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[Portrait] Aline Naulin : when technicality rhymes with femininity

Human resources

Recently hired as a machine operator at Safran Electronics & Defense's Auxerre site, Aline Naulin, 24, shares her experience. She started working for the company on an interim basis in November 2022 and completed a six-month training program before being hired on a permanent contract in August 2023. A nice course to discover !

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Her story begins at the Lycée Victor-Bérard, located in Morez, Jura, where she attends a BTS Photonic Systems course. After discovering microtechnology, she decided to specialize in this field by continuing with a second BTS in the field. At this point, she gained knowledge on reading plans and numerical control programming. But she says that her love for mechanics was born much earlier. With a smile on her face, she tells us that even as a child she used to tinker with things with her father.

 A job that requires rigour and precision

Aline works as a machinist at Safran Electronics & Defense. What she likes about her job is the rigorousness and precision it requires: "I make rotors and mechanical parts, mainly for small aircraft actuators such as windscreen wipers. I adjust the length and diameter of the parts on a lathe to an accuracy of 10 microns".

Aline starts her day at around 5:30am or 13:30am depending on her team’s shifts. When she arrives, she picks up a box containing the drawings and the range of parts to be machined. The other important stage of her day is to set up her equipment before each use, programming the machine and installing the parts. To avoid any incidents during machining, she makes frequent adjustments: 3 or 4 a day, taking almost an hour and a half each time. She and her team work 2 x 8 shifts during the day, an arrangement that is suitable for her because she got time for herself.

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Working in a male environment: not an obstacle

Aline is one of the few women in the team, along with another colleague. Despite this, she describes a strong spirit camaraderie.  An echo of her schooldays, when she was already the only woman of her promotion, which has never been a source of difficulty for her.

She says, “What scared me more than being the only woman in a team of 15 was the pressure of my first job and the fear of not being good enough.”. But her fear vanished during her job interview as she was reassured by her manager’s experience and mastery of the job. Sandra Jung, human resources development manager on the Auxerre site, attests to the quality of supervision : «We assign a tutor to the newcomer and the criteria must be validated before the learner can work autonomously in his position. This has an impact on the coaching and it’s a good thing.”

Far from being intimidated, Aline looks to the future with confidence, imagining herself as a block chief in 10 years. It is the best way for her to stay in touch with the workshop, where she feels she belongs.

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