iGroundControl

Issue 21
Hitachi ZX210LC-6 excavator with Vinsrygg Maskin AS logo

Laying the foundation for change

Women make up just 8% of the European construction industry’s workforce, according to a report in 2020 (constructionblueprint.eu). But a growing number are choosing careers in construction, challenging stereotypes and laying the foundation for change.

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Women working in construction

When Sigrid Haugen steps out of the cab of her Hitachi excavator, she sometimes sees people doing a double-take in surprise. However, Sigrid and her colleague, Mona Seljeset, are among the growing number of women working in the construction industry as misconceptions about gender-specific roles gradually decline.

Sigrid and Mona are two of the 18 employees working for Norwegian contractor Vinsrygg Maskin AS, located in Stryn in the county of Vestland. They operate Hitachi Zaxis-6 medium excavators on groundworks, road and housing construction projects.

Mona has nine years of operating experience and started at Vinsrygg in 2017, following Sigrid who joined the company in 2016.

ZX210LC-6 on road project
Mona Seljeset, operator at Vinsrygg Maskin AS in front of Hitachi excavator

“I grew up on a farm, so you could say it’s in my blood. I was delighted to find this job and have received excellent training. Vinsrygg has a great team, and we all get along well and enjoy ourselves.”

Mona Seljeset, operator at Vinsrygg Maskin AS

“So long as you can prove yourself and do a good job, it should never be an issue that you are a female operator.”

Sigrid Haugen, operator at Vinsrygg Maskin AS
Sigrid Haugen, operator at Vinsrygg Maskin AS in front of Hitachi ZX250LC excavator
General Manager of Vinsrygg Maskin AS, Jens Vinsrygg

Setting an example

General Manager of Vinsrygg Maskin AS, Jens Vinsrygg, is proud of his diverse workforce, which also includes a female truck driver. He believes more women will join the industry in future: “The construction sector can be tough, but Mona and Sigrid can handle anything – hopefully they can set an example to others.”

Celebrating inclusivity

Ghislaine Jonker, PR & Communication Manager for Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV, comments: “We’re delighted that NASTA, our local dealer in Norway, is shining a light on the growing number of women operating Hitachi construction equipment.

“This will hopefully encourage a new generation to follow in their footsteps and help to forge a more inclusive world. It’s important for us to celebrate the achievements of female operators working in the construction industry.”

Ghislaine Jonker, PR & Communication Manager for Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV
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