NAME: Marina Martinez
BACKGROUND: High Studies
POSITION: Cooperative Promoter
ORGANIZATION: Tiebel Cooperative,
My Background and Career
I did my first studies in my home town, Ayora, until 1968 when I moved, thanks to a grant, to the Laboral University of Zaragoza, where I did my studies before university and, later, Social Aid.
Between 1971 and 1981, I worked as an operative in companies in Zaragoza, and when I moved to Valencia, I started my work in the sector of professional-hospital cleaning.
In 1979 my first son, Jorge, was born. He died in 1981 in an unfortunate accident in Zaragoza. That year I moved with my partner to a town in Zaragoza called Azuara, where we started a period of rural life. We built our own house, we grew a vegetable garden for our own use and we planted almond trees. There, my other two sons were born. In this period and until 1993, I combined the upbringing of sons, support to my partner in the farming work and all kinds of sporadic works.
Later on, I promoted the cooperative Tiebel together with a group of 4 people. It was created as a Social Enterprise to work in the rural sphere in the services sector. They were difficult years, but in 1996, the activity of Tiebel in Zaragoza was initiated. The endeavors of the company are focused on the formation in the professional cleaning sphere and cleaning services delivered by “nonprofit” entities. In 2003, we made the First Strategic Plan and Tiebel became in a cooperative of social initiative, whose main goal is to create decent work places for women in the professional cleaning sphere. Currently, we are 60 people of whom a 98% are women.
My personal problems forced me to leave the vision of protesting and “asking the rest of people to do it”, in the social and political arena, and to be responsible for developing a sustainable and viable economical and social project. I made an effort to learn and live intrinsically linked to my problems and the search for solutions which can satisfy all the people who work in the organisation: customers, workers, partners, environment, etc.
I felt the social discrimination because of the fact of being a woman: in the early 1980s, I was eliminated from the recruitment process for the job as a bailiff in the town hall, although the court recognised my worth in the different interviews, it didn’t see that it was suitable that a woman occupied that position. But I persevered and, finally, I ended up standing in for the holder on vacation and sick leave. In the development of my work I proved that a woman can do the same work as a man.
What has helped to achieve the success has been my education and background. My personality and character have also contributed to that. I have to say that my personal and professional relationships have contributed too.
According to what inspires me, our company model is based on that of a cooperative of Valencia, much bigger than ours, with which we share our values and ways of delivery. They helped me in setting up Tiebel and with its director I maintain a great admiration and friendship.
According to my competences, I am able to learn and apply new knowledge in my work. I easily adapt myself to any change. I have no difficulty in sharing and passing on information. I also listen and pay attention to other people’s problems. I like to collaborate with other people. My own personal development through work is important. In cases of conflict I bring peace. I like to negotiate and that all people become satisfied. I also draw up plans for any activity and I organize myself easily. I solve problems and find solutions. I am able to make a quick decision. I know how to manage all my activities (in my professional and personal sphere), although I don’t hesitate in asking for advice. Among my qualities are active, optimistic, innovative, trustful, practical, quick, open-minded, self-confident and synthetic. I feel a bit brave, creative, with looking-forward approach, organised, democratic, flexible, relaxed, impatient, persistent, modest, progressive, critical and cooperative.
Hints & Tips
Her lucky saying: Move from the protest to the proposal
What I advise to other women is the importance of being clear about what we want to do, having confidence in our own capacity to do it, and put passion, decision and perseverance into it, always looking towards our goal.
In the personal sphere, it is very important to teach the people who live with us to be responsible and learn how to establish our main professional goals and our main personal development at the same level as our relatives, without giving priority to some over others.