As part of the #BuildingEquality 2018 Campaign, Johanna Tynys, Product Manager – Electrical Tools & Accessories, Hilti Ireland, shares her story as a woman in construction.
I am the Product Manager for Electrical Tools and Accessories at Hilti Ireland. I didn’t choose a career in construction, it chose me. My family has a small metal workshop back in my hometown, known for its ability to do complex special builds mainly for the maintenance of the metal industry.
I have a Master’s degree in Economics, so the logical place for me to work would have been the banking or insurance industry. However, when I was finalizing my master’s thesis I was helping out at our family’s workshop when our then Hilti Account Manager walked in.
My brother introduced us and he asked if I would be interested in a career with Hilti and I should apply! I applied for the job and here I am, working in the construction industry ever since.
Being one of the few women in the sales side of the company at the start of my career (there were only a handful of us) and then the first female diamond specialist in Finland (4th in the Hilti world), there were few female role models for me to look up to. But all those who came before me, paved the way for my career – and for those that will come after me.
It isn’t easy being the first of anything, so we will always need that one brave enough to take the first plunge into the dark. But it is not just the women who have done their jobs right, it is also all the people in a decision-making position that took a chance with them regardless of their gender.
I owe a lot to all my superiors (both female and male) this far, for recognizing the sometimes buried talent in me and giving me a chance. We need to change the conception of what is a woman’s and what is a man’s job. It starts by being successful in the things we do and being ourselves while doing it. We need to stop thinking of certain characteristics as male and female and realize that it takes a certain kind of personality traits and it has nothing to do with gender. An open and inquisitive mind will get you far – whatever you do for a living. (And some nice social media campaigns and school initiatives)
To learn more about the #BuildingEquality campaign and to share your own story, please visit our dedicated #BuildingEquality page here