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A role of women in an Engineering Industry - 8th March

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Today is International Women Day, celebrated throughout the world. Our key business members and partners have strong women in their key management positions. They are smart and hard-working women ready to break any myth about the engineering industry and women's role inside. Also, we are proud our men-women ratio increase throughout the years with women representing key management positions whether they are in Slovakia or India. Indian Chamber of Commerce in the Slovak Republic celebrates International Women Day.

We had closer look with our member CSM Industry on how they break the myth with the role of women in the engineering industry.

CSM is a traditional defense-civil manufacturing company from Slovakia (former Czechoslovakia) since 1967. Its most famous flagship product is UDS Excavator 214 based on TATRA 6x6 chassis (in Civil-Firefighting-Defense versions) but also working closely with Rheinmetall Man in GermanyIVECO Defence in Italy, or BEML in India.

We have recently delivered five pieces of UDS Military Excavators (NATO version) to Slovak Armed Forces and continue our efforts internationally. India is one of our key future markets, said CSM Managing Director Erika Krnacova while preparing for her factory morning round.

Managing Director Erika Krnacova tests new UDS Excavator in the factory.

The importance of engineering

Women in Engineering day celebrates the achievements of female engineers each year on 23rd June. Presently, only 9% of engineering professionals are women. Engineering has been a sector that traditionally has had a deficient number of women working in it. It has always been seen as a 'male-dominated' industry, mainly due to its technical nature, but things, fortunately, are changing.

Engineers help us solve problems, facilitate time or energy-consuming processes, and keep machinery well-maintained, efficient, and functioning correctly. It is therefore essential that we have good female representation in the engineering sector.

CSM 'Woman-friendly' workplaces

It would be unfair to say that the engineering industry hasn't made efforts to attract more women by making their workplaces more 'women-friendly.' The engineering sector has long since had a reputation for not being very welcoming to women, but this is changing. We are changing.

When I joined, I was surprised at how many women work here. Now I perceive it a little differently over time, and it doesn't feel weird. I have found that women also have a place in this engineering industry, said young Katarina Tobikova, Project Manager and Head of Component Manufacturing.

Head of Component Manufacturing CSM Industry, Katarina Tobikova showing the men how to do it.

Our commitment to gender equality

On International Women's Day and throughout the month of March, women are celebrated worldwide for their achievements and contributions to society. In CSM Industry, we have been committed to achieving gender balance through female empowerment and will continue to do so.

Questions we wanted to ask

We asked few questions to Erika and Katarina about their current roles. 

Q1. How do you see the position of women in the engineering industry?

Katarina: When I joined, I was surprised at how many women work here. Now I perceive it a little differently over time, and I don't find it strange. I have found that women also have a place in this industry.

Erika: I don't see it as a peculiarity that women work in the engineering industry. Maybe also because I come from a family where my father and mother were engineers :-) and the background of engineering has always been quite strong in Slovakia.

Q2. How did you get an offer to work for the CSM Industry, and did you consider accepting it?

Katarina: Through contact. I didn't even hesitate. It came to me as an exciting opportunity and a challenge to learn something new in an area that I never thought I would work in.

Erika: I received the offer through a reference contact, and since there are very few traditional Slovak manufacturers of machines in Slovakia with their final product (can be counted on the fingers of one hand) and their own development office, the decision was relatively simple.

Q3. How do you perceive your daily work within a predominantly male team?

Katarina: I feel that men are more careful in front of us and don't say things straight out as they would say to other men. But they are charming, and they are still willing to help me explain everything when I don't understand something. And "women in engineering"? Men have probably got used to it by now. ;-)

Erika: Suggestions, arguments, facts, and results are decisive, whether it is a man or a woman.

Q4. How do you manage the position of a woman - mother, girlfriend vs. your work. So-called work-life balance?

Katarina: Since I'm young and I don't have any big commitments, I don't have a problem with that.

Erika: I still have work to do to find the right balance. "Work" predominates, although, with age, one must also apply "psychohygiene" to maintain foresight and sober tethering.

Q5. What project are you currently working on?

Katarina: On various projects regarding component manufacturing. Our primary component customer, company Liebherr is giving me an excellent chance to learn and excel. What needs to be I try to finish.

 Erika: Thousands of items from early morning to the evening. Thousands of challenges, problems, and opportunities. 

Q6. Who are your female idols?

Katarina: Definitely my mom ;-)

Erika: Each person is unique in his or her way, and the individual's behavior is inimitable.

Q7. What would make you happier on Women's Day? Flower or warm dinner?

Katarina: Both. Especially since it was from the heart.

Erika: Since I'm a pragmatist, so B, b, b ;-))) ... the flowers are beautiful in the meadow or the garden, so let's leave them to please all.

Business Development Director Blanka Parobekova, discussing with Chief Technical Officer Peter Kubinsky and construction engineer Peter Minač the new project of UDS 224.

CSM INDUSTRY Ltd - member of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in the Slovak Republic since 2019

8th March 2021


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