Hitachi supports women in the Excavator Cab in Norway
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.
Both women 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. “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.
“I have experience with both smaller and larger machines, and now operate the Hitachi ZX210-6,” she says. “It is incredibly versatile – you can do almost anything with it. I had not used a Hitachi machine before I joined Vinsrygg, but I’m happy and feel like I thrive when working with Hitachi.”
A positive outlook
Sigrid is working on a project in the village of Loen, where Vinsrygg is engaged in groundworks for the municipality’s roads and housing estates. Having joined the company in 2016, she has eight years’ operating experience and is happy to see more female operators entering the traditionally male-dominated construction industry.
“It has never been a problem for me,” says Sigrid. “So long as you can prove yourself and do a good job, it should never be an issue that you are a female operator.
“I mainly use the Hitachi ZX250-6 excavator. I’ve tested many different sizes and brands of excavator, but am most satisfied with Hitachi. In particular, the ZX250-6 offers plenty of space inside the cab and all the controls are perfectly positioned.”
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.”
He is equally proud of his fleet of ten Hitachi excavators, supplied by authorised dealer NASTA AS: “I am happy to stay loyal to Hitachi. Alongside the low maintenance and operating costs, the service we receive is second-to-none. Every employee expresses a desire to work with Hitachi again, and I don’t think anyone here is inclined to operate anything else.”
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. In support of International Women’s Day, it’s important for us to celebrate the achievements of female operators working in the construction industry.”