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Girls in typical “men's jobs” – interview with HAIMER apprentices Lena and Anja

In an interview, Lena Dempfle (cutting machine operator) and Anja Breitsameter (industrial mechanic), both HAIMER apprentices in the technical-industrial field, tell about their experiences in so-called »men's jobs«.

Anja Breitsameter

Apprentice industrial mechanic
19 years old and in the third year of the apprenticeship

When and why did you decide to become an industrial mechanic?
When I was in the 9th grade of secondary school, I did an internship at Haimer GmbH.
After that it was clear to me that I wanted to enter this profession.

Are you the only woman as an industrial mechanic in your company? And in your professional school?
In my class at the professional school we are 4 girls and 26 boys. At HAIMER we are, among the technical apprentices, 3 girls and 6 boys in my year, so a third women.

Why do you think fewer women learn such a profession?
I think many women would be able to do this job but they are afraid to work in a male-dominated profession. This is not a problem at HAIMER because there are already some women in every team. You are not “alone” among male colleagues.

What do you want for the future?
I think it's important to give girls a chance and encourage them to look into “men's jobs”. Many women would see that they were just as capable in technical professions as men are.
My plans for the future: I definitely want to work in my profession.

How do people react, especially teenagers, when you tell them about your job?
Some men may be surprised, but most people think it’s cool.

What would you recommend girls who aspire to work in a male profession?
Do an internship and take a look at the apprenticeship. Talk to qualified working women about their jobs. You could also join the Girl’s Day. Maybe many girls do not know that they could really enjoy such a profession.

Lena Dempfle

Apprentice metal cutting mechanic
21 years old and in the third year of the apprenticeship

When and why did you decide to become a metal cutting mechanic?
I have previously done an apprenticeship as a dental assistant. I didn’t like it much. My father is an industrial mechanic and because he sometimes took me along on weekends, I decided to learn a technical job as well.

Are you the only woman metal cutting mechanic in the company? And in your professional school?
Neither! We are fewer, but not uncommon anymore.

Why do you think fewer women learn such a profession?
Maybe because they do not have enough selfconfidence. But there is really no reason for that. When I chose my first apprenticeship, I only looked for "women's jobs". That was a mistake. Later, I found out what suits me better.

What do you want for the future?
Complete the apprenticeship well and in a few years I would like to do further education for example up to the master professional degree in my profession.

How do people react, especially teenagers, when you tell them about your job?
Some boys doubt that a woman can do this job, but most people are reacting positively.

What would you recommend to girls who aspire to work in a male profession?
First, do an internship and find out if you like the job. If you have decided then, you should just go for it and not be dissuaded.

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