July 20th, 1848 is a special date for every successful woman. On that day, in Seneca Falls, NY, the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments was signed. For many this day become the first momentum to fight for the women rights - including - the right to work.
During World War II, women were encouraged to get into so-called "manly" professions. "We can do it" poster from the '40s is still one of the symbols of equal rights. But how does it changed since?
There were many women in aviation - Amelia Earhart, Tiny Broadwick, Raymonde de Laroche, Hilda Hewlett to name a few. Nevertheless, men dominated the aviation industry, and stereotypically, working as a pilot, mechanic, or engineer it's perceived as manly. Paulina is one of the girls breaking barriers and stereotypes.
"I work at LINETECH for almost half a year now, got here as my first job in the aviation business, just after the university. I've studied and now work with the avionics." - Paulina introduces herself. "It wasn't the original idea - to either work at MRO or even study aviation engineering. I really wanted to learn about material engineering, but one of my friends convinced me that I can easily find a job and work in the aviation sector, so I gave it a shot." It wasn't easy at first. For 180 people starting in Paulina's class, only 20 were women. Two years later, when it came to choosing a major, there were only 7 girls - still less than 25% of the class population. "For the first year, I was thinking - why I am here? What was I thinking? But suddenly, when I started classes about the avionics it all felt that I am in the right place."
Many women are working at Avia Prime. Many of them are part of the maintenance team. Other work in logistic, sales, HR and planning departments - just as in any other company.
Many of the managers say, that women are naturally much better in the fields where men have to put a lot of effort into. "You have to obey procedures and guys tend to be chaotic. They have to be very cautious and precise, whereas many women just do it without even thinking about it" - says one of the managers at Avia Prime's LINETECH. "I am constantly learning and I often hear that working on an airplane teaches humility. I know that my gender doesn't make me error-proof and I closely follow the steps of people who teach me" Paulina adds
"On my first day, I was the only girl working within the maintenance team. I remember being warmly welcomed, although I had a weird feeling that I am somehow different than the rest. Just another day, I felt perfectly normal." Paulina admits, that she also thought about working as a mechanic to be a man's kind of job. "Young people do not think about the gender at work that much, as the older generation - at least not here. We don't have to prove anyone anything. There's basically no job that could be done only by men. It goes the same for the girls, of course." Outside the hangars, this looks a bit different. "My mom thinks that I am constantly covered in chemicals, dirty and sweaty. My friends were also shocked when I told them I learn to become an aircraft mechanic. I am constantly saying it's not a big deal" - Paulina admits laughing.
Everyone has a special set of skills. It either helps or makes work more difficult. The same goes for aircraft mechanics. At Avia Prime, we believe, that everyone, that wants to work as a mechanic can do it, regardless of gender. The demand for new staff is huge in the MRO industry. Paulina summarizes: "Having a predisposition to work in a certain profession is not gender-related. I knew that I don't want to sit behind the desk as an engineer, but preferably use my knowledge working on the planes. We should stop thinking about the professions being girly or manly - everyone should follow what they really want to do in life. There's still a long way to go from here but we are heading in the right direction.