Building workplaces where women thrive: Our female colleagues in Endiprev
41% of women are scientists and engineers, according to Eurostat, and 32% in the US, according to the Census Bureau. These are 2021 data regarding women in male-dominant areas, and although these numbers have been growing year after year, women in engineering are still outnumbered.
So, this year, to celebrate International Women’s Day, we decided to highlight the crucial role that some of our female colleagues play every day to keep Endiprev up and running.
Carla Gabriel – Logistics Manager
Carla was the first official female employee of Endiprev Group, and now she is the manager of the Logistics Department. This year, she will celebrate her tenth anniversary working in the company and told us how it was to be the first female employee:
“Honestly, although it was a company of men, I never felt that I was treated differently. I didn’t hear female names on the field or the office, but I never felt discriminated or diminished”.
She tenderly remembers that, since the company was smaller at the time, there were all very close as a team. Because of that proximity, Carla never felt the only woman among the men working in a very specific area, such as engineering. They were all very comprehensive in that sense, and they always took the time to explain the technical side of Endiprev’s business.
As the first female worker, she was also the first female employee to get pregnant. What, in many companies, still in this day, may be considered a problem, Carla described this as “one of the best experiences of her professional life”. She remembers when she announced the news to the CEO, how enthusiastic and joyful his reaction was.
“We are in the right male company. We have a spectacular environment. The company founders, being all men, value so much the family they have and the family they built, and they know how important family is for one to be successful”.
Ashley Schofield – Wind Turbine Technician
Speaking of firsts, Ashley is the first female field technician at Endiprev USA. She was born in Laredo, Texas, and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Despite being eco-conscious all her life, it was when she moved to Maui, Hawaii, in 2016, she got her first real look at wind turbines. She remembers she was amazed and curious about them.
She worked as an EMT and a Beverage Manager at one of the top resorts on the Vegas Strip, and she is now building a career in wind energy. Ashley is very close to her parents. She believes their work ethic is unmatched and she is grateful for the influence they have had on her own work ethic.
“My father was the first to tell me that a career in Wind is most likely going to be a male-dominant field. What I love most about my father is how he always guided me and pushed me to go after what I want and give it a shot… But if I did, that I needed give it my all and show those men I belong and have the same passion as them.”
And that is exactly what she has been doing so far. Here is a fun fact about Ashley: growing up as an athlete and loving sports, she wrestled in high school against only male classmates. She explained what she learned from that experience helped prepare her for a male-dominant career. Overall, she feels lucky for all the men she has been working with, as everyone has been very kind and helpful. Now and then, some men have questioned her strength but she continues to prove to them that she can handle the workload alongside them.
“Being the first and only female with ENDIPREV is an absolute honor. I am doing this for myself, for all the women out there working hard, and for all the young girls stepping into their power. To all the females out there, YOU GO GIRL. Happy International Women’s Day!”
Raquel Santos – Quality Manager
Raquel has been working in Endiprev Portugal for three years now. She graduated in Health and Safety Engineering, and when she first started work at Endiprev, she was integrated into our Health and Safety Department. Being energetic and liking challenges and practical activities eventually, she moved to the Quality Department, where she is now Manager. She works very closely with our teams on-site, knowing their tasks, looking for deviations, and finding improvements.
In her experience, she never met a female wind energy technician or engineer, apart from Ashley. In her work on-site, Raquel has to deal, for the most part, with men, whether they are wind energy technicians, area managers, supervisors, safety technicians, etc.
“This is a trend that is changing. There is more and more space for women in this and other sectors for roles that, culturally or socially, have always been associated with men. And Endiprev is an example of that.”
In her three years with the company, she feels she made her path without barriers imposed because of her gender, always having her professional growth was always in mind and a bigger contribution to the company. She recognizes that to work in wind energy, one must be constantly learning, not because of her gender but because it is a very specific sector and with constant updates.
“It has been a very rewarding challenge, working in this extraordinary company, for all the people I have met, for everything they have taught me, and for the path they have allowed me to do. Endiprev is a company that invests in people, in their talents and abilities.”
Raquel adds that women are working in the company since its beginning, such as Carla. They have been giving a fundamental contribution to what Endiprev is building. She leaves with a thought: “Regardless of our gender, we should not accept being told that we are not capable or that someone imposes limits on what we want to be or do as a professional. We must have the courage to be ourselves and leverage that on everyone else around us.”
To every woman in wind energy, engineering, or any other area, we hope you are able to thrive in your workplace and that it may depend only on your skills and capabilities as a professional. Happy International Women’s Day!