Women in Losán I | The director of th factory of ASERPAL,talks about her experience
¿When did you start in Losán and how did your become Aserpal’s director?
It was the year 1992 when I was hired by INDUSTRIAS LOSÁN as a factory worker in the veneer layons grading departament. After only 2 months, this activity was transferred to the new plant of ASERPAL, S.A., and in that job I stayed for a period of approximately two years, during which I was able to observe and to learn the production process and broadly speaking the organization of the factory.
I was determined to progress in the business world, so taking advantage of a contract termination in March of 1994, I decided to continue my education at the University of Santiago de Compostela in the field of Industrial Relations, specializing in Labour law and Social Security. After finishing this period, I decided to contact Aserpal again, a company that generously trusted me and allowed me to put into practice the knowledge acquired, as chief of staff. Since then, Aserpal has been one of the centers of my life, a circumstance of which I am very proud and satisfied, and I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the high management and ownership of the company.
After several years of work in the field of Human Resources, in 2007 the general management once again trusted me to become the factory director, regardless off the fact that I was woman and mother of a young family.
Is it hard to work in an industry predominantly run by men, in particular in a high management position?
Not specially, my work has always been respected and I have always felt the support of the Organization. If at any time I have noticed disdain, bad attitude or discouragement from a colleague, far from affecting me, it produced the opposite effect, motivating me and empowering me to overcome the difficulties.
It is important that people with responsibility in any organization know how to transmit firmness and determination in achieving the objectives. Bearing in mind that there is always someone who can question us because of our origin, sex or any other personal condition, but knowing that this in no way can affect the good progress of the company.
¿Have you found any obstacles while applying your directives?
This factory has always counted on qualified and highly committed technical staff. I, who am a strong advocate of teamwork, have simply had to encourage the greatest possible cohesion among members through communication and coordination, generating the confidence necessary to achieve positive and satisfactory results. The team is always involved in the definition and establishment of objectives, aswell as planning actions to carry them out, which greatly facilitates organising daily schedules and reaching our goals.
Can you juggle family reconciliation with a top management position?
Family reconciliation is a term that encompasses two sides of life: the professional and the personal one. The latter is very important in people’s lives, because it is what you love most, it is your family and, although it can be scary, one must think: "I'll manage, my daughters will be fine...". I have always faced this issue with a positive attitude, believing that I was going to be able to reconcile both work and family a would be and that it would be very beneficial for me and my development as a person. I have counted with the participation of the father of my daughters who has never spared time in the care and attention to them, and with the help of a third person, which we have been able to hire as an employee. Between the three of us we are raising a wonderful family, in which our daughters are aware of the importance of the work that parents do and how it provides for their stability and for their future.
On the company´side, I have to say that the flexibility with the employees is a constant, we know that if we need to have a certain time we can take it and adapt the day to our personal circumstances at a given time. I appreciate this aspect and it gives me peace of mind and stability. As a factory manager and as a woman I have always understood the employees who at some point have raised or requested some modification of their schedule, day, post, etc. For family reasons, the answer in these cases must be positive because, the worker will greatly appreciate it and have a greater motivation and dedication to their job.
What do your recommend to other women who want to follow your path?
I recommend high doses of optimism, dedication and confidence in oneself: "everything is possible and we are capable of everything".