Women in the industrie

Pictures 1 and 2: Chiara Rohrbach, pictures 3 and 4: Sara Alouini, pictures 4 and 5: Laura Pisciotta.

Three women have entered the world of skilled trades at Gilgen Door Systems and prove every day that women belong in the industry at least as much as men: Chiara Rohrbach, Sara Alouini and Laura Pisciotta. Chiara Rohrbach started her apprenticeship as a plant and apparatus engineer five years ago and is now an apprentice trainer herself at the age of twenty. Her talent was quickly recognised and encouraged by her supervisors - and there is a great deal of passion behind it: "I love the fact that every day is different in my job. A good mix of drilling, thread cutting or welding complete systems ensures that I'm never bored," says Chiara, describing her day-to-day work.

Sara Alouini also began her apprenticeship as an electronics technician at Gilgen in 2018, having previously completed secondary school, specialising in maths and physics. The 24-year-old realised early on: "I don't just want to master the theory, I want to be able to apply maths and work with it practically." That's what she now does every day as an electronics technician. She carries out system tests and identifies defects in new software using error simulation. By simulating a fire, for example, Sara tests whether products react correctly in the event of a fire.

16-year-old Laura Pisciotta is in the middle of her apprenticeship as a logistics specialist. She is in her second year of training and has already successfully completed half of her apprenticeship. Laura quickly realised: "Everywhere in life there is something logistical behind it. Nothing works without logistics". This gives her work a sense of purpose that motivates her greatly. She is also pleased that her job offers a lot of opportunities for further training. Whether in purchasing or as a logistics specialist in business - numerous doors are open to her after her apprenticeship. A bonus for Laura: "Driving a forklift truck is a lot of fun."

Social hurdles and economic advancement opportunities

Even today, women often choose apprenticeships in female-dominated fields - even though they are less well paid and offer fewer opportunities for advancement. In an SRF report, an expert explains that parents, careers counsellors and teachers often steer young people towards gender-typical career paths. Sara and Chiara have also experienced this in their environment. Chiara remembers: "My grandmother tried to persuade me that I should do an apprenticeship as a florist, saleswoman or retailer."

Although women are underrepresented in the industry, it is clear that they have greater opportunities for advancement than in most other sectors. In the Gender Intelligence Report 2023, the University of St.Gallen reports that there are fewer obstacles for women seeking a higher position in the industrial sector. In addition, society and the economy in particular benefit from more women in industry: they counteract the current shortage of skilled labour. Last but not least, Chiara's grandmother also benefits from her granddaughter's career choice: "I now regularly repair things for my grandma - I wouldn't have been able to do that as a florist."

Among men: from underestimated to appreciated

The three women have a very positive experience of working mainly with men on a day-to-day basis. They appreciate their colleagues and feel comfortable in their teams. But at the beginning they had to prove themselves, as they were often underestimated. For example, Laura was offered help with physically demanding tasks, while male apprentices were expected to master them themselves. However, she quickly showed that she is much stronger than people realise. And she proves every day: "You can do anything with long nails." Particularly exciting: women are generally better at welding than men. "Women usually have a steadier hand," Chiara explains. She demonstrated her welding skills at the SwissSkills Championships - she came fourth in the national competition.
 
What the three of them particularly like about working with their male colleagues is the excellent dialogue. The men in the team are open and direct with them. Sara remarks with a smile that "sometimes the important things are only said in passing", but she wouldn't want to miss out on conversations with her colleagues under any circumstances. Regardless of how happy everyone in her team is: They would love to see more female faces in their professions. The three want to encourage other women not to be influenced by role models and their environment, but to pursue their own career aspirations.
 
Are you curious to find out what these professions really look like? Then come and have a taster with us. We offer taster apprenticeships as a plant and apparatus engineer, electronics technician, logistics technician, automation technician, polymechanic and more. We look forward to giving you a taste of the industry.
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