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‘It’s not all about muscles’

A novel part of the proceedings during the latest BIR convention was recorded interviews with several women BIR members in sessions entitled: ‘A career in recycling: women tell their story’.

Caroline Craenhals, managing director, Belgian Scrap Terminal:

‘I was born in the scrap industry. My great grandfather started the company, as a child I loved to walk around the yard with my father and help him operate the weighbridge.

‘Its motivating and rewarding to work in a business that continuously searches for better techniques, and more valuable resources, as well as exploring new possibilities for a better world.

‘It’s not all about muscles – women really fit in this industry. Sure, women’s logic is different than men’s. The good thing is, we need both.’

Natallia Zholud – trader, TRM Group:

‘The best part is the diversity that comes with the job and there is always something new coming up. And the community of recyclers – it’s a huge pleasure to be doing business with them.

‘Spread the word. There are more women than it might appear at first glance. We have great women leaders out there.’

Julian Luk – Reporter, Fastmarkets:

‘Recycling is undergoing different transformations. It is exciting always talking to people on new topics.

‘There are many common stereotypes on women. After I spoke once, someone said “I never saw any lady being so passionate about scrap metal”. Even when a woman speaks professionally our work it is seen as exceptional or a bit weird. Sometimes I find it difficult to work with.’

Alexandra Weibel Natan – Pan American Zinc:

‘I’m learning something new every day. I love meeting new people. Be yourself: it is a plus to be a woman in the industry today. We are a minority and that gives us an advantage.’

Jessie Yen, trader, Fincumet Oy:

‘It’s the global networking I enjoy most. We are lucky to get connected to so many people and cultures worldwide. I am proud to be part of it and contribute to the future of our globe and the environment.

‘This industry has some great female role models so I would certainly encourage and welcome women who are interested and ambitious to build a career in this exciting industry.’

Josephita Harry, vice president trading, Pan American Zinc:

‘I totally love everything I do in my job. Each day offers new challenges. It feels good to make this planet a better place in my own little way, and with all the people I work with.

‘My advice to all the women out there who want to get involved in this industry: First, believe in yourself. It starts with you; it started with me. Second, know what you want. Third, even if you’re totally new, you have skills you can use in this sector. Bear in mind you always have something to give, no matter what business you’re in.’

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