Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), a good day to reflect over why, in 2019, we still need to earmark a day to highlight a fundamental gender equality issue that affects the lives, health, opportunities, and influence of about half of the global population. There is no shortage of things being accomplished by people who just happen to be women yet attracting female talent can be a challenge as Elisa Andrioli, Marketing and Communications Manager at La Meccanica di Reffo explains.
The Italy-headed family-owned company designs, manufacturers and supplies pelleting systems around the world for animal feed and biomass fuel sectors. According to Elisa Andrioli, only 20 percent of those employed in the Italian metalworking sector are female and only 10 percent are managers. Therefore to build together the present and the future of Italian industry is one of the objectives of La Meccanica di Reffo.
The time has come to change course, to raise awareness among schools, companies, and associations, so that they can stimulate a virtuous circle for the emergence of those human resources, mostly female ones, that are lost in the transition between education and labour market. La Meccanica strongly believes in the importance of the inclusion and growth of women in Italian industry. It is essential, in fact, to enhance their role in the companies and to recognize the contribution they can make in every business sector, said Elisa Andrioli.
La Meccanica’s women are active in all departments, from Administration to Production, from Operations to Sales and Back Office, from Marketing to Technical Department, from Human Resources to IT. They are very different women, each with their aspirations and dreams, interests and passions.
All actively contribute, each in its own sphere, to the success of the company and to mark International Women’s Day (IWD), Elisa Andrioli shared some of their thoughts on workplace and gender.
FRANCESCA – Back Office
“You have been hired recently at La Meccanica, even if it is not your first job experience. What made it stick out about this company?”
I found a welcoming environment, with very helpful people, that made me feel at ease. I share the optimism and the brightness of the people I have met so far and I think they are the most important resource for a company’s growth.
GIULIANA – Production Department
“You work and you are a mom, what do you think companies should do to meet the needs of working mothers?”
For a mother, especially in the early years of the child, it is essential to have flexible working hours or be able to get a part-time job. Of course, the cooperation of your husband or partner and parents is also very important, as is the assistance of a good babysitter. Even nursery schools and full-time schools help, but the most important thing is having an employer who believes in women and values them.
ELENA – Human Resources
“You are still very young and this is your first work experience. At La Meccanica you are an employee of the Human Resources Office, so you often have to manage complex dynamics. Do you think that being a woman gives you an edge in your work? In your opinion, what is the main quality that those who work in human resources must have?”
It is essential that the human resources employee guarantees an active listening of the company’s staff, empathy and problem solving. I think these characteristics are easier to find in a woman, who can count on greater sensitivity, listening skills, and dialogue capacity. Those involved in human resources must have a great passion for people and be spokesmen for the requirements that they seeks in others: ambition, courage, resistance. They must be able to highlight the talent of each of the people who work in a company and act as a “bridge” between the different roles.
LORETTA – Operations
“Today in the labour world there are more and more women, who also take important positions, but there is still a long way to go. What can you recommend to young women who are at their first working experience?”
I believe that unfortunately, a female worker must commit herself much more to obtain credibility and regard than her male colleagues. Therefore, she will have to acquire as many skills as possible from the first to the last working day. She should never stop studying, learning, getting involved constantly. She must believe in herself and in her abilities.
MARISA – Administration Office
“You have been working at La Meccanica for a long time and you have seen this company grow. How has it changed in the last years?”
I would say that La Meccanica has grown over time and continues to improve. The company culture has changed and evolved and, during this process, key roles have been entrusted to female figures as well. The diligence on my part and my colleagues have certainly favoured this evolutionary process, together with the will to transmit our skills for a continually growing future, in a historical period in which we can’t stop, indeed.
GLORIA – Production Department
“You studied at a culinary institute and then, instead, you started working in the production department of La Meccanica. Why did you make this choice? What were the difficulties you had to face?”
After several jobs in the hotel industry, which did not bring the desired results, I decided to try other ways, as a babysitter and fruit and vegetable vendor. But I realized it was not what I needed, or maybe I was just unlucky. One day I received an opportunity, working at La Meccanica, and I decided to test myself, even though I did not know this sector. At first, I thought of it as an experiment, but then it became a real work confirmation. I found myself dealing with totally new tools and mechanisms, putting myself at stake and opening my mind to try my hand at measuring and calculating the various components. Slowly, with sweat, crying, and effort I’m succeeding.