It’s always a pleasure when your company is recognized at an international level, with requests for speaking at public events.
And when the theme is as delicate and beautiful as the one sponsored by Femal Voice in Mobility, it gets even better.
Our CEO, Paola Foiadelli, was asked to participate to the online event held on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, and she was happy to join the voices of female entrepreneurs, managers and any professional in the mobility sector.
Because more and more we do hear female voices, speaking loud and clear from positions of responsibility and power across the globe. And even if the way to go is still long, more and more we are not surprised from it anymore.
As Paola said during the speech, “it’s not a standby – it’s a very slow progression, but it is undeniable it is happening.
I already see a great evolution compared to 5 years ago, when I became CEO. There were not many female managers back then, especially in the electromechanical environment we belong to. People at events used to address the audience with “Paola and gentlemen”.
Today in SPII, 40% of our white collars are women, and it is not uncommon to see female managers accross the industry. I see many situations where this is not extraordinary anymore, it’s normal. The culture is changing, it just does it slowly“.
Why we need not to speak louder, but clearer
Diversity creates value – that is something everyone understands by now. There are studies and researches of any kind to back it up. Still, why it is so difficult to really achieve it? Why do we still need to celebrate women one day of the year, or to hold events like the one we attended to?
Probably because we need to remind ourselves the reasons for it. Diversity is not about assigning “quotas” for women because it is politically correct to do so. It goes beyond male and female – we need diversity on gender, sexual orientation, self perspective, body shapes, etc.
And we need it because it’s with these diverse approaches that we can gain success in a modern, globalized world.
A success based on soft skills like empathy, listening, support, empowerment, resolving conflicts, mentoring and giving feedbacks.
These skills are the ones SPII has been cultivating all along, and that allowed us to become Center of Competence of the Schaltbau Group.
These skills are not a “female trait” because of some genetic difference, but they are indeed typical to them because of our culture. For centuries women exercised them in the privacy of their homes, and today they are finally recognized also on the outside, in companies and leadership roles. Smart working is a great example of that, and in SPII we are used to it since well before the pandemic.
It’s about choosing the right female role model. We don’t need stronger women, who speak louder and change themselves to adapt to a male-oriented world. We need to reconsider the traits of leadership.
“Without Hermione, Harry Potter would have probably died in the first book. Sometimes support is THE main role, not a secondary one: you can be a leader that supports others and empowers them to become the best version of themselves.“
The future starts in the present
Innovation is about supporting creativity: thinking outside the box thanks to a culture that allows trial and error. This is how the agile models are born, this is how many women, in our industry and beyond, found the strength to venture on to new roles, bringing new leadership styles in the business culture.
The female way to do things is often just about showing that something can be done in a different way, or about changing the rules of the game in order to do something that seemed impossible before.
This is how we prepare today a future of diversity tomorrow.
“We need to teach our children that it’s not a matter of gender, it’s and approach to life. Studying STEM is important for everyone, because you never know where your passion lies, what you can achieve.
We have to allow young girls to try freely different things and express their potential.
In Spii we have a strong network of internships with schools: many teenagers join our company for some time every year, and more and more they are girls. When they arrive, they are surprised that trains are driven also by women, that there are women in the production process, etc.
The more we present these kinds of role models, the more new generations will give them for granted and it won’t be necessary to introduce them as “special“.
See you next time,