International Women’s Day 2019

‘My Wish to All Women’ by Maurizia Bagnato

Clock Reading Time: 7 Minutes

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we asked Maurizia Bagnato, one of the highest ranking women in the leadership team at Bosch UK, to describe her views on the state of a more gender-balanced world. While Bosch fosters a corporate culture in which all associates feel valued and in which everyone has the same opportunities regardless of gender, there are still some challenges to overcome…

If a genie in a bottle asked me to make a wish, just one wish, for all the women in the world, I would be in serious trouble. What a massive responsibility it would be to choose just one thing that could truly improve all women’s lives.

Let me have a think… what would I ask for?

When I was a little girl, I used to get upset every time someone told me “you can’t do that because you’re a girl.” But I was always very curious. I always wanted to explore the world, to look for new challenges and experiences. However, I had to confront a cultural bias that tried to prevent me from doing what I wanted to achieve.

When I chose to study mechanical engineering, my family made it clear that they didn’t think that it was a good idea, so I had to fight to study engineering from the very start. There was nobody in my family from an engineering background, but I wanted to go down this route because I was passionate about technology and having the opportunity to turn my ideas into reality.

During my studies I was inspired by a great professor, a great woman, one of the first Italian women to graduate in aeronautical engineering. She showed me that with strong determination you can achieve great results, professionally and personally. She went through many difficulties and despite the stereotypes about women in science, she is now a famous astrophysicist. Her name is Amalia Ercoli Finzi.

Engineers have a real impact in society and I enjoy talking to people about engineering, especially young female students, to reveal our fascinating work to them. Women bring a different perspective; diversity of thought really helps in my business environment.

Working for Bosch over the last 20 years continues to be a great experience. It’s a good feeling to be part of such a forward-looking company that contributes to wider society.

But sadly, around the world, there are still major problems for ambitious women who want to be educated and decide their own futures.

At last, I think I know what I would wish for…

Since the dawn of time, we have been trying hard to change others: our fathers, husbands, children and even our colleagues, but with limited success. Maybe it’s time to give up the idea of changing them so that we, as women can change our lives?

So this is my wish to fellow women, colleagues and friends:

Be bold, be confident in your abilities and your values. Then, we can contribute even more to the world; through our ideas, our decisions and our actions.

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