Dominique is a woman standing tall in a man’s world. She has been a drafter for over 30 years now. Nowadays, she is a consultant for AUSY, working at Elia.
According to Dominique, the gender gap is very clear within the domain of technical drawing. But the number of women working in technical domains rises every year, according to the Association Ingénieurs et Scientifiques de France. We asked Dominique if she notices this change on a daily basis.
When i grow up, i want to be a drafter!
Why did you study technical drawing?
Dominique: “I’ve always been obsessed with technical drawing, so it made sense to pursue this passion after I got my bachelor’s degree in engineering. I’ve been a drafter for 30 years now.
What does your job entail today?
“I’m an AUSY consultant at Elia,” Dominique tells us. “My work mainly consists of making preliminary designs, implementation plans and safety files.”
“Furthermore, I’m also responsible for the ad hoc support of the project manager.”
What do you like most about your job?
“I don’t think I prefer any one aspect over the other. I like the job in its entirety,” she says. “But if I really have to pick one thing, I’d say I really like following extra trainings. This sector is ever-changing, and it’s important to keep up with the latest trends. AUSY gives me this opportunity.
Why do you think so few women want to be a drafter?
Dominique: “I don’t think people really know what the job entails, even though there are so many different domains in this sector.”
“It would probably help if this job got some more attention from different colleges and universities. However, it is quite obvious that fewer women opt for a job in a technical domain than men, this is no different in the field of technical drawing.”
A woman on the construction site?!
What stereotypes do you have to deal with most often?
“I sometimes hear remarks such as: ‘What is a woman doing on the construction site?’ or: ‘this is a highly technical problem, you wouldn’t understand it,' says Dominique. “But I don’t let it get to me, I know that I’m good at what I do!”
Do you notice a difference in mentality as opposed to a few years ago?
“More and more women have started working in engineering. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the domain of technical drawing.”
Why do you think women should opt for a career as a drafter?
Dominique: “Because it’s a very interesting job, in a sector that keeps changing. There’s always new techniques, better programs … to explore. I don’t see any reason why women shouldn’t be interested in a career in technical drawing.
How do you think we can convince more women to opt for this career path?
“I think people aren’t aware of what a job as a drafter entails. If they did, there wouldn’t be as many stereotypes as there are right now. This job can be done just as well by women as by men. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Just go for it!
What advice would you give to women starting their careers in a technical sector?
“I would tell them to just go for it!” Dominique answers without hesitation. “This sector evolves so quickly, there might be a majority of men right now, but things change.”
“We can’t be scared to work in a sector that’s mainly dominated by men. Us women have just as many skills as our male colleagues, maybe even more… ;-) But you won’t find out until you leave your comfort zone.”
What does the future of technical drawing look like?
Dominique: “The technology we use will get better and better. It’s an evolution that we’ve been noticing for the past 20 years. I would definitely like to see more women in my sector. We often have a different point of view, and I think that’s a good thing. A bit more diversity would do this sector good.”