For Angelina Daniela Casanova, Heavy Machinery Is No Myth

There are still jobs divided by gender norms mainly because they include physical force, an attribute considered culturally for men.

Angelina Daniela Casanova

Photos: Courtesy

The Woman Post | Margarita Briceño

Despite the changes in our society regarding the elimination of stereotypes between jobs considered as male or female, according to the beliefs about the social characteristics that identify them, there are still jobs divided by gender norms. Mainly because they include physical force, an attribute considered culturally for men.

Why Be Heavy Machinery Mechanics?

The labor transformation in the world economy has favored the entry of women into different work areas, transforming their role in the development of today's society. The same attitude of disbelief of some social groups in the face of the inclusion of women in certain areas has been the driving force for many of them deciding to be part of the Automotive Industry, becoming experts in handling heavy machinery. This has been the case of Angelina Casanova, a pioneer woman in heavy mining machinery in Chile and ambassador of The American Organization of Women Leaders in Automotive Maintenance (OAMLA).

"Towards 2011, I was working as a mechanical machinery operator, and I was touched by a conflictive boss who made fun of me for not knowing how to do things well. But that mockery served as an impetus for my family to encourage me to study a Higher Level Technician in Heavy Machinery Mechanics."

Sometime later, this decision would open the opportunity to Angelina for the Cerro Colorado mining company to offer her to join as the first mechanical woman in Heavy Machinery. This allowed her to ascend, creating a successful career until she currently works at Minera Spence of BHP. She works in Mechanical Maintenance of P&H 4100 Shovel, Pit Viper 351 Electric Drills, and Epiroc Diesel. Thus, she has become a pioneer and example in this area.

"It is a world of men where the physical part of the work is very heavy, and everything is great, but over the years, the same gains and wanting to learn and demonstrate with one's own effort makes one gain physical strength and achieve it."


How To Work in a Men's Environment

There is still an important difference between the remuneration that a man and a woman receive in this environment. It is necessary to leave behind the idea of some companies of "we are giving you the opportunity" for "we hire you because of your ability." However, Angelina considers that today the concept of women's work has been dramatically improved in the Mining Industry because there are no longer limits to working in it. She says, "The male gender has been valuing the role of women… they contribute to the development of work making it safer, polite and calm. Over the years, the atmosphere and the camaraderie have improved. The maintenance work area is nice and satisfying".

Give Everything You've Got

For Angelina Daniela Casanova, her most outstanding achievement is opening the doors to more women who want to see themselves projected in the mining area. When asked what she considers her most remarkable qualities to become successful in this environment, her answer is blunt. "I am passionate about this job, I love machines, and that is why I want them to be in good condition ... we must take advantage of the experience to improve."

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