With competence to confidence

23.10.2020 | Photos: Autoropa

Emily Volmell, technical trainer at Mercedes-Benz Global Training.
Share article:

With professional expertise and confidence – that’s how Emily Volmell deals with stereotypes in her job as a trainer for vehicle technology.

A native of Sweden, Emily Volmell was the first woman to commence her career in the workshop of her Mercedes-Benz dealership. She was the first woman to win the Young Technician Award, and now she is the first woman at Mercedes-Benz Global Training to be made responsible for the training of technical employees in northern European dealerships. The fact that this is a male-dominated career has never troubled Emily Volmell. She talked to us about stereotypes and the importance of professional know-how and enthusiasm.

Emily Volmell training diagnostic technicians.

Car workshops are regarded as decidedly male domains – fact or fiction?

In my experience there are definitely more men than women working in this sector. But personally I think that the world is changing quite a bit in this regard. Women in supposedly typically male professions will no longer be a rarity in the future.

You are an excellent example of this. You train technical employees from Mercedes-Benz dealerships, e.g. service technicians or diagnostic technicians.

Yes but the proportion of female participants is only around one percent. There are still very few women working in car workshops. During my training as a mechanic, only three out of 15 trainees were women. At the time I thought to myself: “Give it time, in a few years at most we’ll see many more women here.” Unfortunately, we haven’t got that far yet.

What do you think are the reasons?

I don’t believe that women are afraid to work in an environment with predominantly male colleagues. I think it’s simply due to a lack of corresponding points of contact, especially with technical careers.

Why did you decide to train as a mechanic?

At the age of 13 I decided I wanted to learn something relating to cars. During my training as a mechanic, I also had the opportunity to work in a racing team. And from then on my enthusiasm simply… grew?

I am now a trainer at Mercedes-Benz Global Training, and train employees from Mercedes-Benz car dealerships throughout Northern Europe. This was a major step for me! But I thought to myself: “How can I say No to something I haven’t even tried!” So I did it.

What’s it like to work in a “male-dominated” career and train predominantly male course participants?

I don’t make a big thing of the “women in supposedly male professions” debate. Although I’m aware that as a woman, I’m a rarity in my working environment, I don’t see myself as “exotic”. I’m just as much part of the whole as the others. After all, if I didn’t see it that way, I would be side-lining myself.

Why do you think women sometimes have problems in “male domains”?

No doubt, this is partly due to stereotyping – and on both sides. People have a tendency to think in boxes. That’s perfectly normal. Insecurity probably also plays a part.

Emily Volmell preparing for technical training.

How do you respond when somebody tries to put you in a box?

I simply handle these situations with professional expertise. That usually works at once! If you have a thorough knowledge of your specialist area and know what you’re doing, you can convince even the most stubborn “box-thinker”. During the course of my career, I’ve acquired a great deal of specialist knowledge I can rely on. That creates self-confidence. And if I exude this self-confidence, the boxes remain closed. Which lets me focus on what’s really important to me: attending to each of my course participants individually, so that they can obtain skills from the training that are important for themselves and their daily work.

Did you never have the feeling that you had to prove yourself as a woman?

Yes, of course. Any woman knows that feeling. But it’s precisely that feeling that helped give me the motivation to develop further all the time. If you’re passionate about your work and show that you’re good at what you do, your performance is noted and recognised by others. In these situations, there’s no point in complaining that people think in stereotypes. Or worse, opting for confrontation. Instead, I let my skills and know-how speak for me.

How important are qualifications and further development for you personally?

Like many other people, I strive for perfection. This also applies to my area of work. Professional know-how lets me work more efficiently. This is particularly important in today’s world, where things are changing at an enormous rate. As a trainer, it’s self-evident to me that I should constantly learn new things to remain technically up to date. But, of course, also to develop further as a person. Further training gives me more confidence in myself and my decisions. As a result, I have a confident demeanour and convince those around me. Then there’s no room for prejudices and stereotypes.

What advice would you give women who work in a male-dominated job environment?

Be the expert! Acquire specialist knowledge that you can call on immediately, and convince others with logical, factual arguments. Have confidence in yourself and your skills. Don’t waste your energy competing with others. It’s hard work, and won’t get you further. Invest your energy in yourself instead, by working on yourself and constantly improving. You can do whatever you have a mind to. So strive for it, and don’t let anybody’s stereotypes stop you!

As a trainer at Mercedes-Benz Global Training, Emily Volmell helps to ensure that you and your Mercedes-Benz are always cared for and advised by highly qualified specialists in your Mercedes-Benz dealership.

Share article:

Follow She’s Mercedes

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 23.10.2020.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.