Stories of Metadynea
March 8, recognized today as International Women's Day, is the personification of everything feminine and kind. But the meaning of this day is also to support solidarity in the struggle for equal rights. Today, women are achieving creative, personal and career success, including in the chemical industry.
We spoke to three women who work for Metadynea in Orekhovo-Zuyevo. What was their path to chemistry like? What were they able to achieve? And what would they advise future professionals? The answers are in our material.
Natalia Sitnikova's career today continues as a chief specialist in labor protection and ecology at Metadynea. But this path began back in 1983, after graduating from the Kuzbass Polytechnic Institute in the city of Kemerovo.
- I studied as an engineer-chemist-technologist in the direction of "Technology of basic organic petrochemical synthesis", - says Natalya Klimentyevna. - Then I went to work at Metafrax in the city of Gubakha of the Perm Region. There I worked in the production of formalin and became a shift supervisor. Then it usuall that women worked in production, although this was considered as harmful production. Then, already in the 90s, women began to be withdrawn “from chemistry”. But I managed to work in the production of formalin for seventeen years and then moved to the Engineering Center for Development, that was what it was called at that time.
The choice of a professional direction for Natalia Sitnikova began to be outlined from school days:
- I was still predisposed to chemistry probably from school. - She admits with a smile. - I had a school director - he was a chemistry teacher, a very competent specialist. In addition to the school curriculum, the base, he tried to bring something interesting. So I decided for myself that I need to study chemistry.
Subsequently, Natalya Sitnikova's interest in chemistry grew into career plans, and after graduating from the university, she chose an enterprise in the city of Gubakha of the Perm region:
- In the days of apportioning of students, there were no such media as now. But I already knew then that methanol production was being built at the Gubakha site. We were interested in this project. I was taken to the formalin production. In those days a lot of women worked there.
Life has changed and Natalia Sitnikova's career advancement was accompanied by a move to another city - Orekhovo-Zuyevo, to the Metadynea company. Natalya Klimentyevna shared her memories of this period:
- In 2008, my husband was transferred to work for Karbolit. The family followed him. Life was hard to endure for sure. We've lived in rented apartments for some period, but we overcame everything. The most important support in life is family. Home is with family. Well, we smoothly transferred our family values from Gubakha to Orekhovo-Zuevo, - Natalya Sitnikova recalls . – Here we've built our new home. Here we managed to achieve our goals, everything went well.
The beginning of work at Metadynea for Natalia Sitnikova has begun with serious tasks:
- In "Metadynea" I may be claimed as founder of labor protection. Everything had to start from the beginning - I mean a commissioning of facilities, building permits, various examinations for the commissioning of the first facilities. Работа должна быть сделана, как бы тяжело ее ни было. - Natalya Sitnikova laughs.
During the work of Natalia Sitnikova at Metadynea, the attitude to labor safety has become quite demanding to safety. This applies to human safety and the environment:
- For example, the quality of personal protective equipment. We look no longer so much at the price, characteristics, reviews, recommendations, certificates are important for us. It's the same in production. All processes are carried out by an automated control system. In terms of environmental protection, our company provides for a set of measures aimed at reducing the negative impact on the environment from production activities. I can say this with confidence, we measure emissions from process equipment, and measure the air in the working area of personnel, and measure emissions into the atmosphere from gas cleaning equipment, while the emission purification systems work perfectly, the degree of purification reaches about 99%. We monitor the state of the sanitary protection zone. I believe in the professionalism of my colleagues, in the security system that operates at the Metadynea production. - She explains.
In our second story by Galina Biryukova, head of the Metadynea laboratory, also is told about the professionalism of her colleagues.
- In 1987, at the age of twenty-two, I came to the position of a laboratory assistant at the Karbolit plant, at the site of incoming control of raw materials. I have a trade education, but then there was a severe shortage of workers. And Karbolit organized annual courses and exams. Every three years I went through training to replace the master, so that I could replace my supervisor. - Galina Ivanovna says.
The transition to a new sphere was quite difficult, but interesting.
- At first it was scary. When I came to Karbolit, the workshops and laboratories looked huge. Everything was frightening, twenty liter bottles of reagents, the smell of phenol. Still, the manufactory was already quite old at that time. Of course, it was scary, but it was still very interesting to do tests. A mentor was placed above us, a girl who had worked for quite a few years. She showed how analyzes are done, how to work with documentation, with state standards and specifications. You've studied for three months and you were assigned the fourth category of a laboratory assistant.
Galina Biryukova continued her further career path in chemistry in 2006 at Karbodyn, a joint venture between Metafrax and the Finnish company Dynea.
- Naturally, we were interested in a new project, several people from our site of input control filled out questionnaires for the management of Karbodin. We were invited by the technical director - Konstantin Vladimirovich Khlebnikov. He's interviewed and invited us to work. I came as a senior laboratory assistant. In 2010, I was promoted to the position of head of the laboratory. I joined Metadynea after the reorganization in 2013. – Galina Biryukova tells.
