NARVA - "Sometimes there's the desire to quit everything, have a rest and focus on the family. But who will do all the work then?" asks Nadezhda Sinyakova, director of the largest garment factory of Krenholm, Estonia's leading textile company.
Sinyakova, 58, has dedicated about 40 years of her life to Krenholm, one of the largest employers in the problem-stricken northeastern region of Estonia.
She joined a trimming factory as a master's assistant, and at 18 years of age she became the director of the entire plant. Many years later, in 1993, during the early years of capitalism in Estonia, she was offered to head the company's newly established garment production facility.
"When I left the trimming factory and plunged into a completely new production, I had three automatic and 10 regular sewing machines in a huge empty hall. I was told to figure out how to develop the exact production process and how to fill the orders from the clients," Sinyakova remembers.
"I had to start from scratch, form my team and look for orders and so on."
Today the garment factory of Krenholm is the largest production site of the company in Narva and also the most successful business wise. It is export-oriented and processes about 70 percent of the cloth produced by Krenholm.
"My work takes most of my time. Frankly speaking my family does not get to see me that often lately. When the kids were small, their grandfather and grandmother dealt with them, and when they went to school my husband took over. Today they are already grownups and it is too late to raise them [myself], and again there's no time for that," Sinyakova confesses.
She says that businesswomen often rely upon childcare help from others but also provide in other ways. "If I cannot dedicate enough time to them, I will support them financially," she adds.
Apart from a huge workload at the factory, Sinyakova has for many years been an active member of the city council. In her opinion, if people trust her and are ready to elect her, she has no right to reject the public service.
When Sinyakova was elected Woman of the Year by the Narva Womens' Association in 2001, she felt pleased for such an acknowledgement.
"It was difficult to say whether my business skill or my personality as a woman had brought me that title. Anyway, it was very pleasant. I became Woman of the Year right after we had completed construction of a new garment factory," remembers Sinyakova.