Women at STIHL: Sladjana Seeland

What I like best here at STIHL Tirol is the variety that comes with my job and the positive atmosphere working with so many different people. I also enjoy working on the various products. I’ve already passed through quite a few areas here at STIHL Tirol, starting with every possible station on the line for hand-held electric power tools and from gasoline-powered lawn mowers to cordless machines, I’ve pretty much seen it all. I initially began as a production worker before being promoted to Forewoman seven years ago. There’s one thing that’s become clear to me throughout my journey:

I believe women have it harder as supervisors, because they constantly have to prove that they can do the job as well as a man. At first I had to prove myself as a manager, showing that I was able to cope with this kind of task and that I could manage the assembly line in addition to managing employees. As you can see, I have succeeded and am currently very satisfied with my work.

Don’t let anything or anyone get you down. Keep getting back up and fighting for yourself.
Sladjana Seeland, Forewoman
Sladjana Seeland, Forewoman, STIHL Tirol
Sladjana Seeland, Forewoman

Starting a shift in my current position has become habitual for me: After I arrive at work, the first thing I do is turn on my line. Then I check whether all of the staff members I’m responsible for are there and whether anyone is off sick. Based on that, I assign everyone to the various stations and sign them in. A glance at my e-mails lets me know whether anything is standing in the way of smooth production processes. Then it’s time to get going and start producing. Checking to see that the material meets the specs for the order and that the quality is right is especially important here.

What has always helped me on my career path is smiling and being friendly, especially when addressing problems. Some men don’t appreciate being told what to do by a woman – I’ve experienced that myself. But I’ve been able to solve even that by talking to them and staying cordial throughout. In the end we’ve always found a solution, and people have accepted me as a supervisor. So it’s always all worked out, but it takes a certain ability to empathize. That’s why you should never let anything or anyone get you down. Keep getting back up and fighting for yourself. That would be my advice for all women and everyone else at STIHL. After all, our jobs wouldn’t work without mixed teams.