Wiola Smul is working as a blade technician at Global Wind Service (GWS). We have spoken with her about her journey, background, and what made her choose a male-dominated profession in the wind industry.
In fact, only 2.7% of all wind turbine technicians are women.
She joined GWS in May 2022 but has worked as a technician for over 10 years. She is currently (on the the date of publication) working in Taiwan on the Greater Changhua project, and her tasks focus on metal spot repair of towers but also blade and nacelle repairs. In short, her task is finding the damaged place, repairing, grinding, painting and thickness checking as well as documentation.
Although her education is not directly related to the wind sector (Wiola has a Master’s in wood technology engineering with a specialisation in furniture design), from a young age she liked do-it-yourself projects and using her hands. An interest she shared with her father: “My dad was a handyman and I liked accompanying him. He taught me to use tools and power tools. As a result, I also liked to do manual things, they always gave me a lot of joy and satisfaction”.
Even though she is has more than 10 years of experience from the wind sector, her original plan was slightly different. She wanted a new challenge and to develop a new skill. The initial idea was to take a welding course but, as Wiola says “Somehow I ended up here and I want to stay here”.
However, getting a start as blade technician was not always an easy task.
“When I started, more than 10 years ago and called for a job, people always asked me if I was calling for my husband or if I was a secretary”. If she managed to get through to the companies to explain about her experience and skills, she was usually invited for a trial day before they would hire her.
“Now we see more women working on the ropes, and I think each of us is paving the way for future female technicians” Wiola says.
“When I started, more than 10 years ago and called for a job, people always asked me if I was calling for my husband or if I was a secretary”
More about Wiola
As a sport and nature lover, Wiola’s spare time is focused on making the most out of each day, mainly shared between playing basketball with the locals, a passion rediscovered now in Taiwan and travelling around the country, mainly to national parks.
If you want to follow Wiola’s adventures as a blade technician, you can follow her profile @smiling_fiolka on Instagram.
GWS approach to equality: We treat all equally
Global Wind Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, colour, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, and according with all local laws.
For women who are considering joining the wind industry, Wiola advises, “If you think about it, do it. That is the only way to find out if it is a job for you.”
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