Celebrated on the 8 March each year, International Women’s Day is a special opportunity to shine the spotlight on women working in our industry, highlighting their unique experiences and expertise, and what led them on this career path.
As the voice of the efficient building engineering services, GCP Europe represents the interests of the Building Services Engineering Sector, plumbing and HVAC, at the European Union level.
In our mission to serve as a spokesperson, we see that our industry is growing and forever evolving.
People spend about 90% of a day in buildings. Indoor climate and water supply therefore belong to the main features determining indoor comfort. On the other hand, more than 40% of the final energy consumption in Europe is used for heating needs of buildings and for domestic hot water production. Hence, technical building systems have become a priority area to reduce the use of traditional energy sources.
This presents more opportunities for women, from those looking to develop their careers further and to those who are just starting out, to take advantage of and take an active role in.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, and to showcase the opportunities in our sector, we are delighted to share with you the story of Ana Maria Garcia Gasco, highlighting her key role and motivation in shaping our industry.
What is your job title and role and responsibilities?
I am the Manager Director of Conaif. Basically, my responsibilities include the daily management of the Confederation, achieving the objectives approved by our governing bodies, representing the Confederation in the forums of interest for the defence of the installers, and the management of the staff of the Confederation.
What initially interested you, and lead you to this industry?
I arrived in the world of facilities in 2003, as part of Conaif’s staff. My first responsibility was in the technical department as an Industrial Engineer. Years later, the Board proposed me as the Manager Director of Conaif. I was fascinated by the associative world; through the union you can help and support the installers and it is generally small businesses that need the support of their business organisations.
Do you have any insights or advice for other women who may not know this industry as a potential sector for them?
My advice is to look for those opportunities that make you grow as a person and as a professional, and I assure you that in this industry you can find them.
Do you have any insights into what could be done to encourage more women into this sector?
I believe in the worth and capacities of women to get where they needed, for this purpose, knowledge experience and training are the keys to success.
What do you as a woman bring to the industry?
I am characterised by values that that I contribute to the organisation such as teamwork, constancy, and dialogue, among others. In the GCP Europe Board I provide the female presence, until parity is achieved.
Where do you see yourself in five years? What is the big goal?
The great objective faced by business organisations is the promotion of associationism in new generations, the digitisation of the sector, decarbonisation and the incorporation of professionals trained in the sector to achieve energy efficiency objectives fixed in European Directives. I will continue to work with GCP Europe to strengthen the collective of installers at European level.