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Female leadership in engineering

There is a significant gender gap in the industries in which Sandvik is active, as well as a shortage of female engineering talents. Since diverse teams are more effective and brings value to our business, Sandvik actively promotes diversity and inclusion. We asked a few of Sandvik’s female co-workers, from different countries and parts of the company, to share their view on engineering and leadership.

Alessandra Spaghetti, Global Technical Marketing, Italy

What leadership skills are important as a female engineer?

I think that even if most leadership skills are gender neutral, there are some that could make women’s working life smoother and support them in their daily job.

Alessandra SpaghettiI have selected three: The first one is determination. A quote says: “it’s difficult to beat who never gives up” and this is even truer for women working in a male-dominated environment.

The second one is innovation. It’s incredibly relevant nowadays, not only to be a good leader, but to inspire people – and being innovative in everything we do is a great tool.

The last, but not a negligible one, is communication. We are all different, and being able to pass on our message in an effective way can make a difference in several situations. Communication is also important to be able to network effectively, and as a marketing person, which I am, it is essential to have success with customers and business.

As an engineer - in what way do you find that you contribute to the bigger picture?

I think that women who decide to study and to work in engineering add value in general. I hope it is a growing positive trend which will improve gender balance and diversity, and in turn bring positive effects to every business, not just to Sandvik. A diverse working environment will generate more interesting brainstorming sessions and discussions, especially in relation to strategic decisions.

I think that female engineers can bring a different approach to the business they work in and complement male engineers. We complement each other.

In my job, I have the opportunity to visit customers all over the world which has contributed to opening up my mind and to using the “new acquired mindset” in business, but also in everyday life.

Ellinor Svensson, Application development engineer, Sweden

What leadership skills are important as a female engineer?

I think it’s very important for young girls to have female role models in leading positions to identify with. Clear leadership, with clear goals, builds trust and confidence in the team as well as an agile and creative work environment. I’m very proud of the many great female leaders we have at Sandvik.

How has your experience at Sandvik contributed to developing your leadership skills within engineering?

Many of my colleagues at Sandvik have many years of valuable experience from the machining industry. Surrounded by experts within many different areas we learn a lot from each other as well as feeling confident in taking on new challenges and problems together. Diversity and different mindsets are key in creative problem solving.

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