Being in charge of a firm isn’t an easy job and for women it’s even more difficult.
Amongst Italian big firms only 12,2% of top managers are women. This data is provided by the Istat Annual Report.
The majority of these women are in family run businesses where they are often members of the owning family, and are more likely to be part of the Board of Directors or hold top management positions. Women occupy 23,1% of middle management positions, and this indicates that the disadvantages of women increase as they climb the hierarchical scale.
There is a greater degree of women managers in cooperatives that deal with people services, cleaning services, and family and health assistance.
A woman in a leadership role in the automotive sector still raises commotion, but there are some exceptions – such as Linda Jackson (Citroën CEO), Annette Winkler (Smart CEO), Tisha Johnson in Volvo, Chrystal Windham in Cadillac, and Sharon Gauci in GM.
Things are also starting to change in Italy, for instance Roberta Zerbi is EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Marketing Manager for Alfa Romeo, Maria Grazia Lisbona is head of Fiat Powertrain, Antonella Bruno is Head of Lancia and head of Fiat Functional Range EMEA, FCA and Monica Genovesi is EMEA Purchasing Manager FCA.
Previously these positions were entrusted to men regardless of skills and competence.
From 2013 Simona Quintiero has been the Biss Group srl sole Managing Director, a company with over 50 employees and a future oriented business philosophy.
What does Biss Group represent to you Simona?
I strongly believe that Biss Group srl represents OPPORTUNITY, for me, for my colleagues and for those who may want to work with us in the future.
The opportunity to view things differently; Not being solely part of a business but being part of building business.
I didn’t want the company to be structured as a hierarchical organisation; to me, being responsible doesn’t entail roles or “boundaries”. I believe that a company can be a great team, where everyone consciously chooses to do their best out of self-respect, respect for their team and for the company itself. So the business becomes a means of establishing and developing personal attitudes, skills and knowledge.
In this I have a crucial role: to allow those who are part of Biss Group to do their job to the best of their ability.
Sometimes this entails providing new necessary resources, sharing concepts in legal terms, understanding and sharing necessary economic notions, taking impartial decisions, listening to team difficulties and personal issues, always trying to find the best solutions for everyone.
In my view, the truth is that being an entrepreneur requires a great deal of humility: we must be humble in understanding that we are instruments for our business, an instrument that can easily become inefficient and slow if it isn’t constantly renewed and updated. We must be humble in recognising and admitting our limits, and in welcoming to our side the tools and people that may help us overcome them.
Let’s remember that a manager doesn’t produce but is there to support those who do.
However, I must admit that Biss Group means more to me; it’s my chance to go further, even when others can’t. It’s the chance to be brave, even when the people around me are fearful. And it is my way of embracing something different, even when many would like to constrain you to be like the others.
It’s a way of life, my driving force to never avoid being different.
What are Biss Group objectives for 2020?
First of all, a positive and productive work place that promotes company loyalty amongst employees and new talents. We believe this is an essential objective for any successful business.
In the first trimester we have welcomed 5 new young people and another 4 are expected to join in the second trimester. When experience and tradition are mixed with freshness and new ideas the results are always successful.
No less important is investing in staff development and in new equipment, both necessary resources for business productivity.
Our objective is to supply our team with all the necessary resources to reach increasingly innovative levels. At the same time, we believe that the most important objective is to know how to manage change, making it our strategy of constant growth. We have currently chosen to channel our attention towards researching new work paths that will have an effective impact on a continuously developing market.
We strive to be dynamic, to meet challenges, to extend and apply our know-how to other sectors, to be both mentors and pioneers.
We are developing our marketing to anticipate the needs of today’s and future markets. Not mere advertising, but researching, curiosity, sharing and trusting; and working together to grow together.
In 2016 Groupon and AIRC launched a strong campaign BECOME WHAT YOU ARE, a campaign to raise awareness about world of work in a female universe. And Simona Quintero is exactly what she wants to be: woman, mother and entrepreneur.