Monday, March 8 is International Women’s Day. A day that arose in the twentieth century when women stood up for their rights. To celebrate this day, we would like to put the spotlight on 5 women. From Monday to Friday we publish a portrait of a strong and tough woman in what used to be considered a profession for men. This is part 4.
Gea de Winkel of Hoveniersbedrijf Harry de Winkel is the glue that holds the company together. Doing finance? Yeah, sure. Delivering extra materials to the location? Fine. Learning to survey digitally and use that to support customers even better? Of course! It’s all in Gea’s capable hands.
“Our landscaping company is incredibly all-round and versatile, which was already noticeable with the heavy snowfall recently. Before the Netherlands turned white, we were busy laying out gardens and that became difficult at the time. Instead, we cleared snow, for example at supermarkets where people must be able to enter and exit safely. We mainly work for private individuals, they often have more garden area to work with than companies. Design, construction, maintenance, we do it all. We are also very innovative if I say so myself. We have many machines to support work and for a few months also our own UNI-GR1 to survey and stake out digitally.
We have two people who maintain gardens and four who create new ones, I am the only woman in the company. I myself am a kind of flying keeper and offer general support to my colleagues and our customers. I am not bored for a moment and am actually at home in all markets, perhaps because of what I have done before this job. I once studied MTS Architecture, there were also more men than women, so I am used to that. After my studies, I worked at an architectural firm where the owner enjoyed testing beta versions of software, that enthusiasm has sprung on me. I notice that with the UNI and learning to survey too, I like that much more than the guys do. They are curious and occasionally come to see what I do exactly, but they much prefer to layout and maintain gardens.
We recently received a drawing of a non-rectangular garden from a landscaper, so the dimensions were not the same everywhere. I measure that and then slide the data over the drawing, which is an extra check. The drawing turned out not to be entirely correct, the architect worked with a tape measure and then the chance of deviations is greater. After some minor adjustments to the drawing, I set out a large part of the garden, especially the organic shapes are much easier to set out with the UNI than with a traditional measuring tape. I also designated the property boundary several times so that the fence was placed in the right place. As a result, my work and what I survey is varied, but in the end, it is all about the same: carrying out the wishes of our customers as well as possible.
Some piece of advice for women, or actually to anyone who is thinking about digital surveying: just start with it. It’s not difficult to learn, especially when you call marXact for support. It is also not physically demanding to take the device and the stick to the location, so that will be fine!”