#8M, Irene Castillo from EGISA talks to HEIDELBERG

EGISA, Envase Gráfico Industrial S.A., is a family-owned company located in Barcelona, with more than 60 years of experience in the development of high-end packaging solutions. Its history has always been linked to packaging with impressive finishes and innovation, with the most technologically advanced and efficient machines on the market. At HEIDELBERG Spain we are proud to be the technological partner of companies committed to social and environmental issues such as EGISA.

Now, on International Women's Day, we had the opportunity to talk to Irene Castillo, who is an industrial engineer and operations manager at EGISA. With Irene, we wanted to discuss one of the company’s key players to get an insight into her experience in a globally recognized company.

Irene Castillo, you are one of the employees at EGISA with a great level of responsibility for the company's operations. Working for a leading company in the market demands a lot. How do you manage teams in a large and complex structure such as EGISA? Can you tell us if you think that, in general terms, being a woman raises the level of demand a notch or two?

Answer: Managing large teams is always a challenge, especially in the production area, since we are subject to high demands in terms of product quality, operational efficiency, and customer service. While it is true that we have state-of-the-art machinery, such as HEIDELBERG's offset presses, the involvement and motivation of our team are essential to achieving our goals. I am proud to lead the EGISA team. In general, the level of demand is always higher when you are a woman in a position of responsibility. In addition, the production area within the graphic arts sector is still very male-dominated. This means that, as a woman, you have to prove yourself more than a man in order to gain the respect and trust of others.

What is the most exciting part of your job and what are your professional challenges?

Answer: The most exciting part of my job is getting to develop products requested by customers that initially seemed impossible on a technical level. I am also passionate about participating in the company's strategy and investments and leading my operations team. My professional challenge is to continue to add value to EGISA, helping it to remain the leading company in the luxury packaging sector.

You are a career woman, and at the same time, you are a mother. Has it been easy to combine the two roles? And besides that, do you think, if you were a man, would I have asked you this question?

Answer: In my case, I have been able to share family responsibilities with my partner, which has allowed me to balance my professional life with caring for my daughters quite well. Even so, combining work with family responsibilities is always complicated, since women continue to have a much greater weight in the care of children, especially at an early age. Moreover, as mothers, we tend to sacrifice most of our personal time to take care of our children. It is true that in recent years and in some aspects, we have made progress, but there is still a long way to go. And no, if I were a man, I am sure you would not have asked me this question.

Do you think the presence of women in our market is becoming normalized, or do you think there is still a long way to go?

Answer: In our sector, women's presence is still a minority, both at the level of management and positions of responsibility, as well as in production areas. All companies in the sector have to work in the same direction to ensure that women are much more present in all working positions. In the case of EGISA, there are currently five women occupying positions of high responsibility in the departments of Operations, Commercial, Quality, Industrial Organization, and Marketing.

We would like you to leave us a final reflection thinking about the fact that it is working Women's Day.

Answer: March 8th, International Women's Day, has to be a day to make the inequality and discrimination that women still suffer in our society visible. We have seen many changes globally since the rise of women in the workplace, but there is still the gender pay gap, the glass ceiling, and the general lack of opportunities for working women... We must make progress as a society towards full equality in all aspects. At the same time, I would like to be a motivation and a point of reference for younger women who want to embark upon their professional lives, encouraging them to pursue their ambitions. Still, we cannot forget that what really needs to change is society.

Thank you very much, Irene, it has been a pleasure!

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