Like in the epic stories where the heroine saves the day, she reached new horizons in an industry led by men. Since 2017, Ada Milagros Smith Machado has been part of the Cuba Ron Corporation as a programmer of the Industrial Directorate, a branch dedicated to the management of production programming in rum factories. Behind tables and files, without losing that creative magnet that attracts her best energies, this woman has bet on the world of figures and adopted the good working as her mission in a guild that has her back.
How do you enforce your work with the rum factories and what is your role in doing so?
With prior analysis, we meet the demands and according to the inventories of the rum factories, we determine the schedule of productions and their subsequent monitoring. In pandemic contexts, the situation becomes more difficult and as a consequence the international flow has slightly decimated and thus new market possibilities. The current situation forces us to seek solutions so we do not rest in spite of difficulties with the alcohol supply. All these indicators force us to be more creative, to seek more competent solutions.
Our department is composed by three women, and we all must balance household and work at the office. All these daily actions certainly take a lot of effort. I spent some time with my two daughters, my husband and the whole family. Our role becomes a challenge since we plan in detail the quantities of each product, so we need to improve ourselves every day. Each rum factory has a department dedicated to scheduling; our work depends on the communication between us.
How do you value, from your experience, the presence of other women like you in this center?
I have led in other previous institutions such as a bank, where I had to lead men and for some it may have been shocking, but when you prove your worth with knowledge, dedication and good work, there can be no differences, and they were quite receptive.
When I first started working at the Cuba Ron team, I started at the direction of finances and eventually moved to programming. There were already several women in the corporation and from them I have learned what I ought to be, and how to gradually improve my work. In all the time I've been here, my work never went unnoticed and that's what motivates to see our rums well distributed around the country.
There are female counterparts like us in other provinces like Santiago de Cuba, which means that our presence is balanced in other regions. When I first heard the word industry I related it to men, but we are no longer a few in this branch and our department has been run by women.
In these environment I get a lot of feed back, and so do the rest of my colleagues. I haven't felt diminished or pushed away. There have been no differences and women have never been belittled, instead, we have been supported on our will to learn, by an open, transparent communication.
Now from home. How do you manage domestic work and family time with that of the Corporation?
Our work does not rest in spite of the material limitations and the limited work personnel. The key to organizing is always going in a specific direction: finding answers to production problems.
I get up almost daily at 5 or 6 in the morning with one of my daughters who does inquiries as a student of stomatology. At home we share the house work. I spend time with the family and combine it with work. In that period of the day, the three women who work in the department communicate via telephone. It is a challenge to organize oneself, but the work must go on.
How did you get in the clinical trials of the Soberana 02 vaccine?
We learned about the trial phases of the vaccine. We also learned that it was going to take place near our address in the area's polyclinic. One day we were contacted by the clinical trial coordinator to let us know that we were pre-candidates to Soberana 02 and after receiving prior training the procedures and corresponding cycle were deployed. Our family has taken a step forward, so that this pandemic disappears. At Cuba Ron this news was well received, they have shown me their support and kept updated on my evolution. Another challenge that I meet as a Cuban woman, mother and worker.