Meet the Female Engineers Fueling Progression in Italy
Every year, the 23rd of June marks International Women in Engineering day, a campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and create positive role models for the next generation.
In celebration of this important day, we wanted to share the profiles of some tenacious female colleagues from the R&D team and the Operations team (Quality Control, Production, Planning) at Envirobase in Italy.
Envirobase High Performance is the line of rapid and easy to use waterborne toners, which guarantee a finish that is identical to the original hue. It’s the pride of Refinish line and is fine-tuned with the current and future color trends of Car Manufacturers.
To date, the Envirobase platform has appointed a team of women to manage its Research & Development (R&D) Process and Waterborne Product Manufacturing. Find out more about them in their inspirational stories.
How did you start your career at PPG?
I started working as a Production Scheduling Supervisor for an engineering company that produces domestic appliances for industrial and consumer use. I was employed there for two and a half years. The urge to change and keep learning brought me to PPG, which I joined in January 2018.
What fascinated you about PPG?
Its multinational framework, the complex production processes and focus on ongoing improvement, which I perceive every day, even in my team. Focus on the department’s needs and continuous planning are crucial factors to ensure high quality work with colleagues of the Envirobase team.
How did you manage maternity between studies at university and work?
I learnt to organize my personal life between the university and my first job. Motherhood was an opportunity to grow. It takes a good dose of organizational skills and planning, determination and healthy cooperation with my husband.
How do you picture your future at PPG?
I have been working at PPG for a few months in a role I like very much. I would like to continue with deep motivation and enthusiasm. I wouldn’t mind adding a few roles of responsibility in the future.
How did you commence your career as an engineer?
I started working for Dalmine Acciai by carrying out research on combustion. I had a project-based contract and, after two years, I decided I needed a change, so I moved to Follonica, in Tuscany, and joined Huntsman which produces titanium dioxide. Here I started dimensioning valves, reactors and piping, at least the subjects I had studied! I had no trouble moving, and the wish for continuous change, along with the intention to better manage my life, led me to accept a permanent contract at Solvay, in Ospiate di Bollate. In January 2016, I joined PPG where I experienced genuine change by managing a department of waterborne products with a staff of thirty.
Did you have a "mentor" to support you during the early years of your career?
Yes, my former boss at Huntsman. He taught me about engineering in the field. We are still in contact, though he lives and works in Hutson.
How do you manage 30 operators and discuss issues with them?
It is not very easy for a woman of my age to manage a team of 30 men, but I do my best to be very helpful. It is hard to perfectly balance one’s own leadership style. You have to be both authoritative and cooperative at the same time. I know all the football teams my team members support. It is the topic of conversation during coffee breaks!
What would you advise a young girl who wants to become an engineer?
I would tell her to follow her natural inclinations and her passions, so that the university years pass rapidly. Actually I wanted to study Architecture and specialize in Restoration in Florence but during my final year of senior high school I visited the Federico II University, and decided to enroll for Chemical Engineering. I was fascinated by the subjects proposed by the degree course, and by the small number of students who had enrolled.