Engineering was not Daria Giovannacci’s first option when entering the professional world, but it came across as the wisest decision to make after realizing that she could stand out and really make a difference if she added some technical background to her degree in business administration. She then jumped into chemical engineering. “I wanted to be able to work with technologies and innovation, therefore, I decided that some basic engineering studies were needed for me to be able to make a difference in the field.”, said the Head of Business Development & ESG in Geyser Batteries, a partner in AGISTIN project.
Thanks to choosing to study Chemical Engineering at Aalto University, Finland, she has been able to advance in business development career in different technical fields, such as lasers, nanotechnologies, and biomedical materials and now, in energy storage in AGISTIN. In the project, she is involved in business development-related activities, but Geyser’s activity in the project is much wider, as she explains: “Geyser Batteries are developing a new generation of safe and sustainable high-power batteries based on aqueous electrolytes. During the project, the batteries will be tested in various applications requiring fast energy storage functionality, which will also support the development of advanced grid interfaces for the integration of innovative energy storage solutions like Geyser’s into the power grid.”
As a part of her career, she has been participating in a program developed by Technology Industries of Finland, Women in Tech, whose goal is to promote technology careers for women and support companies in their Diversity and Inclusion work. “This network provided so many opportunities to meet amazing inspiring women in the technology field, who just helped to further reassure me in the choice of technology-related career”, she stated.
Having an engineering background and working in business development might not be the most obvious path to follow when you think about choosing to engineer, but it’s a reflection of the amounts of directions your career can take when you choose an engineering course, despite being a girl or a boy. And it sure must help you navigate through the idiosyncrasies of the technologies when pursuing strategic opportunities to get a product to the market, like Daria does in her job!
More and more women are already taking up Engineering, but additional positive encouragement is needed, according to Daria. “There are a lot of studies showing that girls tend to be more perfectionistic at school than boys, which may often prevent them from choosing a certain career (like engineering), if they think that they are not perfect, say, in mathematics. Therefore, I believe that positive encouragement at all levels, starting from family to school and university, is important to ensure the choice of profession is made based on genuine desires rather than just doing what one is best at, Daria said. “We need diversity to ensure the best technology solutions are developed, and without women making their way to engineering, this diversity cannot be achieved.”, she concluded.