Fire trucks and women – two things that are – unfortunately – not immediately associated with one another. And this despite the fact that women in technical professions are a major asset to international industrial companies such as Rosenbauer. This is proven in our five examples of young women who have set out on technical careers in a variety of fields at Rosenbauer.
Although Valerija Cancic was repeatedly told during her schooldays that mechatronics was a ‘man’s thing’, she never gave up in her quest to use technology to make our lives easier, better and, above all, safer: “Even as a child, I always wanted to know how various electronic devices worked, and took everything apart to see what lay beneath the cover.” Today, Valerija is a trained mechatronics engineer and, in the case of the PANTHER 8×8, builds one of the world’s most important ARFF vehicles.
Vanessa Harrer‘s career path shows that social expectations are not always true, and that it is sometimes worthwhile exploring allegedly untypical paths: By the time she started working as a shop assistant during her studies, Vanessa had realized that this was just a stopgap. She is still happy about her decision to begin an apprenticeship as a designer at Rosenbauer, and the fact that she helped shape the future ever since.
A similar story comes from Johanna Augendopler, who states that, during her days in secondary school with an economic training program, she found the main teaching topic to be unfulfilling. Through her studies in “International Logistics Management,” Johanna found her way to Rosenbauer, where she can implement her ideas with her know-how in process costing and production planning, among other things.
For Simone Affenzeller, however, it was clear from the age of 10: she wanted to work in technology. And so today, Simone, together with her team, designs all of Rosenbauer’s specialty vehicles. As she is also an active member of the volunteer fire department, she has twice entered male-dominated areas: “The world of firefighting is somehow ideal for me – the cohesion and the camaraderie that one experiences are simply unique. Well, almost unique, because I experience the same at Rosenbauer.”
Chiara Knoll has also had to repeatedly win over her male colleagues in the area of warehouse management. First and foremost, the manual activities and the logistical system have impressed Chiara in her operational logistics apprenticeship. “I see logistics as the fulcrum of the company. From here, all areas of the company are supplied with required goods and materials, and somehow I find this really cool.”
Today, women and technical professions are no longer mutually exclusive at Rosenbauer. On the contrary: Mixed teams have proven to be more effective and enrich the company. “Of course, I had to regularly prove myself at the beginning of my apprenticeship. But now my colleagues have accepted me and we work together as a team,” says Valerija Cancic. Vanessa Harrer experiences this support as well as an increased level of sensitivity on a daily basis: “As a woman in a classic men’s department, I felt very comfortable from the start and I perfectly integrated into the team. In terms of design, we work daily on creative drafts for future firefighting technology. Being involved with a product that is used both locally and internationally to help save lives makes me proud.”
It is this meaningful work, this camaraderie, and the common goal of saving lives through our commitment, that drives us at Rosenbauer. Together, we set new standards and make the world of firefighting even safer.