Katerina Peppa has always been interested in repairing and fixing things that are broken. With a background in Engineering she is currently working as a Service Sales Engineer in Atlas Copco’s technical department within the Industrial Air division in Athens, Greece. Learn more about her experiences on the job and her views on diversity in the company.
Katerina joined Atlas Copco 12 years ago and has since then undertaken many areas of responsibilities; be it with spare parts, price lists, campaigns, promotional materials for new products, and most recently in service and customer service. “I am always trying to learn something. I want to develop myself, that’s why I frequently seek feedback. I love to learn,” she says. In her current role as Service Sales Engineer Katerina prepares quotations for service interventions and cooperates closely with the Service Team, aiming to support customer satisfaction and sustainable productivity. She also proactively responds to customer demands through intelligent tools.
Engineering has traditionally been a male dominated profession. Consequently, Katerina explains that there have been incidents on the job in the past, when clients have wished to talk to a man instead of her to get support for their spare parts. “I’ve then replied that we don’t have a man available and that I am ready and equipped to support them. The clients were reluctant in the beginning but quickly realized that a woman could do the job,” she says.
Other times she has experienced that people outside of work find it strange that a woman pursues a career in engineering. “It’s strange to me that it seems strange to them, in this time and age,” Katerina says. “For me this is the enemy of diversity; the stereotypes that prevail and are perpetuated, and unfortunately in some cases, prevent people from following their dreams. Many times, it’s difficult to have to prove your knowledge, that you know what you are doing. It’s hard but it’s worth the time. It's an amazing feeling to perform the job you love. I urge girls and women who want to become engineers, electricians or technicians to follow their hearts; it’s not easy but it’s so beautiful to follow your dreams and tear down the walls that others have been built for women, decades ago,” Katerina says.
When it comes to Atlas Copco’s diversity and inclusion Katerina says that the company shows that it does not matter if you are a woman or man, what beliefs, religion, or nationality you have. “Atlas Copco is a big family with very strong values when it comes to diversity and ethics,” she says.
Regarding the company’s approach to parenthood, Katerina appreciates the sense of security she has experienced. “I was 24 years old when I started my journey in Atlas Copco. Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to have children. Over the years, I married and had my daughter,” she explains. At the time Katerina was away for almost 11 months and when her son was born 6 years later, she was also on parental leave. “I really appreciate the sense of security and trust from my employer during this crucial inactive period as a parent,” Katerina says. “At a later point in time, if they called me from school, I could leave work because my child was sick. Also, during lock-down I have had the flexibility to work from home,” she adds.
“This is the approach my generation expects from an employer, and my experience is that Atlas Copco will support you if you have the talent and drive. We could certainly improve further by employing more women, especially in the technical department,” Katerina says. “In line with our belief ‘There is always a better way’, we should always aim for diverse cultures, nationalities, and ethnic origins, and create a workplace that offers a good balance of role models. We are in 2021, let’s build a diverse future,” she concludes.