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Interview with Claudia Torres on women in the recycling industry

On the occasion of Women’s Day, ScrapAd has conducted a series of interviews with women who work in the recycling sector as managers of large companies. At ScrapAd we believe that we must be part of the change, and move towards gender equality, which is becoming more and more latent, but which still has a long way to go.

It is essential to highlight the remarkable work done by women in the recycling sector. They are often pioneers in establishing innovative businesses that seek sustainable solutions to environmental problems, leading the way towards a more sustainable future. Despite facing challenges and barriers, they are proving that they can be agents of change in the fight against climate change and the protection of the environment. It is important to recognise and value their work and commitment to building a more just and sustainable future for all.

Thus, in this article, we have had the opportunity to interview Claudia Torres Muñiz, Aluminium Sales Manager at Operadora Gisel, a company with more than 10 years in the sector, which offers integrated handling of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

How did you get started in the recycling sector?

Thanks to an unexpected change of residence, I decided to take up the challenge, I started in credit and collection of the company. Due to the needs of the company and my profile, I was transferred to the aluminium yard as area manager.

What has been your greatest achievement since you have been involved in recycling?

Learning about recyclable materials, their quality and their correct classification.

What challenges does a woman in the recycling sector face?

Practically all of them. Mainly working with and managing mostly male staff, and dealing with situations where the man is seen as the leader.

How has the role of women in the sector evolved?

When I started in this company, the important operational positions were held by men.

Today, women’s ability to administer, negotiate, manage staff and operate is being recognised, giving us bigger and better opportunities to develop in the workplace.

What are the predominant roles of women in the recycling industry today?

I have the honour of knowing women managers, senior executives, buyers and sellers. Intelligent, hard-working and capable women.

Today, do you think there are more women in the recycling sector, or is there a need to develop initiatives to support them in the recycling value chain?

I think that even though there are many women in the industry, it is still mostly men and it would be great to create initiatives to give us the drive, training and skills development.

Do you think there is a need for more women-led projects?

Definitely, yes.

In an increasingly globalised economy, how important do you think industrial recycling is?

It is of utmost importance, as nowadays all waste is used, transformed and reused.

Do you see the role of digitalisation in this sector as increasingly important?

Yes, everything is simplified and facilitated by technology.

What advice would you give to a woman embarking on a recycling project?

My advice would be: do your research, ask questions, don’t be left in doubt, approach qualified people who can guide and teach you and, if you have the time, study a related career.

We are very grateful to Claudia Torres Muñiz for participating in our interview and giving us her vision of women in a traditional sector, but one in which more and more women are taking the lead. Like Sandra Montes Pérez, our COO and founder of ScrapAd, with whom we also talked about this topic. Discover Sandra Montes’ interview on the ScrapAd blog.

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