We are proud to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March as a special opportunity to shine the spotlight on women working in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump industry, highlighting unique experiences and expertise, and what led them on this career path.

Today we share with you the story of Lorena Hernández, Technical Director as Asofrio, as well as an active expert in AREA, highlighting her key role and motivation in shaping our industry!

What does your role involve and what are your responsibilities? 

I am a mechanical engineer for 15 years, and ever since I completed my degree, I have been working in the RACHP sector. Currently, I am the Technical Director at Asofrio. It is a purchasing and services hub formed by refrigeration and air conditioning installation companies. One of my responsibilities includes representing installation companies, along with providing technical training and information. Additionally, I represent AEFYT in AREA.

What initially interested you and let you to this sector?

The reason I initially got into the refrigeration industry was by chance. It was through a college classmate that I learned about the opportunities in this field. However, what made me stay and commit to this industry was realising how directly related it was to the topics I was passionate about, such as thermodynamics, mechanical engineering and fluid dynamics, among others. Discovering that I could apply my knowledge in these fields to such a practical and essential sector as refrigeration was what motivated me to stay and grow professionally in this industry.

Do you have any advice for women who may not have considered this sector as a possible opportunity for them? 

From my perspective, I believe it's crucial to provide information and guidance to women who may not view this sector as a viable option for them. Educating them about the opportunities and roles available, as well as promoting female role models in the industry, can be a crucial step. Additionally, fostering inclusive environments and mentorship programs can help women feel more comfortable and supported when entering this field. Sharing experiences and providing access to resources, we can inspire and empower more women to consider and join this growing sector. In this regard, I represent AREA in INWIC, the international network of women in cooling, that promotes the role of women in the refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump (RACHP) sector. INWIC contributes to enhancing the professional careers of women working or studying in cooling, advocates for best practices and inspires future generations of women to join this sector.

Do you have any insights into what could be done to encourage more women into this sector? 

For women interested in STEM fields, I suggest looking at refrigeration and air conditioning as an exciting and full-of-opportunity option. This field provides a space for female growth and innovation. From engineering to design, installation, and maintenance, there are numerous areas where women can excel and make their mark. I encourage them to explore this field, find learning and development opportunities, and break barriers to reach their potential in this ever-evolving industry. 

Once inside the industry, it is important to promote and give visibility to women in the sector. In this regard, AREA has launched the second edition of the video competition on best practices for EU women in cooling.  The challenge is to provide a video showing best practices in the design and application of RACHP systems and/or handling of refrigeration, air conditioning or heat pumps. 

Where do you see yourself in five years? 

I do not usually make long-term plans, as I believe in adapting to the opportunities that arise along the way. However, looking ahead five years, my focus will remain the same: to continue learning and growing both personally and professionally. I am excited about facing new challenges that allow me to enhance my skills and gain new experiences. I firmly believe that growth stems from enjoying and being passionate about what we do, and that's what I hope to continue cultivating in the coming years in the RACHP sector. Above all, I will continue to give my all in every project, while still having fun along the way.