Name: Elisa Fedato
Title: Sales Manager
Degree: MSc Sustainable Energy
- Introduce yourself: Tell us your name, your age, your degree/university, and the fun fact that makes you unique!
My name is Elisa, and I am 32 years old. I hold a Bachelor Degree in Energy Engineering from the University of Padova (Italy) and a MSc degree from DTU (Denmark) in Sustainable Energy Engineering (Electric Energy Systems study line). A fun fact about me is that I own an old offroad vehicle (a 1996 Mitsubishi Pajero) which I use almost exclusively to do crazy road trips with (e.g., I shipped my car to Iceland and to Tunisia, among others).
- What does a day in your life look like as a Sales Manager at Vestas?
I work as a Sales Manager for Vestas Wind Systems. The easiest way to describe my job is that I quite literally sell Wind Turbines. As Sales Manager, I am responsible for the management of the project and its team members to achieve a successful order of Vestas wind turbines to be built in the near future. A day in my job can be very different (and for this reason also very fun!): some days I might be negotiating turbine supply and installation contracts with our customers, some others I might be focusing on developing the commercial strategy of the project to increase our chances of winning it or brainstorm with the team on how to optimise a project from a value-engineering perspective.
- What motivates and excites you the most about your career path and the leadership position you hold?
What I find motivating is looking at what the future holds for me being a young woman in the renewables industry, and especially slowly seeing more and more talented women in senior leadership positions. This inspires me to continue my development and aspire at even greater responsibilities.
- Share with us the biggest lessons you learned on your journey to where you are today.
The first lesson is that resilience is key. The second lesson is that often problems are not as haunting as they seem to be, and being able to take a step back and look at them from the distance can make a big difference.
- Tell us about a (female) role model who inspired you to become the leader you are today, and how (s)he impacted you personally or professionally.
When I joined Vestas 5 years ago, a female colleague – which was assigned as my buddy – guided me through the first steps in a rather complex corporate world and male-dominated environment. She showed me that being a female in that environment didn’t really matter because you could still be a successful leader and earn the appreciation and respect of the team with kindness. This inspired me to follow her career steps within the company.
- If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, or to other young female students today, what would it be?
My advice is to embrace your emotions. Sometimes I feel that being emotional is perceived as a sign of weakness in our society and even if in a safe environment, I often felt embarrassed to show my emotions in a professional setting. But I have learned that being emotional is not a weakness and it should not be hidden because your emotions are part of your personality, which is what ultimately makes you, you.
- How do you see STEM education shaping the future?
I believe that STEM education shall not be exclusively intended as the mean to promote leaders within STEM-related working environment, but rather as a wider toolbox to equip future generations to solve complex problems and develop creative solutions, independently to which field these challenges are applied to.
- Why is it important for you to promote diversity and inclusion within STEM?
If we want to feel more represented in leadership positions, if we want to be surrounded by different and fresh perspectives within STEM work environments, we need to create the conditions that would inspire people to be fascinated by STEM subjects in the first place. And in my view, the way to do so is to encourage and keep encouraging diversity and inclusion within STEM from a young age, showing that there is not a single target audience.
- What steps has your company taken to promote a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and which one has been the most effective?
Vestas has been quite active in recent years in terms of DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging) initiatives both at a global and regional level, by introducing DEIB goals and awareness-raising focus. As an example, this year we had regional DEIB week with a panel discussion about ethnicity. In my view, one of the most impactful moments has been during the 2022 Vestas Leadership Forum* where Laurence Paquette has been invited to share her story of diversity and inclusiveness: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/vestas_being-your-true-self-also-at-work-laurence-activity-6984047293008101376-1Dcy/?trk=public_profile_like_view&originalSubdomain=dk
*a Vestas conference with the top global leaders in the company.