Introducing: three female engineers at Vienna’s public transport operator, Wiener Linien, who are forging ahead with the expansion and maintenance of the city network.
paving the way for women in construction & engineering
Being so close to the construction site is what Margareta Neuhold enjoys most about her job. “I’d never be happy doing an office job. I like it when it’s loud and dirty”, she says. Margareta studied construction engineering and is currently overseeing a part of a metro line extension project.“I have been working on this project since the tendering phase and am responsible for overseeing all the construction work”, she explains. This includes, for example, coordination work with the construction company, taking part in site meetings and clarifying issues with the planners. Checking the invoicing is also one of her tasks, and one which is enormously important on a site of this size.
Besides the technical knowledge, interpersonal aspects are also a crucial part of her job. “You have to find the right balance between being relaxed in dealings with others and the necessary degree of seriousness”, Margareta points out. The fact that she works in an environment traditionally dominated by men doesn’t trouble her: “Actually, I’ve never known it otherwise. For me, it’s totally normal to be the only woman on the site or in meetings.” She is convinced that, if you love doing your job, you shouldn’t be put off by things like that.
making diversity a priority
Sandra Totschnig, who has been working at Wiener Linien since 2018, sees things similarly: “I find that it is usually the men who are irritated when they meet a female engineer.” She works in the real estate management and building maintenance department.
A key focus of her work is coordinating with various other specialist departments. “I like the fact that my job is so multi-disciplinary. Working together with colleagues from the other departments is exciting”, she explains.
This diversity is what makes Wiener Linien an interesting employer for engineers.
says Sandra, who studied civil engineering and water management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.
collaboration as the key to success
Katharina Pucher also works in the real estate management and building maintenance department. “My responsibilities range from exchanging door locks to renovating entire stations”, she explains.
Currently she is working on a research project with photovoltaic films which have been installed on the roof of a metro station. “This technology has enormous potential and the project is being funded by the European Union”, says Katharina. Being a woman working in a technical environment is not always easy. “As a woman, you need to prove yourself more”, she says. She is nonetheless very happy in her job: “When you have completed a project working together with other departments, that’s a great feeling.”
investing in women & the quest for progress
Alexandra Reinagl, General Manager of Wiener Linien, is proud of the work performed by her personnel. “It’s amazing what we achieve together every day. I am always especially delighted to hear stories about female colleagues interested in technology because we are jointly shaping the future of Vienna. It is important for me to make ‘atypical professions for women’ more attractive at Wiener Linien. This starts with the open house events for girls and extends to an internal network for female employees, flexible working hour models and home office options. The same pay for the same work has always been state of the art at Wiener Linien.”
Wiener Linien is currently looking for more qualified specialists. If you are interested in environmentally friendly mobility and actively shaping Vienna’s future, you can apply on their online career platform!
Wiener Linien is committed to providing the best possible service on about 160 underground, tram and bus lines. As a company, they not only keep public transport running in Vienna, but also promote sustainability and climate protection. Their mission: to ensure sustainable, green mobility.
Text: Andreas Cavar
Fotos: Stefan Joham
Published in VORmagazin, 03/2020