Scania Australia has underlined its corporate ethos and belief that a balanced world is a better world and has helped celebrate International Women’s Day today (March 8).
The occasion is a global day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
Scania Australia says that women comprise 16.5 per cent of its workforce, which it points our is in an industry, traditionally not seen as attractive to women, and that they are taking on roles that traditionally have not been fulfilled by women.
Scania also says there is growth in the number of women at the company, and that they are moving into roles such as technician, apprentice technician, and joining the parts and warehouse teams.
The company says that it has good representation of women in senior management roles, however there is always more to be done.
The company said that it believes in skills capture which focuses on building diverse and inclusive teams, and is proud of its culture and the contributions of entire teams.
To celebrate International Women’s Day in 2022, Scania says it is showcasing two women from its workshop teams who are proving that gender is no barrier to a fulfilling career within the truck industry.
Scania apprentice technician Belinda Fonda grew up around trucks, and originally started out as a light engine apprentice, working on motorcycles.
Her passion for engines started with dirt bikes at age 11, and in recent times Belinda has been competing in the Women’s Seniors category in local club events aboard a Honda CRF 150 cc two-wheeler.
Now, however, Belinda has graduated to bigger, diesel-powered trucks to work on during the week, commencing a four-year dual trades apprenticeship to become not only a diesel tech but an auto electrician as well.
“I’m learning my way around the wires,” she said. “The diesel hardware is straightforward, but the wiring is new.”
With just a few weeks of the Scania apprenticeship completed, Belinda says she is fitting in quickly at the Scania branch at Campbellfield, adjoining Scania’s Dealer Support Centre.
“We were straight onto the tools and getting into it,” she says of the start of the training. “There are a few other apprentices, and there’s a good atmosphere. I’m looking forward to learning a lot about Scania’s technology.
“There’s a good structure in the way Scania looks after and encourages its apprentices, starting with the basics, and I already feel like I have learned a lot,” Belinda says.
“Down the track when I am qualified, I would like to work on trucks in the mines,” she says.
“A couple of years ago, I got into dirt bike racing after attending a ‘come and try’ day on International Women’s Day at the Broadford track. I met a few women there who like me were keen on racing,” Belinda said.
Scania is also celebrating International Women’s Day by highlighting some of the success stories of its female team members.
“Scania is very keen to welcome more females to our business across all of our activities from technicians to customer-facing roles,” said Michele Gellatly, people and culture director.
“We have been successful attracting women into the workshop over many years. As a multinational company we strive for a greater gender balance across our activities. Our global bus business division is headed by a female executive, while our business in Queensland is led by Anna-Marie Taylor, a vastly experienced Scania executive,” Michele said.
Scania Australia heavy vehicle technician Julianne Morell has four children and a fifth on the way, so she is used to multitasking.
She started working at Scania’s Prestons company-owned branch in October 2019, though for now she is off the tools and driving a desk, but is very enthusiastic about her career path through Scania to date.
“I started as a qualified technician and really enjoy the atmosphere and cultural interaction at Scania,” said Julianne.
“As a qualified female technician, it can feel a little daunting walking into a male dominated workshop, although from the first day here I felt a warm welcome from my co-workers. I have been treated as an equal and fairly, which was exactly what I was hoping for, and found my feet pretty quick, so I do feel at home with Scania here in Prestons,” she said.
One of the Scania benefits is a commitment to ongoing upskilling throughout a technician’s career, keeping pace with innovation and the rollout of new systems and features.
“We have a lot of training provided to learn the product and operational functions, and use a number of digital tools to keep on top of the technology,” Julianne said, adding that Scania has been very supportive of her working during her pregnancy.
“Scania has provided flexibility, understanding and is very family orientated. They are a very supportive company from management down,” she said.
While she is off the tools, Julianne has been able to soak up new experiences in other parts of the workshop, heading the front desk and meeting with customers.
“During my time with Scania I’ve developed my skills and learning across different areas. While I started as a technician, working on the product in the workshop, I’ve also had exposure to working as a Customer Service Advisor, which gives a good understanding of what our customers expect. With my technical expertise I’m able to understand their truck’s mechanical issues and ensure an accurate picture of the problem is conveyed to the technician who is given the job to fix it.
“My current role is assisting the invoice team in completing the work orders and closing them off to invoice,” she said“Scania is a good place to work. The company offers a variety of different opportunities to build and develop your own personal skills and so grow with the company. I am really looking forward to visit the Scania national training centre in Melbourne, something that was derailed by COVID,” Julianne added.