Our first STEM Day
The story of a special day of knowledge and integration between the world of education and the corporate world through the voices of professionals and students.
The month of December began charged with energy for operators, technicians, engineers and managers at Avio Aero's central plant in Rivalta di Torino. They welcomed more than fifty students - including forty female students - from Politecnico di Torino who joined the first STEM Day organized by the company.
Conceived by the Inclusion & Diversity team, and developed together with five professors from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering departments, the STEM Day was intended to literally bring the company closer to the university: male and female students were able to participate in a workshop introducing the company and its business areas, tour the plant, and learn about our products and the professionals who contribute to their creation throughout the entire process, from design to production.
In addition, the young guests had the opportunity to learn about and measure themselves against the open positions and career paths, whether typical or innovative, offered by Avio Aero. "We wanted to communicate and illustrate how our corporate reality is open to all without distinctions or barriers," says Khadija Masrour. “We involved corporate role models who currently hold roles such as Plant Leader, Program Director, and CIO as a direct cue to inspire female students."
Khadija Masrour is a young engineer in the Operations Management Leadership Program at Avio Aero who graduated in aerospace engineering from Politecnico di Milano and entered the work world as an IT consultant. "Once I joined the company, I realized more clearly what roles an engineer can fill in a large industry. Thinking back on my career path, opportunities like STEM Day would have helped me better understand what opportunities I could expect and what choices would be better, more focused, through greater awareness of roles and environments."
The initiative was promoted during the last Career Day held at the Politecnico di Torino last October. It was a success thanks in part to the support of the university's teaching secretariat and the presence of departmental professors. "The professors were key ambassadors in publicizing our initiative. There were 380 sign-ups despite the limit of 50 visitors," says Masrour.
The enthusiasm and interest of the participants were evidenced by the many questions Avio Aero staff received during the workshop and visit. It was also apparent in the words of those who - like Marta Puppi - were among the first to be awarded the "entrance pass" to visit the aircraft engine factory.
"Today, gender diversity offers insights, perspectives, and different experiences while creating better synergy for optimizing and continuously improving our processes and performance"
"I'm pleased with both the experience and the opportunity to have learned from professionals in your company," Marta commented. "In particular, I learned that before you get to your life’s work, totally unexpected paths can eventually lead you to a truly fulfilling job. You can see this in the passion with which the women of this company build their professional history."
As a fourth-year aerospace engineering student and a great aviation enthusiast, Marta’s opinion represents the energy and inspiration of so many of her peers. They aim to spread their wings into a world of technology and decipher complexity to find solutions beyond the scientific sphere. In this era we live in, this means change and human evolution. "I would like to gather a lot of experience, especially abroad, and not only in the technical-scientific field but, above all, human and cultural."
The initiative was an opportunity for enrichment and exchange, especially for the people of Avio Aero who realized and experienced it in its entirety. "In the past, the world of industry has been a predominantly male reality. Today, gender diversity offers insights, perspectives, and different experiences while creating better synergy for optimizing and continuously improving our processes and performance," admits Masrour.
Carlamaria Tiburtini, I&D Leader and HR Business Partner at Avio Aero, also feels very proud and satisfied. "We wanted this to be a “one-take" event, and we definitely met that expectation. We realized that the formula was right and that we should ask students what they needed and what they wanted to see. I am happy with their active participation and preparation, and the interesting questions they asked. And the professors were very involved, curious to experience this initiative."
Listening to the impressions of those at Avio Aero who organized or even participated in the first STEM Day, the desire to repeat the experience in other locations and for larger audiences is clear. "It worked well, and we are very confident of its potential evolution. For example, we could hold it with third-year undergraduates whose course of study fits well with the various profiles our locations are seeking. Master's and bachelor's students, but eventually even high school seniors," Tiburtini adds.