Women, according to Rakel, are usually more careful in what they do, which is a great advantage. The field is starting to open up to women, which is great news for those who enjoy working with machines. It's a field where you always feel rewarded for the job you do.


Manufacturing employs close to 16% of the work force in Canada.


Rakel Martineau is a Foreperson and set-up technician for VG Plastica. She has worked there for four years. The company does injection molding and produces plastic mechanical devices and "assemble" products.

Rakel started as a machine operator, then was promoted to foreperson/technician after two years. Rakel says that while 80% of the plant staff are women, she is the only female technician.

Rakel's job is to supervise employees, check quality control, install molds, build set-ups (computerized, mechanical, and on the floor), and troubleshoot, which includes fixing problems with the set-up and sometimes fixing mechanical problems.

Did you know? The largest area of Canadian manufacturing is in transportation equipment… cars, planes, rapid transit coaches and snowmobiles.

Rakel is currently studying for her DEP at the Centre de Formation St-Henri in Conduite et Reglaire de Machine a Mouler Les Matieres Plastique (running and repairing machinery for plastic products). She is expecting to complete her DEP in July, 2000.

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The next time you see some little plastic widgets, think about our next feature. Rakel Martineau is one of the youngest people at her workplace and she's the boss. This forewoman and plastics set-up technician supervises employees, checks on quality control, sets up computerized and mechanical molding, and trouble-shoots any production problems that might arise in the making of anything from Lego to gym equipment.

Although the work can be dirty and greasy, Rakel says that women have an edge as technicians because they tend to be more careful in setting up the equipment. And that means that the assembly line runs smoother and longer before encountering any production difficulties!


Education: DEP at Centre de Formation St-Henri in Conduite et Reglaire de Machine a Mouler Les Matieres Plastique

Hobbies: Hanging out with friends, dancing, crafts