Maria leads major LafargeHolcim IT projects in the EMEA region, bringing more than 13 years of experience in delivering technological projects. Over her career path at LafargeHolcim, she worked in different roles and delegated various assignments, including setting up the centralized Projects & Portfolio Management department for the IT Service Center and working as a Program Manager for the IT Strategy program at the CIO office.
What do you think are the current challenges in the IT industry these days?
These days we can witness how the world is currently changing due to the pandemic circumstances. All industries face several challenges and try to adapt themselves. This is where I do see the IT plays a key role in the companies since they need to:
- React fast to the market changes, and therefore they need to be supported by the strong ERP systems and standard processes.
- Adapt to new ways of working, communicate, and interact with each other effectively. As we see more and more working from home policies are being expanded.
- Define their IT strategies, take the next step to get the team and technical agility. Use Lean and Agile practices to continually deliver innovative, high-quality products and services faster than the competition.
Challenges will certainly bring new opportunities to companies; however, IT will play a key role in this game, as a key differentiator in the current market.
Do you think that diversity and gender equality are already a reality? If not, what do you think should be changed?
To my mind, diversity is now a reality. The essence of it is that differences are already there! No one and no organization can ignore the differences among individuals. That is why diversity should be accepted as a matter of course. It delivers new insights and innovations and brings quality and strength to organizations. But there is also a downside: diversity sometimes leads to problems and conflicts between people, even in organizations. It is not always and everywhere rosy. There is still much work to do to make diversity a standard feature of the workforce and daily life. Diversity is not merely an issue of human resources management; it is a leadership issue and a part of the overall organizational development.
Gender equality let me focus only on the workplace and not on the world. We should promote gender equality in the workplace, define strategies to achieve broadly equal opportunities and outcomes for women and men. In my company honestly, I think it is a reality and I am proud of it.
When you face challenges, what encourages you?
When I face challenges what most encourages me is the sense of doing the right thing and to get the opportunity to learn from other people, from other environments, from other experts..... continuous learning and continuous flow is what I need to keep my mind open. Additionally, I am not afraid to fail because failing is also a part of the learning process.
Who is your role model? Who inspires you?
There is no unique person or role who inspires me but a small piece of each person I know: since my teachers at school or university, my parents, my supervisors, and for sure my colleagues. In the end, anyone who I detect has an ability that I do not and that I admire.