Metal manufacturing faces a severe shortage of skilled labour. Women remain a largely untapped resource despite making up almost half of the Canadian labour force. How can we change that? Female leaders share their views on the challenges and opportunities of pursuing a career in metalworking in our new digital series.
In this instalment, Gabriela Spinu, lead hand, Humble Manufacturing, shares her thoughts in an exclusive interview. Insights from female industry leaders have been published both online at www.shopmetaltech.com and in the June issue of Shop Metalworking Technology magazine.
Q. What made you consider a career in metal manufacturing?
SPINU: I’ve been doing this work for about five years. Previously I was working office jobs and didn’t like it that much. There was too much paperwork, and it wasn’t that rewarding for me. I wanted to do something more practical and decided to try something new. I had a technical background. I was an engineer in my home country of Romania but not in manufacturing. I didn’t know much about metal fabricating, but I was trained on the job. I learned that it’s not that hard to learn, even when you’re starting from zero. Everybody is happy to show you and teach you. Every day I learned something new and really enjoyed it. Now as the lead hand I set up jobs for the different machines and deal with the schedule for each person on my shift.
Q. What do you like about your job?
SPINU: Every day is different. Every day you have some challenges, new stuff to do and at the end of the day you can see the result. It’s instant. You can see how much you did today and be proud of what you created for so many different industries. You feel you are contributing something, building something.
Q. What would be your advice to women considering a career in manufacturing?
SPINU: Give it a try because they could find it’s something they will enjoy doing. They will have a chance to learn and to grow in this industry, maybe even become a team leader.