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Case: International Day of Women and Girls in Science 11th February

Technical Director, Brew master, Laboratory Manager, Beverage Technologist …

Just to mention a few of the job titles we have in our breweries and jobs that are traditionally thought as “men’s jobs”.

Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. According to studies only about third of the students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in higher education are women.

So, let us learn how some of our ladies in science found their way to science world.

Vilija Bukšaitytė, Production and Technical Director, Volfas Engelman

At school, I enjoyed natural sciences, especially chemistry. Chemistry always seemed to be something mysterious and therefore, I entered Kaunas University of Technology, the Faculty of Chemistry. Of all the specializations, food technology seemed to be the most acceptable and maybe the most feminine choice.

During 27 years at Volfas Engelman, I have worked in various production departments and held various positions. The current duties include for example development and implementation of the strategy of the production and technical department, production planning and control, implementation and coordination of technical and technological projects and improvement of existing processes. I lead men’s team, but after many years of working together we know each other’s competencies and strengths and complement each other.

The best part of the work is the result, which exceeds expectations. It can be a small issue resolved or a big project completed. A project is often born from an idea, then, with the efforts of the whole team, little by little, it is put together, carried out in stages and the result is a new line installed, a changed technological process or improved safety or working conditions.

Karin Tiido, Laboratory Manager, A. Le Coq

I graduated from Tallinn University of Technology with a degree in conservation technology. In fact, the specialty taught all food technology. As the speciality was in an engineering field, the main emphasis was on drafting projects. I got involved in a research project that studied edible fats and I performed the necessary laboratory tests.

The aim of my current work is to manage the work of the laboratory to ensure the detection of quality deviations and that all products sent out from the brewery are safe and high-quality. My responsibilities include work schedules, organizing effective information exchange inside and outside the laboratory, arranging the availability of equipment, analysis methods and instructions and ensuring equipment condition, compliance with methods and instructions. The laboratory manager also deals with quality complaints, issues declarations of conformity, participates in the product development team and the quality control team of the Olvi Group.

I like that the work is varied and challenging, you can test your skills every day. Solving difficult situations, organizing work so it ends up going smoothly… that is the most rewarding feeling. It is not possible alone, but with great people who work in our laboratory.

Silja Hylkinen, Brew master, Olvi Plc

I was always interested in Science; those were my favourite subjects in school. But it might be safe to say that my parents had influence too. My mother was Science (Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry) Teacher and my father had studied Biochemistry in University. Studying Chemistry was my second choice after Gymnasium, but after I started my studies I fell in love and never thought about applying anywhere else again. I have master’s degree in Structural Elucidation Chemistry from University of Oulu, Finland and later I studied brewing in Scandinavian School of Brewing in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Under my responsibility is the semi-product production (until filling lines) of all our products and beer and wine product development. I am also team leader in Olvi Group Brew masters’ team, so part of my time goes also to group work. Versatility is best part of my work, it includes for example recipe development in pilot brewery, process development based on collected data and interaction with people. I get to be the science nerd, use my creativity to develop new recipes and lead excellent team who actually produces all products.

Evita Ozola, Chief Beverage Technologist, Cēsu Alus

Already after graduating from primary school I decided to continue my education in favour of the food industry. I enjoyed cooking and at first, I wanted to become a chef. That is why I chose to study at the Food Production Vocational School. I did well in my studies, so I chose to continue my studies at the Latvia University of Agriculture. There I got the qualification of an engineer in food technology, in simple words – a food technologist.

I have been working in Cēsu Alus brewery for 10 years now. My day-to-day responsibilities include overseeing all beverage production processes. My mission is to develop new, tasty, and high-quality beverages and ensure the introduction of these beverages into production.

What I love the most in my job are innovations – when I look for new innovative flavours, develop new technology, something that was unprecedented and unknown.

Published 11 February, 2021