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A young woman in a man’s world

In 2019, we met Andrea, a 20-year-old young lady with a twinkle in her eyes and a ‘no-nonsense’ personality. Very early on, she decided that she wanted to work in a manual profession, traditionally seen as masculine. Andrea’s leitmotiv – do what you love doing, don’t doubt yourself and just go for it – has taken her exactly where she wanted to go.

After completing a professional baccalauréat at l’École de Production de Gorge de Loup in Lyon, and still as fascinated as ever about machining, Andréa went on to complete a higher national diploma (BTS) as a Machining Technician as part of a work/study program with Velan. Three years after we first met her, Andréa’s career is well underway, and she is completing her training with a Bachelor’s as a Business Developer on a work/study program with Hass France.

A Young Woman in a Male-Dominated Industry

I’m Andrea, 20 years old.
I’m training to become a parts machinist.

Andréa’s father:
Hi, Andrea!

Andréa’s mother:
Hello there, kitten!

Andréa :
I’m going to be making parts using machines.
I’ll firt do the programming on hi-tech machines.
The parts could be for cars, airplanes or medical equipment.

Andréa’s mother:
We’re proud of her because she has chosen her path.
She has a great deal of character, so I think it really suits her.
It’s pretty much a man’s world, so it’s really good for her.

What made me want to attend this school ?
Firstly, the job, which I adored when I did a training course here.
And also, the fact of learning something practical.

I’m a very meticulous person.
I like everything to be clean and perfect.
Making perfect parts makes me happy all day!
I’ve already trained some guys on certain machines. There weren’t any problems, they were actually happy.
Because I like the pedagogic side and students helping each other out. So we had no problems at all.
Since I started, there were times when I had doubts, as I couldn’t accomplish certain things. And my fellow students with 2 years more experience than me managed very well.
But I managed to climb the slope, and now I think I’m doing really well. I think I’ll be a good machinist.

I’m lucky to live in a region where a lot of women do traditionally male jobs.
My best girlfriend is a coachbuilder, for example. So I’ve never even questioned whether I could do a man’s job or not. To me, it was only natural.

I want to pass on the idea that women shouldn’t let themselves be trampled on by men.
We should do what we really enjoy. It’s pointless to spend your life in a job you don’t like.
So if you want to do a job that’s more manual, and manlier, as people say, then go ahead and do it!

I think men and women complement each other in this job, beacause men have the muscle, along with their brains. Whereas women have brains, and then muscle. I’d say it’s that order! (Laughs)