5 questions for Samira Ritter, Assistent Depot manager about working in a typically male-dominated industry and why every woman should choose this profession.
Why did you apply for a job at Boels?
I wanted to do something new where I would have the opportunity to develop myself. Also I wanted a place with some variety every day where I’m not always doing the same thing. Before I applied, I was a bit unsure. Then I asked my father if he knew Boels. His company is just around the corner from a Boels branch. He said: “Of course, we hire machines from there from time to time. Go ahead and apply. It’s really something for you!”
What’s the advantage of working alongside so many men?
It’s a very different working atmosphere. If there are issues, then they’re just discussed openly and not all behind the scenes. I used to work almost exclusively with women. Men are much more relaxed about everything. You can talk more openly about things.
Are there any special challenges in this kind of a ‘male-dominated’ industry?
You can’t be too shy or reserved. I’ve got plenty of clients who will literally grab things out of my hands. Because they think: “Oh, that’s too heavy for you, I’ll carry it myself”. Or who will refuse to even let me help them. Then they say: “We won’t let a woman do the work for us”. It’s still too common a stereotype that women don’t belong in technical professions like this. Women have a different perspective and also have a different way of solving challenges. They can also communicate easily with customers.
What do you like most about your job?
Every day is different from the one before. You are constantly facing new challenges. Especially when it comes to the rental requests from customers. We’re getting more and more requests for special equipment. That’s exciting for me. Because I enjoy learning more about these machines and being able to advise customers properly about them. I mean, how cool is it to be able to say to my friends: ‘I rode a 22 tonne excavator today. Or, I stood 40 metres high on an aerial platform!’
Why do you think more women should choose to work at Boels?
There are plenty of nice challenges when you work at Boels. I’m never bored. You have the freedom to truly help customers by finding the best solution to their problems. Also, the day-to-day contact with customers makes my job fun. I feel that I’m able to add that bit of extra service on top of hiring out machines.