herCAREER: What were the most important experiences you had as a female leader in the IT industry?
Giovanna Sangiorgi: I’ve been in this industry for over three decades and although my journey hasn’t been always smooth and easy, I’ve loved every bit of it. From my experience, I can say that being a female leader in IT or any industry takes discipline, hard work, and sacrifices, but it is also very rewarding in many aspects. Here are some of the most important experiences for me:
- Stay curious and never stop learning -also about yourself. Your journey is your own. You are responsible for making sure you are constantly creating and finding opportunities that will allow you to learn something new and to advance your career.
- Mentoring relationships – sometimes more than one mentor. It’s very important to find people who you can share experiences with, learn from and who will guide your journey.
- Networking is also very important. Every person you meet during your journey has something to offer. Make yourself known for the value you can bring to others. This way, they will engage you in new opportunities.
herCAREER: How can digital transformation succeed?
Giovanna Sangiorgi: Digital transformation is the reality of today. No business or organization can plan to thrive without embracing Digital transformation, be it for increasing internal efficiency or improving the business model.
There are a few factors that are crucial to the success of digital transformation, but they could be challenging. First there is the vision. The clarity of knowing what future state it is that you want is supported by strong belief and motivation. Second, technology. Digital transformations are powered by technology – thus choosing the right technology at all levels of its architecture is an pivotal decision to take. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, people. People need to be aligned to the vision, they need to see the goal with clarity, have the skills to get there, and be well-connected to help each other. That’s why Digital transformation succeeds the fastest in inclusive organizations with great teamwork.
herCAREER: To what extent does NetApp create an environment in which employees can thrive and feel empowered to follow their aspirations? How does the company implement the core values of diversity, inclusion, and belonging?
Giovanna Sangiorgi: Great organizations lead with their actions. At NetApp we believe in creating an environment where our people can thrive and pursue their career aspirations. This means everybody, including our senior leadership, is committed to creating and building a culture based on inclusion and respect. In fact, our CEO George Kurian leads by example. During a recent trip to EMEA, he sat down with teams in different countries to have an open and honest discussion about any topic the employees felt needed more attention. This approachability resonates with people who feel empowered to share their views. But of course, empowerment has many facets. We offer several programs and resources for our employees and are investing in company-wide training to educate our teams about DIB questions. There is a network of DIB champions across the globe that coordinates activities to raise awareness, provide education and create safe spaces for building connections and expressing opinions. This network also becomes part of management career paths. There is still a lot of work to do, but we are confident that NetApp offers a fantastic workplace for people from any community and particularly for women in technology.
Use one of the ways to contact the interviewee and refer to the herCAREER community interview.