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Stories by Hydro

Meet Erica Di Stefano: The only real limit is what is in the mind

Erica Di Stefano is good at taking advantage of her opportunities. It started with school, she has three master’s degrees, and has continued in the workplace with Hydro Building Systems Italy, where she is quality manager and responsible for the company’s continuous improvement methodology, the Extrusion Business System. And that’s not all.

“Just a few weeks ago, I started as remelt manager for our aluminium casthouse in Atessa,” says Erica.

In addition, Erica serves as an ambassador for Hydro Building Systems’ women’s network, which is one of a growing number of support groups for women working in industry for the worldwide Hydro group.

“I am doing this because I believe that we have the moral duty to improve society, also in our work environment, and we need to leave to the future generation, our daughters, our granddaughters, a fairer and more inclusive world,” she says.

Do you believe that operational work in aluminium plants is too hard and physical for women?

Physical strength depends on the person. We have to create a working environment that improves work, for example, through ergonomic workstations, in a way that reduces the physical differences, not only between men and women, but also between people who are physically different, in terms of height, age, and physical strength.

I believe that the only real limit is what is in the mind because we have the same head, the same hands, the same passion. And all these things haven't a gender. They depend only on the person.

What are your thoughts about Hydro’s desire and stated targets about hiring more women employees?

It is the effort we must make to have a balance necessary to have equity in work and society.

I would like to reach my goals as the result of my hard work. Like a man. I don't want favoritism. I don't ask for simplification. But equal opportunities? Yes, same economic rewards, same career opportunities. No more, but not less.

My wish for the future is that we don't speak any more about different conditions for women and men, because we have reached the same condition.

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