Metadynea produces synthetic resins. But to ordinary people this has little to say. Questions about production of the company and whether it is this safe for environment and neighborhood are also asked to company employees:
- Yes, I am. I usually explain it in the way of what is produced with using of resins. Urea-formaldehyde and melamine-formaldehyde resins are using in production of particle board and medium-density fibreboard, phenol-formaldehyde resins for thermal insulation materials, impregnating resins for veneering wood materials using decorative paper, edge film, for laminating and plywood resins for the production of plywood. Nonetheless I'm always asked basically about harmful production. How it can just be to work for so many years "in chemistry"? We understand everything, it's our job. Of course, since the time of "Karbolit", the situation has changed significantly. - Answered by Galina Biryukova.
Changes in the ensuring of the work safety in the laboratory also began with the participation of Galina Biryukova:
- Arriving at Karbodyn, the technical director and I kept counting how to plan the workspace in the new laboratory where to put the equipment. We've used a plan from Dynea, but we also did serious job. With the transition of the laboratory to Metadynea, it became safer to work. Now we have modern equipment. Due to this, interaction with raw materials and products is minimized.
Not the last place in Metadynea are departments that develop and support the company's activities. These professionals also have their own stories. Kristina Nikitina, head of the legal department at Metadynea, having joined the company in 2012 and she has achieved professional growth from the position of a lawyer to the head of the legal department.
- This year marks the tenth anniversary of my work at Metadynea. My history of choosing a profession began in my school years. From the fifth to the eleventh grade, I studied in the physics and mathematics class. Initially, I wanted to become a math teacher like my mother. But in the tenth grade in the Orekhovo-Zuevsky district, an experimental limited enrollment of schoolchildren was opened, who were trained in jurisprudence. I decided to try myself in a new discipline and successfully passed exams. For two years I, being a schoolgirl, with great pleasure and interest have studied legal disciplines. In the eleventh grade the question arose: which faculty should I choose? And I categorically refused to choose the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. I declared to my parents the decision to enter the law faculty of the university, because I felt in my heart and soul that this was “mine”. Although my mother was, to put it mildly, surprised by this decision, she wanted to continue the dynasty of mathematicians! - Christina Nikitina says with a smile.
- But my parents were sympathetic to my decision and supported it. I am very grateful to them that then I took the right path and chose a profession that I really value. In my student years I have decided that she wanted to work as a lawyer at a large enterprise after having gone through a large number of practices in various areas of a lawyer's activity. It was my dream and I stubbornly worked on it, having graduated from the university with honors. - Christina Nikitina says.
Following her dream, Kristina Nikitina began her career as a legal adviser at the Karbolit enterprise in her hometown immediately after graduating from university in 2006.
- In 2006, there were practically no job advertisements in the public domain. I took the reference book of the Orekhovo-Zuevsky district and noted Karbolit for myself. I called the phone number listed in the directory and asked, "Do you need a lawyer?" To which they answered me: “How do you know that there is such a vacancy?” This is how my professional path in the Metafrax Group began fatefully.
We also asked about the specifics of working at an industrial enterprise, especially when it comes to legal work.
- If we talk about the specifics directly in the legal work at an industrial enterprise, each lawyer has the goal of preventing or minimizing the risks of the company. To do this, lawyers should be focused not only on their field of activity, but on supporting and developing the company's business as a whole. It's great responsibility. You need to understand the specifics of resins production and do not forget about the common goals and objectives, that were set for the company as a whole. I can proudly say that every Metadynea lawyer is highly professional, takes great responsibility in solving assigned tasks and is dedicated to his work.
The issue of maintaining a balance between work and family for women is often very important. We also asked Kristina Nikitina about this.
- I am a workaholic and my family knows about it. I am very grateful to my parents and my whole family for supporting me in all my endeavors, understanding how important it is for me to fulfill myself. But the time spent with the family remains important for me, I love our big family gatherings at the dacha with games, songs and dances. I have a musical education in the piano class, and I like to come to my parents' house, play the piano and be filled with positive emotions and energy. - Kristina Valerievna admits.
After talking with each of our interlocutors, we asked one question: What would you advise women and girls who want to connect their lives with the chemical industry? Here are the answers we received.
Natalia Sitnikova: Speaking specifically about chemistry, it is now so developed. I think there is a potential to realize oneself in scientific activity, laboratory and research work.
Galina Biryukova: You know, there are girls who really like the direction of chemistry, they specifically go to institutes. But in companies like ours, there are a lot of opportunities. You can realize yourself not only in production, but also in logistics, commerce and other areas.
Kristina Nikitina: The most important thing is that the soul should lead to the choice of profession. It seems to me that it is important to go to the goal, not to be afraid of difficulties and, most importantly, not to betray your dream.
On this wonderful holiday on March 8, through the live stories of Metadynea specialists, we wanted to tell not only about the company, but also about the people, working here. About women who have chosen a difficult and at the same time interesting field of activity.
Igor Spassky, General Director of Metadynea LLC, also joins the congratulations on this day:
Our dear women! From the bottom of my heart I congratulate you today on the holiday - International Women's Day! Thank you for your professionalism and dedication to your work, for your ability to support us and be leaders yourself. I wish you good health, happiness and realization of your most cherished plans and desires!