment. Miia works as a Production Supervisor and Satu is a Senior Operations Supervisor. Both had made a career in similar jobs already prior to joining Valmet Automotive, and they feel at home in the environment. Times and work environments have changed, but Miia and Satu both feel that the overall atmosphere has improved with the development of the concept of equality.
“Working in this field feels easy, not strange at all. I am interested in technology and I try to keep up with the changes in this business”, says Miia.
“If you compare situation today to, say, 20 years ago, it has become much more equal”, Satu reflects.
Working at the car plant
How does it feel to work at Valmet Automotive? We asked the employees of the Uusikaupunki car plant about their experiences of working in a factory environment.
“Although the technical field is generally male-dominated, I don’t think that is visible in the everyday life at Valmet Automotive. I personally think that I’m working with people, without paying attention to gender. I also feel that I am valued just as much as a woman and I have equal opportunities for advancement in my career as my male colleagues. In my opinion, here attitude, willingness to learn and competence gained through experience matter more than gender or other such factors”. // Team leader, Uusikaupunki car plant.
Satu, who has worked at Valmet Automotive for a whopping 22 years, works as a shop steward and Occupational safety representative at the Uusikaupunki car plant’s paint shop, plus as a Deputy occupational safety representative for the whole plant. She has worked in various jobs at the paint shop, and knows the plant and its departments and employees well:
“In the role of deputy occupational health and safety representative, I move around the plant a lot and have influence on issues in other departments besides paint shop, too. Colleagues have always been very important to me. In a trustee role, the best thing is meeting and working with different people. In cooperation with the employer’s representatives, we try to find solutions to develop and improve the working community and work satisfaction”, Satu says.
In addition to her daily work, being in the Board of the Finnish Industrial Union offers a great viewpoint in the whole industrial sector:
“In the Board of Finnish Industrial Union most members are men. About 24% of the union members are women, roughly the same ratio as at the plant. I don’t know why fewer women are applying for jobs at the plant, because women are just as suitable as men for jobs in every department and they can bring a different perspective to the workplace. I think a multicultural and multiprofessional work community helps us achieve the best possible results”.
Why more women are not applying to the technology industry?
There seem to be no simple answers to this question. Soili, who works as a Quality and HSE Director at the Salo battery plant, does not see any obstacles for women to be employed in the technological field:
“No one has ever told me that I couldn’t do something because I’m a woman. I strongly believe that anyone can succeed anywhere by doing their job well and showing their professionalism”.
Soili is experienced in working in the technology industry, both in Finland and abroad, and leadership roles in various work communities have become familiar to her:
“For the past 15 years, I have worked as a supervisor in companies where most of the management team members are men. I worked in Germany for more than 20 years in the management team of several companies, often as the only woman. This has not affected my work, because I see colleagues as colleagues, regardless of gender”.
Susanna works at the Uusikaupunki car plant as a Category leader for chemicals. Strategic development of category thinking – a fairly new concept for Valmet Automotive – is a central part of her everyday work. She likes the fact that the technology industry is constantly developing, and there is always something new to learn. In a changing work environment, smooth communication with colleagues is a key factor:
“Working in the automotive industry and the world of chemicals is fast-paced and always changing. You must find the best ways of working with all your colleagues and partners. I feel that communication and finding the right implementation method are the most important prerequisites for achieving the goal in any industry”, says Susanna.
Our interviewees encourage everyone to seek career opportunities from the technology industry. In a constantly developing environment, you will succeed with good attitude and openness to learn new things. This field is a field among others, and whether your goal is a career in technology, finance, or any other business, go on and pursuit your dream!
“We warmly recommend it! If you are interested in the technology industry, you should absolutely try it. This field offers constant opportunities for learning and self-development. Be motivated and open to new things, and you will definitely succeed. It is your attitude that matters – and you can do anything, if you set your mind to do so”, are the encouraging words from the Uusikaupunki and Salo plants.