Female voices: Women’s Day at TRICOFLEX

8 March 2024
On International Women’s Day, our colleagues take the floor to share their vision of the role of women in today’s industry and their aspirations, offering inspiring and authentic perspectives.

To mark Women’s Day, we wanted to honour some of the female figures in the business world, through a series of short interviews.

Have you ever been confronted with gender dynamics in purchasing, and how do you deal with them?

Personally, I’ve never experienced any difficulties in my field.

There are quite a few women in the purchasing department, which has become the norm, and suppliers are used to this diversity. On the other hand, I’ve noticed that it’s sometimes more difficult to talk to more technical departments, especially in industry. I have the feeling that the credibility of women is often questioned by technicians and engineers, unlike sales people.

How do you manage to balance your professional and personal life?

For me, the key is organisation.

At the start of my career, I tended to let my professional obligations overwhelm me, to the detriment of my personal life. Perhaps because, as a woman, you often feel the pressure to do more to prove your worth. Over time, I’ve learned to put things into perspective and find a balance between these two aspects.

Do you think that being a woman brings a different approach to customer relationship management, and if so, how?

I think that as women, we can bring a distinct perspective to customer relationship management.

We tend to pay more attention to detail and be more attentive to customer needs. What’s more, our approach tends to be more focused on the human aspect of the relationship, fostering a closeness and understanding of customers’ concerns and feelings.

However, this sensitivity is not always perceived as an advantage in the professional world, particularly in the industrial sector. Women often face additional challenges in gaining the necessary respect and attentiveness, despite their expertise.

As a woman, do you think it’s important to assert your place? If so, how do you do it?

It is regrettable that in this day and age it is still necessary to assert one’s identity (gender, ethnic origin, beliefs, etc.).

Women often have to fight twice as hard, especially when they are young. This struggle is also a way of setting an example for future generations. As the mother of a little girl, it’s important to me to pass on these values to her, to show her the importance of behaving like a leader while respecting others.

I find it admirable to see women fighting to assert themselves and succeed. Figures like Michelle Obama are an invaluable source of inspiration for me in this fight for equality and recognition.

As a woman in the company, have you noticed any changes or developments that favour gender diversity?

As a woman in the company, I have indeed seen some changes that demonstrate a desire to promote gender diversity. We now have a female team leader and a female workshop manager, which illustrates the company’s desire to promote women to positions of responsibility, particularly in production.

However, it is essential that we continue to raise awareness of gender equality and foster an inclusive and diverse environment.

Do you have any female role models who have influenced your career path?

Yes, I’d like to mention my mother. When she was young, she held various positions in industry, which gave her a certain amount of experience. When I joined Tricoflex, she gave me a lot of advice on how to approach my work as a woman in this sector. She encouraged me to assert my convictions, to have confidence in myself and above all to communicate openly whatever the situation.

Did you face any gender-related challenges in your role, and how did you overcome them?

My training and career path have been marked by the fact that I have had to develop as a woman in a predominantly male environment.

At Tricoflex, as a finishing operator and replacement team leader, I faced many challenges related to my gender. These have strengthened me and stimulated my determination to move forward. They encouraged me to push myself and prove that even in a traditionally male-dominated field, a woman can succeed.

Can you share a proud moment in your career?

When I was hired here at Tricoflex, and my superior offered me the job of substitute team leader.

It was a very proud moment for me. I’ve devoted a large part of my life to bringing up my daughters, which has sometimes limited my professional opportunities. So to be recognised and promoted to this position of responsibility after overcoming these personal challenges was extremely gratifying.

Do you think that your perspective as a woman influences the way you approach challenges and decision-making in the production sector?

Indeed, as women working in a predominantly male professional environment, I believe that our sensibilities and approach differ from those of our male colleagues. However, I see this diversity of perspectives as complementary and enriching.

Do you see any advantages in working with a mixed team?

In my experience as a trainer in the social field, I often worked exclusively with women, and this dynamic proved to be very positive.

Now I work with a majority of men, and I see this as extremely beneficial. This diversity of genders, but also of generations, gives us a variety of perspectives and approaches.

I’m lucky enough to have colleagues who listen to me and with whom I can talk easily. For me, what’s most important in a collaboration is the feeling and the quality of the interaction rather than the gender of the people involved.

In a sector where the labour force is predominantly male, how would you encourage more women to pursue a career in planning?

I believe that this sector is no longer exclusively male and that, on the contrary, it is important to encourage female participation. I firmly believe that a woman has every right to be in the industry.

I would, however, stress the importance of character, motivation and determination. These traits are essential for success and fulfilment in this field.

Can you share with us a proud moment in your career?

I worked as a production assistant at TRICOFLEX until the person in charge of planning left.

At that point, our former site manager offered me the opportunity to take over this vacant role. This was extremely gratifying for me and a real opportunity. Although I had my doubts, she encouraged me and I finally accepted the position. Since then, I’ve developed a real passion for my work and I really enjoy what I do.

To find out more about our employees, we encourage you to consult the interviews available by clicking on the following link: https://www.tricoflex.com/en/news-tricoflex-group/

The next article