In honor of International Women’s Day, Alewijnse is celebrating the many women in our workplace who have achieved success in a typically male-dominated industry, changing perceptions by working hard, bringing fresh thinking and proving themselves in their roles, every day. Read the stories of Mariana Milea, Elena Isaiea and Florina Postelnicu.
Mariana Milea: Actual results stop one’s gender being a point of interest
Just one example is Mariana Milea. Her experience with the company began in 2008, when she saw a job at Alewijnse posted on a recruitment website. At the time, she knew nothing of Alewijnse, having spent twenty years as an accountant in the ferrous metallurgy industry.
Starting in Alewijnse seemed challenging at first. The business was very different to what she was used to, its activities were varied and complex, and she had a whole new set of colleagues. ‘I have always thought that stepping outside of one’s comfort zone can help people grow,” she says. “As time went by I was able to see that the position of stock administrator was compatible with my character, my eagerness to learn and my ability to adapt to change. I think that, as women, we like to be sure that we are always well prepared, have a clear idea of the value we offer, be confident that we can get the work done proficiently and be a bit thick-skinned. There will always be people who challenge your position because you are women, although it is not necessarily done consciously. However, once you have actual results one’s gender stops being a point of interest.”
Working in the store comes with a lot of responsibility; accuracy and promptness are vital. All the necessary materials and components for installation onboard the ships are delivered to the store where they are checked to make sure that they are what has been ordered, and then allocated to the store for each individual project. Mariana has been working with her colleagues, Gabriel Machedon and Mariana Vicleanu, for nine and four years respectively now, and she swears by them. “We work hard, are supportive of one another and get things done as a team,” she says. “There is never a dull moment around here – that is the part of the job that I love the most.”
Elena Isaia: Women are capable of the same and more. So, just go for it
Another longstanding female member of the Alewijnse team is Elena Isaiea, who has been working as an electrician in the Alewijnse panel building for 15 years. She explains what motivated her and where she found the support to push forward. “The maritime sector was completely new to me, but I really wanted to give it a go. I got a job as an electrician in a shipyard, which was quite a challenge for me at that point as I had been at home for some time raising my two children. I felt I had lost some of my knowledge and experience. As women, we go to great lengths in order to have a work-life balance.
However, the foreman at that time, Mr. Nicu Cenusa, encouraged me to give it a try and, with a lot of effort and the help of a great team in the true sense of the word, I slowly started learning and fitting in. The first ship that I contributed to was the hopper dredger Gambe D’Amfard, which was delivered in 2007.”
With all her years of experience, Elena is happy to pass on her knowledge to colleagues who are just starting and are eager to learn this line of work. “To women who want to pursue this profession, I would say you should never be afraid and never think that others are better at it than you. You are capable of the same and more. So, just go for it.”
Florina Postelnicu: Adding value by introducing diversity and a fresh perspective
Finally, Florina Postelnicu has been our colleague since 2015 when she became involved in environmental protection activities, coordination and the management of non-conforming products. Her empathy and professional approach to her work helped her to fit in the team from the beginning. “I think that having a woman on any team adds value by introducing diversity and a fresh perspective. This contributes to creating a successful business through nurturing a healthy work environment where people feel included and supported.”
In 2019, Florina moved on to a new challenge as an HSE surveyor with Alewijnse Marine Galati, focusing on safety and environmental activities. “The work that we do in the QESH department sometimes exceeds the legal requirements,” she says. “What is most important at the end of the day is the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues who travel the world to work on Alewijnse projects and need to return to their families in one piece, without having accidents or illnesses.” Florina also oversees the activities of the subcontractors who work on Alewijnse projects at Galati, to ensure that they are also kept safe from risks. Work safety is one of the fundamental objectives for Alewijnse and is acknowledged at the highest management level. Florina has been a very good fit for this complex role, due to her professional approach, solid work ethic and her eagerness to grow.
We wish all women, everywhere, a beautiful, bright spring!