On the occasion of the International Women’s Day we’ve interviewed a couple of colleagues across the organization about why they love working for FabricAir and how they perceive themselves and their roles.
At FabricAir gender equality isn’t something we talk about - there’s no need to, because everyone are naturally considered equals. We judge performance by merit and nothing else regardless of who we are. And this is a work culture we are proud to be part of.
“Working in air engineering technology is very rewarding. You can see the ideas materialize and you know that the product you are creating will benefit many people.”Explains Onute Tamulioniene, Production Manager in Lithuania.
The colleagues I spoke to are all proud to be part of a truly diverse, international and intercultural company where we do not need to write equality down as a guiding value, because it’s a natural state of affairs.
“I find it exciting to work in an international team; we’re a marketing team consisting of men and women from different countries. Of course there are cultural differences, but all are strong people who inspire and enrich the team.” Says Nadja Pickel, Marketing Assistant, Germany. And continues:
“At FabricAir it is performance that counts, not the gender you have. It's great to see that even in the HVAC industry women have good positions and are contributing to the success of the company.”
Our Production Manager, Onute Tamulioniene, explains our factory’s work culture, which corresponds to the corporate culture we have across all 11 subsidiaries around the globe:
“We have a great team spirit and we work together across departments and national borders to ensure the best product for our customers. We respect each other and each individual brings something valuable to the team – we are subject matter experts working in production, quality control, packaging, engineering, R&D and so forth.”She says, and elaborates:
“Product improvements are just as likely to come from a good idea in the production line as from a formal R&D project – we all take pride in what we do and in the air dispersion solutions we create.”.
Being women with careers in what is traditionally seen as a male dominated industry, we are often asked by friends and family how it feels. However, working at FabricAir this is not a theme, because gender isn’t a factor.
It may be our Danish origins that play a role in our company culture - the “Pippi Longstocking attitude”. Either way, merit is what counts and each and every colleague is judged by their unique strengths and what they bring to the team.
For those of you who haven’t read Astrid Lindgren’s famous children’s books, Pippi, who’s the hero of the story, is a girl famous for doing things her own way, for being the strongest person in the world and for not letting anyone put her down. The expression Pippi Power is associated with her most famous quote: “I haven’t tried that so I’m probably good at it!”.
Many of the women I spoke to have experienced inequality throughout their education and careers.
"In 2007, I came to Istanbul, about 500 km from where I live, to study Mechanical Engineering. We were only 5 girls in the 50-person class. The head of the department was always biased against female students. I broke this bias and graduated with a high average and started working immediately.”Says Sevim Büberci, Inside Sales Engineer, Turkey.
Nadja Pickel adds to this: “I am glad to have started my career at a time when women have already fought and achieved much for their rights. I was free to choose what I wanted to study and where I wanted to work,” she says.
As the author of this article, I can confirm these stories. When I came to CBS to study International Business in 2001 (!) the first thing our professor said was “Welcome - half the class are girls and for you I have a special welcome, as you are here to learn how to think and act like a man”. I almost got up and walked out and my fellow class mates, males and females alike, had similar urges!
The topic of gender equality thus became something we discussed in class, and a few months down the line we invited a female business entrepreneur to give us her perspectives. She said something, which has stayed with me ever since: She highlighted how she uses her (female) strengths to navigate in business and sees it as a quality rather than a hindrance to her career.
She also predicted that when my generation reaches retirement age, 30 years from now, at least half, if not a majority, of business leaders will be female, because of the way we are raised - to be collaborative instead of competitive. She stated that in her experience the collaborative approach makes more efficient leaders and drives business further than the classic “male” leadership characteristics can.
I thus asked my colleagues, what they feel about their gender in relation to their work life.
“Of course, even today there are grievances and injustices in comparison between men and women, such as different salaries. But that my female predecessors have fought must be appreciated and so there should not rest on our laurels; instead we have to see what can be improved and what we should stand up for.” Says Nadja Pickel, and continues:
“I have noticed that we women are often very critical with ourselves and with each other; thus I am working on being self-confident as a woman and ensuring that we as women support each other and stand up for each other. In the end it should be essential that performance and ability are the main focuses, regardless of gender.”Says Nadja Pickel.
Sevim Büberci brings motherhood into the conversation, when she elaborates on her strengths as a woman in engineering:
“I think we are more advantageous in human relations than men; it can, for example, be easier for us to convince the customer. I became a mother 18 months ago, and although it is tough to leave my baby at home when I go to work every day, I am proud of my continuity and career. I hope all young girls' first goal is to gain a profession and that they continue to struggle despite all the difficulties they may encounter. I have a daughter and I will definitely teach this to her too."Says Sevim Büberci.
We are fortunate to work for a company like FabricAir in which we’re considered equals. It’s a company that respects the role of the working mom and sees our value as human beings regardless of gender. Our CEO, Brian Refsgaard, has three beautiful children of his own and thus understands the value of family life and a good work-life balance. This allows us working moms to be much more efficient in our work. Having a bit of flexibility in planning the work week, means we do not have to compromise on our careers while having young children. That way our company also contributes to the next generation of air engineering experts and business professionals.
If you are interesting in a career with FabricAir, please go to www.fabricair.com/career to find our current vacancies or send us an unsolicited application.
This article was written by Marie Ravnholt Sannes, MarCom Manager at FabricAir