According to a recent study by StepStone, only 7% of the electrical engineers are women. In the mechatronics or mechanical engineering sector, women account for only 5% each.*
These numbers play an important role for Meurer. For a long time now, the company has been driving initiatives to ensure that young women can develop an interest in the technology industry and subsequently start technical careers.
Women like Marie Berling want to be the trailblazers of this development. Her Interest in electrical engineering and in addition her father, an electrician, inspired the young woman's desire for a career in the technology industry. But that was not the case from the beginning. "I actually started training as a vet assistant first. But I quickly realized that this is not the right thing for me", she says. Finally, she began an apprenticeship as a technical draftsman specializing in electrical engineering at Meurer. However, it was more an opportunity that just happened rather than a deliberate decision.
After an initial familiarization phase she was quickly accepted. To the question whether she had to listen to comments, she replies "Not directly. But I think that - regardless of the industry, whether men or women - every now and then a cocky comment comes in every apprenticeship which one you must accept with a wink. It's just a part of the daily work routine. Her tip: Deal with a comment and stand above it.
At the vocational school there were several girls in their class. She had never felt that she had been inferior to her male colleagues. Although she was - as she says by herself - a "rivet" in physics, math and chemistry at school, she completed her education with very good grades. Her interest in electrical engineering has made it easier for her to understand the contents. In Addition, the content that one learns in the vocational school cannot be compared with the contents of the subjects in the general education school.
Meurer supported her in her career from the beginning. Especially, Thomas Lücke, Head of technical apprenticeship, was of great support. "He just has a lot of patience. Even after the fourth time, when you did not understand it, he explains it calmly to you once again." As the first woman at Meurer she began a dual study after completing her apprenticeship. In the undergraduate studies, however, she failed to math. "As in any apprenticeship or study, there is content that you will never need in practice and still have to learn. Math has never been my strength", she says calmly.
She has been working for Meurer for almost 15 years with a four-year break in between. She is a proud mother of two children and happy to work again after her parental leave. When asked what she still holds here at Meurer, she replies: "The colleagues. I feel good here. It's fun to work with these people here."
Even after all the years, she does not regret having chosen a technical occupation. She explains: "Being involved in developing a machine right from the start, understanding how it works and why something works the way it should work - that's just fun." In addition, the apprenticeship has taught her to prevail which she would not have learned that way in another job. One should not forget, she says: "Whenever you learn something about yourself, you will grow a bit beyond yourself."
At the end she still has some advice for all the young girls outside who are not sure if they want to go into a technical job: "Try it! Do not pay attention to your grades in school. A apprenticeship in the technical field is not at all comparable to the school subjects. You also do an apprenticeship to learn the profession. That means that you do not need to know everything in the beginning."
For this reason Meurer has been committed to inspire young women for technical carreers and to clear up with some prejudices about cleanliness and physical labour in mechanical engineering. The company is again participating in the Niedersachsen Technikum this year and employs besides some female trainees und students a young technician in the field of electrical engineering. Here, after graduation, young women can "get a taste" of technical careers for half a year and find out whether they can qualify for technical apprenticeship or study.
The cooperation with the OBS Berge and the IGS Fuerstenau, in which among other things the girls have a special focus, are running very successfully. As part of special technology projects for female pupils only, they have the opportunity to improve themselves in the world of electrics and mechanics among their peers and perhaps to discover or contribute their technical interest. If this is successful, Meurer offers all interested pupils or students various possibilities to get a deeper insight into the technical professional world, such as company surveys, internships or summer jobs. Because Meurer is of the opinion: Women and technology - that works!