Katharina, what made you choose this career and what do you enjoy about it?
KATHARINA For me, there have always only been two options when choosing a career: either something to do with animals, because I absolutely love animals, or something with engines. I had been tinkering with cars with my dad from a very early age, so I opted for a job as a mechatronics technician. I really enjoy the variety in particular. Every day brings a new challenge, sometimes very tricky, for example when it comes to diagnosing a vehicle problem. I also value the teamwork – the sheer size of the parts in the commercial vehicle sector often means more cooperative work than on smaller cars.
What does your service team look like?
KATHARINA In the workshop, we have ten male technicians, two male apprentices and just recently a female apprentice too. Our team also has another two female and three male colleagues and another apprentice in the back office. Then there are half a dozen salespeople who also have their offices at our site.
What is it like for you being the only woman in the workshop?
KATHARINA At the start, my colleagues were very critical. However, they’re just the same with new male colleagues too. It takes a while for them to get to know the new person and to know how they work and what they bring to the table. I am accepted as I am, as a fully-fledged member of the team, without any special status because of my gender. I knew what I was doing when I chose this career and so I don’t want any special treatment. Besides, MAN has always shown me that as a woman in the company, I am wanted and valued. For example, an extra women’s changing room was created straight away.
Do you think that interactions within the workshop are different because it isn’t an exclusively male domain any longer?
KATHARINA I can imagine that the verbal interactions are a little different, but we’re still a workshop where things are a bit rougher or louder. In some situations though, the interactions are more sensitive, my colleagues obviously refrain from using certain phrases. That’s also an advantage because there are more and more female truck drivers, and you never know what they will make of coarse language.