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Interview: Fatou Sangaré, mechanic at SITARAIL for 14 years

Puteaux. 31 January 2022

"Spotlight on" Fatou Sangaré, mechanic at SITARAIL for 14 years

  • Why did you choose this job?

I’ve always loved DIY. My father was a mechanic on a boat. He passed his passion on to me when I was little. Naturally, I wanted to follow his example. After secondary school, I enrolled at Jacqueville vocational college where I got a diploma after a two-year course there, which qualified me as a maintenance technician for vehicles and machines. At first, I planned to specialise in maintenance of boats or planes. But I changed my mind after hearing about SITARAIL, a firm I knew little about. My friends encouraged me to send a job application and try my luck.

  • How has your career at SITARAIL developed?

I started with a one-year internship in the engine workshop where I learned the basics of the job. I quickly realised practice was very different to theory. It wasn’t always easy, but I hung on. In the end, after this training period, the human resources department offered me the chance to join the staff permanently. A year later, I took on new responsibilities, going from the diesel unit to maintenance of safety systems of engines and fuel-feed systems. Today, I carry out checks on bearings.

  • What do you do in your job?

I check the condition of bearings. There are two types of bearings: barrel roller bearings and cartridge bearings. I make sure they’re not damaged. The procedures are different depending on the system. For cartridge bearings, I disassemble them, then clean them. Next, I check the dual cup and two cones before putting them back together. After that, I hand them over to the teams in charge of installing them on the axles. I perform about 16 full checks on bearings each day.

  • Can you share any anecdotes with us?

It was the first day of my internship at SITARAIL. My colleagues had entrusted me with the task of servicing an engine and tightening no fewer than twelve bolts. But you should have seen the size of them! That evening, I went home exhausted. Yet despite that first tiring day, the next morning I was back at my workstation ready to continue my job. My colleagues were all surprised – they didn’t think I’d be so perseverant! Other newly recruited male employees before me had preferred to give up. But I wanted to prove I could do my job as well as men could. And that’s still the case now. The difference today is that women are more accepted in the workplace. I hope there’ll be more of us representing our profession in the future.