Thursday, 18. September 2014
15. 07. 14. - 16:00
A group of German women have gone into the male dominated scrap metal business - wearing pink overalls and driving a pink van.
And despite the fact that the business made famous by the Steptoe and Son sitcom has a dirty reputation, the three women have found bringing a touch of glamour has meant business is booming.
They do not have any problems with heavy loads, their truck is fitted with a 7.5 tonne lifting arm that means even the heaviest industrial machinery destined for the scrapheap can be lifted and moved.
And boss Monika Kosiol, 29, said having painted fingernails and pink overalls is no handicap for the job. She said: "On the contrary, customers seem to find it refreshing and go out of their way to make sure the Scrap Metal Girls get the business. Sure we make a good impression but we also get the job done. When we are working together as a team it's amazing what we can shift."
Monika and Desiree Stizt, 30, came up with the idea to get involved in the scrap metal business after looking around for work, and although starting out small they quickly found business was booming so much, that they soon took on a third person, 34-year-old blonde Janine Draheim.
The trademark pink truck and overalls also came later after the Monika and Desiree, both brunette, had found themselves featured on local newspaper articles and even on TV.
Monika jokingly added that Janine was chosen because she had the right qualifications: "We realised if we were going to expand business we needed to have a blonde on the team as well."
But jokes aside the trio are all working hard to make headway in the male dominated business by tackling stereotypes head-on – and red tape.
Monika said: "It gets harder all the time, there is a new law out for example that we are not allowed to pick up any electrical scrap from private people. Of course that limits things."
But the Scrap Metal Girls do have a few sidelines not open to their Steptoe and Son style rivals. For example next year they are planning on offering a glamour calendar showing the team in action for customers.
And they have also trademarked the name and set up a Facebook page to keep customers and fans of the business informed on what they are up to.
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