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Be More: Perform better together at VSL!
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- What made you choose the construction industry? 

I chose the construction profession at a very early age, with my parents as role models.  Then during my studies, I became fascinated by pre-stressed concrete civil engineering structures.  I had the chance to take up some great challenges, both in structural engineering and even on site, I also had the chance to work with Michel Virlogeux on some magnificent bridge projects. Today, I still enjoy taking on challenges (technical and organisational), participating in the resolution of technical problems, but also passing on my knowledge to younger engineers and participating in their development.

- What are the particular challenges that women have to overcome in the industry? 

When I started my career at VSL, some twenty years ago, I was extremely lucky to have managers who trusted me and pushed me to dare and try out other jobs such as Estimating Engineer or Site Manager. 
But afterwards, in other entities, I also had to face hostile, misogynistic behaviour and a lot of jealousy. Even though this is becoming increasingly rare, it still happens today that I have to prove my worth to certain people.
Looking back, these experiences have allowed me to know myself better, to assert myself, to dare to denounce these mentalities but also to dare to be myself and to grow; today, I consider that these experiences are my strength, and I am proud to contribute in my own way to the evolution of mentalities. My advice to younger women engineers is: persevere, have confidence in yourself and your own abilities, and above all, dare to assert yourself. It is worth it, because "Everything is possible for those who dream, dare, work, and never give up" (Xavier Dollan)

- How do you think this sector will evolve in terms of the employment of women? What roles will they be required to take on given how the industry will evolve over the next few years? 

Women have their place in the construction sector without being confined to the traditional HR, Finance and Quality jobs. It is important that women gain confidence in themselves, do not limit themselves and, above all, dare. Diversity (in the broadest sense) is an asset that will enable us to be more agile and resilient as a company. The Bouygues Construction campaign for the feminisation of teams will, I am sure, change the minds of the most reticent. 

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Contact : Vanessa Buchin
Technical manager VSL Switzerland
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