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“Never stop fighting for equal rights and equal opportunity”

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In our NORMAPeople series, employees around the world talk about their day-to-day work, how they came to the company, and what they appreciate most about their jobs.

Cláudia Pereira is a Production Supervisor at the NORMA Group site in Águeda, Portugal. In this interview, she talks about her daily work routine as a woman in a male-dominated work environment, her professional role models and her advice for all women.

Cláudia, when did you start working at NORMA Group?

I have been with NORMA Group since September 2018. I started as an intern in the HR department. I have always been interested in production and when the opportunity came up to transfer to this area, I quickly accepted.

What does your daily work routine look like?

My work involves some routines, one of which is a Gemba walk. A key component of the Gemba Walk is to get feedback from employees so we can work together to identify where there is room for improvement. Regular production meetings and other meetings are also part of my work routine.

What do you like best about it?

No two days are the same. Every day there are new challenges and different goals that I have to consider when making decisions.

As a production supervisor, you work in what is generally considered to be a male department. What challenges does that present for you?

Women in these areas often have to work harder if they want to be heard and respected. Especially when they are working with older people who maintain an outdated set of role expectations.

Have you ever had the feeling that you were less accepted as a woman in your position at NORMA Group?

No, that’s not something that I have ever felt. On the contrary, the fact that I was offered my position internally proved to me that I am valued in the company.

What woman has had the greatest impact on you in your life?

My mother. She is a strong woman, supports me in everything I have tried to do and always has an open ear. At the same time, she gives me the space I need to make my own decisions – no matter whether those decisions are good or bad. Even today as an independent woman, my mother is the first person I ask for advice. She gives me the confidence and strength I need in those moments. And if something doesn’t go as planned, she is always there for me.

In my daily work, I mainly look up to women as role models who have worked hard for their success and fight for their goals. They inspire me to hold on to my dreams.

Do you have any advice for all women?

Never stop fighting for equal rights and equal opportunity. Women and men have different characteristics but gender does not define who we are, what qualities we have and what achievements we make in our professional lives.

What are your hopes for the future?

I would like to see a future where equality prevails in all areas – in private life, at work or in politics, and I would like to see more women in leadership positions. Who knows, maybe I’ll be one of them.

And finally, please complete the following sentence: I love my job because…

…every day is a challenge. Monotony is unheard of and that means I feel useful and alive.

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