Our people stories

Vania Lombardi

After obtaining a PhD in Chemistry for Engineering, Vania joined Eni and worked in the technical area at the Versalis operating sites in Brindisi and Priolo-Ragusafor 23 years. She is currently in charge of the Technology and Control Department at the Brindisi plant.

Her path is a testimony to a career model relevant to STEM disciplines.

Q. Combining this type of career with the fact you are a woman is still an uncommon model. Can you tell us about your experience?

A. Of course. I personally have never accepted the school of thought that we might feel different or even inferior as a woman. Having a certain kind of mindset is the key to achieving any kind of goal. But I must say that one element that proved to be important in my personal experience was being able to rely on favourable environmental conditions.

Q. You mean the family context that you grew up in?

A. Yes, I have to acknowledge the fundamental help of my family in supporting my choice to pursue engineering studies. But also my high school teachers, who encouraged me even when I showed some hesitation, due to the fact that the statistics of the time, we’re talking about 30 years ago, enrolled students at the Politecnico di Torino were about 5% of the total number of students.

Q. What was it like entering the working environment?

I like to recall things like, for example, the welcome by some senior colleagues who made me feel at home, and also the relationship with my co-workers, which has always been based on a kind of osmosis, let's call it, on passion and commitment, which has been a driving force to overcoming any gender and age differences. I would also like to mention the managers at my company, and the opportunities they gave me; I would call them 'forerunners of the concept of gender equality', given the context of the time.

Q. What message would you like to give to women approaching STEM jobs?

My hope is that we can create a world in which we can express our best selves, respecting our skills and uniquenesses, regardless of gender.

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