Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
My name is Ana Sofia Mendes, I am 42 years old and Project Manager at Maintenance Services South (MSS), Sotécnica’s business unit, where I also give support to Safety and Environment.
I am married and I have two fantastic daughters, aged 5 and 11 years old. My birthday is the 26th of April, I’m a Taurus sign, cheerful and full of energy!
I took my major at the Military Institute of Pupils of the Army – Bachelor’s Degree in Machine Engineering – and later developed other areas of interest. I leave my LinkedIn profile to anyone interested in knowing a little more about my academic and professional path.
You're turning 10 years at Sotécnica. What is it like to be a woman working in the area of facilty management? What are the challenges you face?
Being a woman didn’t stop me from doing what my colleagues were already doing. On the contrary, I feel that I can bring more sensibility and empathy within the customer and colleagues.
Fortunately, we live in a society in which the integration of both genders in the labor market is gradually recognized. I am grateful to work in this area and in a company that has the vision to recognize that all its employees are a great contribution and an asset.
I started my career at Sotécnica in June 2011 as an Operational Technician and supported contract management. However, after 2 years, I was invited to join a Facility Management contract, as Site Manager, which represented a great challenge for me in this area. It was the first time that my business unit was responsible for the maintenance operation of Vodafone’s headquarters building in Hard Facility Management.
For 6 years I was at the customer’s side and it was a very enriching experience for my continuous learning, from a professional as well as a personal and social point of view.
It was much more than delivering a product or a service. It was a day-to-day experience alongside the team and the customer in the way we anticipate needs, analyze them and re-evaluate solutions.
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they do it themselves.” – Steve Jobs
I returned to the headquarters office in 2019, already as a Project Manager and I went from having a large customer to having several customers to manage. A new challenge, to re-establish the relationship of trust, exceed expectations and anticipate needs with new customers and with my new team.
Never forget: “Success is a Team Sport” (Simon Sinek).
What advice do you have for people who want to pursue a career as a Project Manager?
It is with great pride that I work for a company that embraces the role of women in a predominantly male area.
In 2011, my first daughter was almost 1 year old, I finished my degree in after-work hours and had just joined Sotécnica. I managed to reconcile the new professional challenge, with the recent experience of being a mother and going back to school.
“There is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity and atomic energy: will.” – Albert Einstein
Being a project manager at Sotécnica or performing any other role, regardless of female or male gender, is not an obstacle to a successful career. As long as there is passion for what we do, nothing prevents us from dreaming higher and higher!
I inspire everyone who wants to make a career at Sotécnica to believe in your work, with focus and dedication.
Follow your instinct, be consistent, have discipline and work.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Willing is power!
“A company that cares about the environment is also the one that cares about the well-being of its customers, its employees and society.”
Project Manager, Sotécnica
Given our commitment to the energy transition, what are, in your opinion, Sotécnica's major challenges in the future?
A company that cares about the environment is also the one that cares about the well-being of its customers, its employees and society.
We are moving towards an environmental sustainability era, in which we must all assume a more collective role in protecting future generations. The younger generation is more aware of this issue.
Somewhere in a webinar I once watched, the speaker said that “the future is a cone of possibilities”, which means that, facing a situation, there are several scenarios and we must explore alternative paths.
The main challenge will be to align our strategy within the demand and supply of greener innovative solutions, always allied to an inclusive and sustainable development.