It is no longer a secret that one of the fastest growing industries in the world today is renewable energy, and predominantly wind power. But have you ever thought about such nuances in this direction as gender equality?
The answer is more than exhaustive – yes, the wind energy industry supports gender equality in full. And we are proud to tell you about one, but not the only, IQTC student – Cristina. She seems to be a fragile and delicate beauty, but in her voice there is a strong character and a desire to develop and conquer new heights both professionally and personally. With her permission, we are publishing a short interview with her.
What is your everyday profession and why you wanted to obtain the GWO Blade repair certificate?
I am working as a Fleet Performance Engineer within GE. This means that I am in charge of keeping the availability, so the production of our wind turbines and for this purpose, it is requested to maintain the blades in good shape because any damages will generate loses in the AEP. So, in my daily work, I am analyzing reports from drone and rope access inspections and assessing the severity of the damages and how to proceed with the repairs. However, this is the first time that I have been doing the repairs by myself! So that’s why I wanted to perform the GWO Blade repair training, in order to understand better the difficulties that rope access technicians have on site and how us, back office can support those teams with better instructions for example.
Was it hard to learn the practical part of the course?
The schedule of the program with 9h 20min of theory and 60h 40min of practice is a great balance, because we need to understand first the fundamentals behind each repair and the hands-on part was really helpful to follow the process of each kind of repair. So, for me it was more challenging the practical part of the course because I had previous knowledge about the repairs, but just on working instructions. So I am glad of all the practical learning!
How did you feel to be the only lady in the group?
I have to recognize that I am very used to this situation. In my services department in GE, we are only two women (my manager and me), in a team of approximately 30 people. Additionally, last summer when I did a rotation offshore during the preventive maintenance campaign of Merkur wind farm, we were only three ladies in the SOV with a capacity of 134 people. So this time, I was not surprised about being the only female member. I would like to highlight that this is not an obstacle, women can perform as good as men in technical jobs and all my colleagues at the IQTC center have been really helpful and they have shared with me a lot of interesting field experiences working on ropes so I am very satisfied with this experience.
Do you think this training will help to boost your professional career?
I hope so! I will be supervising the repair of a 73.5LM blade on the ground that was removed from a wind turbine due to a major damage by next week, so I will have the right moment to test all the knowledge from the training.
What would you recommend to other women who would like to enter the wind energy industry?
I would fully support them and encourage them to move ahead towards their passion. Whether those women believe in wind energy as the future green source of energy, they just need to prepare themselves with training because with commitment and effort they can become strong contributors in this great field.
The aim of this publication is to encourage girls hesitant about their life paths and to show that modern society is increasingly open to accepting into the ranks of professions, until recently considered only male, no less professional and committed women.