#WomenInConstruction: Five women who are an example of professionalism, strength and passion in the Neuquén Basin
Beatriz Prieto, Valeria Miranda Gallino, Viviana Suárez Terrazas, Ana Romero Martínez and Daniela Padín. Five women, from diverse backgrounds and of different nationalities, currently in critically-important roles in the Quality, Health, Safety and Environment Area (QHSE) of Techint Engineering & Construction in the Neuquén Basin. Here are their stories and experiences.
Beatriz Prieto, Health Social Assistant: “I’m the only Techint social worker in Argentina”
Born in San Martín de Los Andes (Neuquén province, Argentina), Beatriz has a degree in Social Services, specializing in Occupational Nursing, from the University of Comahué (UNC). She joined the company four years ago, first to head up the fire prevention brigade and then, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to set up and oversee the monitoring and prevention campaign implemented by the company to curb the spread of the virus at the Tratayén-Mega project. At the moment, she is working in the basin to coordinate and manage health issues for a range of current projects. She sees herself as a link between the company and the people, and the people and the clinic. “It’s all quite uphill work, as I’m the only Techint social worker in Argentina, and thus a bit of a ‘rara avis’. During the pandemic, it was extremely difficult to accompany people on the construction site. And also very challenging to provide support and accompaniment for people when they were recovering in isolation. We used a lot of active listening,” recalls Beatriz. Looking to the future, her vision is of a larger team, with more people working in the social sphere: “It’s a really key area, and it would be very good for there to be more of us. I’m very proud to belong to the company, as this is for many quite unattainable, but sometimes there are days which are quite lonely and emotionally demanding as you have to support everyone else.”
Valeria Miranda Gallino, Environmental Engineer: “We work really well together as a team”
Valeria is from Piedra del Águila (Neuquén province, Argentina), and studied Environmental Engineering at the University of Río Negro. She joined the company a year ago as a young professional and currently works in the office analyzing the environmental aspects of various projects, from certifications and qualifications to permits and presentations, among other things. She remembers how she began in the company: “When you study Environmental Engineering your options are so broad that you don’t know where you’re going to end up. When I joined the company, I was struck by the fact that most people in the group were women. We work really well together as a team on a daily basis and we all have each other’s backs.” One of the more unusual and impactful tasks she’s had to carry out recently involves the tree planting and plastic and cardboard recycling projects for the Añelo Talent Training and Retention Center. “There’s so much to do and we are continuing to make an impact with our actions. We plan to continue working with a wide range of projects in the basin, plus all the offers that are coming out.”
Viviana Suárez Terrazas, Quality Engineer: “I hope to be a recognized 'Techinera'”
Born in Bolivia, Viviana studied Environmental Engineering at the University of Aquino (Santa Cruz de la Sierra), before joining Techint in May 2021, for the Fortín de Piedra project, specifically during the documentation phase for the Desalting. Her plans only envisaged her working there for a brief period, but then she stayed in order to carry out the welding follow-up during the desalination closing phase (Quality). Currently, she ‘s working for the basin's many projects and services, developing the Integrated Management System (IMS), implementing indicator controls—such as the Project Performance Index (PPI), and monitoring deviations, among other functions. “I’ve always wanted to be an engineer, ever since I was a little girl. I’ve always been drawn by the transformation and sustainable development side of things. I’m really happy in my current role, I hope to continue establishing myself in the company, to become a recognized 'Techinera' and continue growing. I’m continuing with my training, currently in the area of Welding Inspection, and in the future I want to continue learning so that I can train young people myself.” She is pleasantly surprised by the high percentage of women working on the team: "There’s a big difference between the office and the project in terms of the number of women on the teams, but when it comes to the work itself, it’s clear that there is equality."
Ana Romero Martínez, IMS Administrator: “Women can work in this industry with no limits”
Ana is from Venezuela and has a degree in Human Resources. She came to Argentina in 2017, after her brother was posted to the province of Neuquén for work, and the whole family decided to accompany him in search of a better quality of life. Ana began work with Techint E&C in Fortín de Piedra and is currently working on the administration of the Integrated Management System for the Neuquén Basin. “I take everything as a challenge, because my work is about the continuous improvement of each project, according to its indicators. I never imagined myself working in a company like Techint, where you can grow both personally and professionally”. She thinks it’s extremely positive that there are so many women on the team: “It's really good, as we can show people that women have a place on a construction site, that we have the strength and drive required to carry out many of the tasks traditionally done by men. Women can work in this industry with no limits. There’s no ceiling."
Daniela Padín, Head of Training at the Neuquén Basin Training Center: “I have a strong sense of belonging”
Born in La Plata (Buenos Aires province, Argentina), Daniela studied Occupational Health and Safety before joining Ternium twelve years ago to work in the Steel Services area for the Ensenada, Canning, Haedo and Florencio Varela plants. She was also involved in the Acid Plant project, in Ensenada and later joined the Neuquén Basin Training Center. She remembers that she found it easy to adapt to the demands and different dynamics of the projects, and emphasizes the value of the experience of her work team: “I would like to gradually take on more responsibilities. I’m lucky to work with a really good team, one I can learn from every day. In a couple of years, I’m sure that I’ll have that much more knowledge, and more skills and aptitudes to tackle the challenges at the company’s different projects in the basin. And that's what really motivates me." At the same time, she points out that she’s very comfortable in the workplace, as "I feel very good and well-cared-for by the company, and I have a very strong sense of belonging."
All five women are an example of professionalism, strength and passion. An infallible combination when it comes to guaranteeing successful projects!
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