Metso Insights Blog People and culture From Intern to Environmental Engineer: Paola García’s impactful career at Metso
May 6, 2024

From Intern to Environmental Engineer: Paola García’s impactful career at Metso

In the professional world, there are individuals who not only navigate challenges but also thrive upon them, shaping their journey with resilience and determination. Paola García, a Chemical Engineer specialized in Health and Safety Environment, is one such individual. She joined Metso in 2020 as an HSE intern, just before the global pandemic. Since then, she has seamlessly transitioned to the HSE team, where her contributions have helped create a culture of positive awareness.

“Metso has supported me with my professional development. Since joining, I have gained new expertise not only in the HSE area but within the entire industry.”

From her initial role as a Chemical Engineer, Paola had the chance to move up to positions such as Health and Safety Specialist and Ecology and Environment Supervisor. Stepping out of her comfort zone, she participated in the monumental customer project called Buenavista del Zinc.

Paola’s role as the supervisor of Ecology and Environment Supervisor was crucial in this project. It involved the installation of two huge mills, with the main challenge being to unify operations and processes while ensuring compliance with environmental and sustainability standards. The project in Mexico contained a variety of activities and a conference focused on the main environmental aspects and impacts.

“Communication is a skill I have been able to develop and that helps me in aspects related to teamwork, which is very important for the company to achieve its objectives.”

Paola's journey extends far beyond the confines of the corporate realm. In her free time, she finds comfort in different sports, which have been an integral part of her life. Her routine includes tennis, recharging Pilates sessions, and TRX suspension training. Moreover, her adventurous spirit knows no boundaries as she likes to explore diverse cultures and landscapes, cherishing the remarkable experiences and encounters that enrich her journey.

She cherishes the amazing places she has been visiting throughout her career and the wonderful people she has met while working. Her adaptability has been the cornerstone of her success, bringing her to where she is today.

“Never lose focus on what you desire. Many factors might influence our daily decisions, but when we focus on something, we work to see it grow.”

Navigating challenges in a male-dominated industry

As she reflects on her future aspirations, Paola is steadfastly devoted to her commitment to fostering a culture of responsibility concerning sustainability, environment, health and safety. From her perspective, achieving HSE-related objectives requires aligned plans with the company's core values and nurturing the right approach in interactions with colleagues and stakeholders.

However, navigating through an industry predominantly composed of men poses its own set of challenges.

“Fighting against the prejudice for being a young woman, I would arrive with radical and wrong ideas about what a company requires from an employee.”

Paola acknowledges the need to confront prejudices head-on, refusing to conform to stereotypes that might undermine her contributions. At the outset, there was a tendency to underestimate her abilities due to her gender and youth. Being a young woman in a predominantly male team led to a process of mutual adaptation.

She had to learn to coexist and understand the team's established processes and methods, while her colleagues had to navigate the shift both generationally and in accepting a female engineer as the only woman in the team. Despite these initial challenges, she deeply appreciated the support and openness of the entire HSE team. Their encouragement and willingness to adapt fostered a positive atmosphere of collaboration, ultimately building strong bonds of trust among them.

In Paola's story, we find not just a tale of professional growth but also a testament to the power of resilience and determination. Her journey exemplifies the transformative potential of individuals who dare to challenge the status quo, shaping a future that is not just sustainable but also inclusive and empowering for all.