Women who are dedicated to industrial engineering in Spain represent approximately 19% of the total, according to the Engineering Observatory, a percentage similar to that registered in Castilla y León, according to estimates from the Community colleges, although Women members represent only 15%.
This has become clear during the meeting organized by the colleges of industrial engineers of Castilla y León, on the occasion of ‘Day of Women and Girls in Science’, which was held this Sunday, the 11th, at the that three active members have participated: Ana Bocanegra (Burgos, 1987), Almudena Ortiz (Astorga, León, 1979) and Rosa Hidalgo (Valladolid, 1970).
Although the presence of women is still scarce, the data reveal that has increased in recent years, especially among women under 45 years of age. It must be taken into account that this is a profession with great future potential. Industry is the sector that generates the greatest added value per unit of work and is the main support for exports. In addition, it creates stable and quality employment; and Spain is the fifth country with the highest industrial production in Europe.
“The level of our engineering has strong recognition throughout Europebut the weight of our industry in the GDP has decreased in 20 years from 19% to 14.7%, while in Germany it has continued to grow and reaches 29%,” says the Engineering Observatory report, the first to be published. has done in Spain.
“I have had to earn the respect of my work environment for my professional ability, but the fact of being a woman has had nothing to do with it,” says Ana Bocanegra, CEO of FBocanegra Maquinas Especiales.
Bocanegra maintains that in her daily life she interacts with quite a few female engineers, “although not as many as men, but our presence has been increasing; the fundamental gap is between older women.” And she points out that in her personal environment, women in science are the majority.
For her part, Almudena Ortiz, professor and researcher at the University of León (ULe), maintains that one of “the great pillars of engineering lies in the fact that, in addition to acquiring regulated professional skills, it makes us develop reasoning skills, versatility and work capacity, essential to face any challenge in life, both professional and personal.”
In his opinion, the perspectives of industrial engineering are linked to the socioeconomic movements that are being experienced and will be experienced in the coming years. “It’s not easy to guess, but I think it will depend on the value given to what we usually know as a culture of effort. Without effort, there are no results.”he insists.
Currently and in the future – he points out – it is important to “continue training to be more competitive in the labor market and to be able to occupy those jobs that move the world”,
For her part, Rosa Hidalgo, self-employed, who works as a freelancer, defends that engineering “has allowed her to work in different fields”, adapting both to the times and to her personal situation. “Each new project is a challenge and a new learning. Although a change in mentality is taking place, We need to value figures of relevant women, of industrial engineers who have been a reference”.
Ana Bocanegra, Almudena Ortiz and Rosa Hidalgo agree that women who want to dedicate themselves to this job “must know that this is a profession that requires a lot of effort; but if they like it, don’t be afraid.”
And at the same time, they add, it is a profession that provides “strength, security and the tools to face all of life’s challenges, largely due to its versatility.” In the words of Hidalgo, other professions do not have the learning capabilities of industrial engineering.
A cultural issue
In Ortiz’s opinion, the low number of female engineers responds more to a cultural issue and the role of women in society, which has traditionally been linked to the availability of time, often conditioned by their life expectations in terms of the upbringing. “But I think that Our brain has the same capacity as that of men to dedicate ourselves to science.”
Therefore, the key for Bocanegra “is through conciliation, but not only in the company, but also conciliation within each family.” And he insisted that companies “want the people who can best do a job, whether they are men or women.”
For her part, Ortiz, in her experience as a consulting engineer and later as a professor and researcher at the University, recognizes that there have been fewer women in her environment. Something in which she agrees with Hidalgo, who in her activity – more focused on projects and construction – has found an immense majority of men around her.
Hidalgo points out how one of the keys to equality necessarily involves good time management: “The important thing is to do the job as well as possible, not the work schedule”he insists.
“I registered as self-employed almost out of obligation, but in the end I am self-employed out of devotion; and at this point I wouldn’t change it for anything,” she says, after working independently since 2002.
If there is something that the three also agree on, it is that They don’t believe much in quota policies. They are more in favor of women having the same real possibilities as men, in terms of conciliation and a more flexible labor market, than of establishing percentages.
“In each position there should be the one who can do the job best,” says Bocanegra. “It may happen that women are better and occupy more than 50% of the positions of responsibility in an organization. Then, we would also be breaking the law,” she concludes.