Throughout 2022 we feature a new female leader from around the globe, highlighting their career achievements, biggest influences, and the advice they would give to other young women considering a career in the automotive industry.
MEET THIS WEEK’S LEADER: MICAELA TESTONI, ADMINISTRATION AND SITE MANAGER, MERCEDES-BENZ ITALY
“Never forget to listen to others, through real and active listening.”
First Automotive Job: Administration Manager
PAG Tenure: 4 years
What attracted you to the automotive industry? I was attracted by the complexity of the automotive industry, with administration and accounting having different rules with respect to my previous experience. I thought it was the right time to take on new challenges in a completely different field, in a newly established company with new processes to be developed, and an administration team to be set up. Finally, I felt the need to continue with the growth of my career path and so I accepted with enthusiasm.
Most satisfying part of your job: Managing people, without a doubt. A company is a complex organizational system that requires competence, effective communication skills, aptitude for teamwork, and proactivity. To work every day to develop these skills in people, to see them grow in their roles, to see them advance in their career paths, and to see them rewarded for the work they do daily – that brings me satisfaction.
Proudest professional achievement: Being able to balance the most important things in my life; work and family. It has not been easy to raise three daughters with a full-time job and responsibilities. But it was possible thanks to my determination, and I could not have done it without my husband’s invaluable support.
Who was the biggest influence in your career? There is no one person; all the managers, collaborators, and consultants I have met along the way have given me with something that has made a difference. Certainly, my parents were an important influence. They taught me the value of work, and that nothing is achieved without commitment and effort; the easy way never leads you far.
Looking back on the last decade, how have you seen the automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? I don’t believe there are male and female roles. There is only a personal aptitude for certain roles and jobs that transcends gender. This is also true in automotive, where women are in the roles of sales, service, car pre-delivery, and managers at various levels, for example.
What hobbies do you enjoy? I love running, and as soon as I can put on my shoes I go out. Running surrounded by nature recharges me after a workday.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years? I hope to still be on my team, providing the same motivation and enthusiasm as today.
What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the automotive industry? The same advice I would give to a male colleague: identify your goal, step on the accelerator, and go for it. There is no role you cannot fill as a woman in the automotive industry. The only things that are valuable and will be recognized over time will be your skills, your accomplishments, and how hard you have worked.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Never forget to listen to others, through real and active listening.