Currently, Venla oversees the after sales servicing and the communication with customers regarding repairs. She says, “I like [working in] after sales because it’s like making a new life for the watch. In the future, I hope to grow and learn more in different departments.” In terms of her time at school and more generally, she comments that while she hasn’t faced any specific challenges because of her gender, “I have faced a few situations where men stated that women were not so suitable for this line of work, and other similar comments”.
Additionally, when it comes to her father’s long shadow, she admits that she has felt some pressure from being Voutilainen’s daughter. In the Fifth Wrist Radio interview, she mentioned that “many people, such as in workshops … assume that I am there because I am the daughter [of Voutilainen], not because of my skills or merit.” However, she has subverted those judgments, saying, “I have managed to turn it into a motivation instead.” Looking ahead, she hopes to continue her work in after sales, but, more importantly, hopes to follow her passions.
We see a similar story in the case of Danièla Dufour, who, when we ask her about her experience in watchmaking school and the heavy legacy she shoulders, says: “First of all, I think it is important to emphasise that I am a black woman, because that is the category that people put me in, and that I am the daughter of Philippe Dufour, who is considered the ‘Master of Watchmaking’. These are the characteristics that make me who I am – as well as my values and my education – and did not necessarily help me in my learning.”