Recipe for a woman leader

Networking, gender equality, value of diversity and inclusion, are core ingredients for the development path of a young woman leader between US and Italy.

Apr 2018

“When I was child I yearned for a passionate, motivating job that would both challenge me and give me the chance to travel the world”, looks like Maria Giuseppina Motta finally accomplished her wish! Maria Giuseppina is the GE Program Director at Avio Aero and she holds this role since October 2017. Additionally, starting from this year she co-leads the Avio Aero Women’s Network. That’s why, themes like gender equality, diversity and inclusion valuing are key in Maria Giuseppina’s value system: “I strongly believe that diversity is a value to be fostered because it brings benefits in every environment, starting from the work one, because it generates new ideas and opportunities. For this reason, I commit myself along with my colleagues within Women’s Network and our sponsors, aiming to enable actions for gender gap reduction.

Maria Giuseppina leads a team of eleven people who are devoted to ensure GE programs’ profitability for Avio Aero, seeking to satisfy customers, handling the daily activities dedicated to customers. This role is, furthermore, her last rotation in the Accelerated Leadership Program (XLP) at GE.

How was the way up to your current role, did you also work in other industrial sectors or have you always been an aviation lover? 

“I started my career in Avio Aero right after graduating in Aerospace Engineering, I worked at the Acerra blades and vanes production plant at that time (successively Acerra was absorbed inside Pomigliano site ed.) that is nearby Naples and not very far from my hometown. There my path began, in the Engineering department, structural systems.  And after I spent some years in Rivalta di Torino, in September 2011, I moved to GE Aviation in Cincinnati, as Technical Representative. I stayed I Cincinnati for one year and a half and in 2013 I got back to Rivalta becoming the LEAP Program Manager, it was few months before Avio became part of GE. Since then I started my adventure in the leadership programs, common in the career paths at GE. In 2014 infact I joined the CLS (Corporate Leadership Staff, as it was called at the time) and my first assignment was again in Cincinnati, in the Service team. At the end of 2015, as my second rotation started, I held the Customer Quality Leader role in Avio Aero Rivalta site. In 2016, at my third year in the program (which in the meanwhile was transformed in the XLP), I worked in a cross-business and cross-functional project, focused on e-commerce. I didn’t move to the US, whilst I travelled there many times. Since last fall (after returning from maternity leave) I took on the leadership of this department and this will also be my last XLP rotation.”

Which is the most stimulating part in your job and your main mission?

“My team’s main mission is to ensure the GE programs’ profitability, facilitating our customers’ highest satisfaction and working closely with all the function for this aim (GSC, Engineering, Finance, etc.). In addition to this, there’s my people leader mission: lead and support my team in order to give them the tools to reach their professional and personal-development goals. These are the most challenging aspects of my job…and of course every day is different from another!”

What about your experience in the US?

“I lived in the USA, in Cincinnati, twice: the first time it was for a year and a half, the second for ten months. During my very first experience as the Technical Representative at GE, I dealt both with turbines (for the GEnx engine) and transmissions (GEnx and GE90) and I acted as the technical liaison between Avio Aero, GE and the third parties. During the second experience, instead, I worked in the Service as Business Manager for CFM56 engine. From both these experiences I took away a revived passion for this business, for GE and its beliefs.”


What have you both learnt and taught?

“The list of learning is so long, but above all I’d say I learnt to be a business manager with a wider view of the external world and even the business. And I think (and hope!) I shared the Italian culture, also the culinary one.”

What’s a lesson learned while you worked at GE Aviation headquarters? Which would be your advice to any colleagues?

“For sure, the power of networking, the positive one without a hidden agenda. The advice that I would give to my colleagues is going beyond email, chat, and build a more personal relation with the overseas colleagues we use to work with. An in the end to embrace the best all the self-development opportunities the company has to offer (brilliantyou, inspiredlearning, etc).”

What’s your favorite GE engine and why?

“They all have the same place in the Program Director’s hearth!”

Which is the best place in the world that you have visited?

“No place is like home, but until now the most beautiful place I visited are Hawaii.”

What is a surprising aspect or passion that your colleagues, or the people who know you, maybe they still don’t know about you?

“I’m an outstanding cook, I love to prep desserts and make bread, handmade like it was once upon a time. In addition, I think I visited around 30 out of the 50 United States of America.”