• Women increasingly holding positions at BR-163

    DATE: 03/08/2022

    Published by: OTP

    After operation growth, conservation is to receive female collaborators

    Maria Edilma

    BR-163 highway operation under Rota do Oeste concession has received more and more women in its teams. Currently, nine women make up the staff of Traffic operators along the highway and, recently, an all-female team was hired for the first time by the Concessionaire together with the partner company BC2 to work in the conservation of the highway in the Rondonópolis region. Whatever their function, they always inspire admiration and respect from colleagues and supervisors.

    Women have been present in Rota’s Traffic operation team since the first year of operational services, and the number of hires has not stopped growing. In June 2015, there were only two women working. By 2021, seven women made up the teams. Today, the employees spread throughout the entire stretch represent the largest number of active traffic operators in the company. The longest serving in the position is Traffic Operator Maria Edilma Rodrigues, who has been inspecting the highway in the Sinop region since 2020.

    Besides monitoring, she also operates a winch and performs all tasks, such as user support, removing objects from the road, and signaling. She says that when she came across the job opportunity through social media she did not know what it was like to work on such an important highway, but she fell in love. “Today what I like the most is to know that I am useful to users, even if only for a few minutes,” he says. Rota do Oeste makes no gender distinction and everyone who wishes to apply for the vacancies can apply through the platform.

    Four out of nine collaborators work in the north of the highway, between Diamantino and Sinop. Operations coordinator David Carpezani, who is responsible for this stretch, reports that they perform their function brilliantly and also appreciate the care they put into the workplace and the work material. “They do all the procedures correctly, there is no difference with men’s work,” he says. Carpezani saves no praise for veteran Maria Edilma and recognizes her perfect work.

    Regarding users relationship, the coordinator recognizes that some drivers get excited and find it strange the presence of women working on the highway. However, most of them report no problems with the matter. “I believe that most of them are more sensitive in dealing with them, they thank them and register compliments. Even though it is a dangerous work, they face the challenge,” says Carpezani. Maria reports that she does not deal with prejudice in her daily routine, because even when users are nervous, she manages to talk and attend to them in the best way. “I love what I do and I appreciate the opportunity,” she concludes.

    The most recent hire was Ana Claudia da Cruz resident of Lucas do Rio Verde, who has been with the operation for less than a month. She says she always wanted to be a driver and today she feels fulfilled operating the winch, but she will not stop there: she wants to reach category E on her National Driver’s License (CNH) and drive all kinds of heavy vehicles!

    New hires on the road stretch – Recently, BR-163/MT can also count on the strength of women in conservation. About 30 days ago, Rota do Oeste hired, through its partner company BC2, a team composed of approximately 10 women to work in the highway conservation, more specifically with vegetation management on the right of way. The activity is very important for the visibility of signs and users’ safety, but it is not an easy job.

    The person responsible for the conservation of the southern stretch of BR-163/MT, Abner da Cruz, says that the female team has received the same training and orientation as the male teams and the results are already showing. “It’s a new team, so during the training period we selected the least critical points. But they have great productivity and will soon perform in all locations,” he says. For him, this could be the first female team of many in the conservation, depending on the result so far.

    One of these women is Ana Karoline Xavier Dias, who divides her job with motherhood. Mother of three children and still breastfeeding her youngest, who is only six months old, she thanks the company for the concern and care for the team and talks about the experience of leaving home every day to work under the sun: “It’s exhausting, because of the baby I can’t sleep through the night. But it is very rewarding and I have received support from the company,” she said. Karol, as she is called by her colleagues and supervisors, says she had never worked in a similar position before. “It’s an amazing experience, even if the job is not easy.” She leaves a certain amount of milk for her daughter before she leaves, but she is the first one to be dropped off at home after work because of her commitment to her little one.

    Admiration and courage – Maria Edilma, Ana Claudia, and Ana Karoline, like many others, are mothers in addition to working on the highway. The challenge is great, but it is recognized. Maria, a mother of two, says that her oldest son, 27, speaks of his mother’s profession with pride! “My youngest is afraid, but I love driving on BR-163. When we do what we love, it’s fun,” she concludes.

    Ana Claudia also leaves an inspiring message for other women: “Never give up on your dreams, regardless of what you want. You can do it!”


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