by Apparel Resources
19-April-2018 | 12 mins read
Only 53% of tech companies have female executives in the C-suite. This number highlights the disparity among the roles and responsibilities given to females despite their knowledge and potential. Employing women in top management positions not only addresses the problem of gender disparity, but also helps in getting some unique insights and vision from a woman’s point of view. With a potential to influence corporate performance, lack of women leadership in apparel machine manufacturing industry shows a saddened state. However, breaking the barriers of ‘women in tech’, Morgan Tecnica, a cutting solutions provider, believes in the power of women and relies on their knowledge to steer the organization. Federica Giachetti, President, Morgan Tecnica shares her journey, challenges and words of advice with Team StitchWorld, speaking about the importance of support from the organization.
SW: Share your journey as the President of Morgan Tecnica.
Federica: It was an amazing journey and it still is! Everything started exactly 10 years ago, in February 2008, just before the worst economic crisis was felt worldwide. Morgan not only was able to survive to that, as a start-up, but it also showcased an exceptionally fast and continuous growth, throughout these 10 years. If I turn back and look at this journey, I cannot believe that already 10 years have gone; they say time flies when you enjoy your life, and this is surely the case!
SW: What do you like most about your job? What’s the most difficult part of your job?
Federica: I like everything about my job, but I particularly like the fact that I am contributing, together with my brother Fabrizio Giachetti, Co-founder and CEO of Morgan Tecnica, and with our partner Marco Canali, Board Director, in building up something totally new, setting up our own rules, and following our own vision, with no compromises. Every day we face new challenges and new goals, but this is what makes my job still exciting like the first day, even after 10 years.
The most difficult part is to try not to be complacent by the past successes and also not to get too much emotionally involved, but to remain always objective and hungry as the first day, while making plans and strategies for the future of the company.
SW: What would you have done if you had not been working in Morgan Tecnica?
Federica: I have studied law, so probably I would have been a lawyer.
SW: What advice do you have for other women having interest in similar career path?
Federica: My recommendation for them is to remain committed and not to be in a rush. My special advice for young women is never to expect exclusive treatment just because they are women, but to always remain focused on commitment, passion and objective results. I dream of a business world where nobody will ever be surprised of a woman being in a leading position, nobody will actually even pay attention to the fact whether the boss is a man or a woman, but would just assess neutrally whether he/she is good or not in his/her job.
SW: Share some incidents which you cherish till date.
Federica: One of my first assignment, almost 30 years ago, was to take care of a new software for cut order planning, that my father had personally invented. It was such a new technology that the personal computers of that age were not able to support it, so we actually manufactured our own machines to run it, using a Motorola 68000 processor. But still it was too complicated to be shown to our potential customers, as they had to then all come and visit us. So I designed a portable version of that machine, using a Samsonite ordinary 24 hours briefcase, with the processor screwed in and covered by a metal plate, with a keyboard. It was a very stylish and functional solution, with a clear Italian woman touch! I felt really proud to travel across the world with my ‘special bag’, to visit potential customers and to show them live demo of our new software.
However, once in the early 90s, during my business trip to the UK, when I was at Manchester airport, trying to take a flight back home, there was a big alert for terrorism (it was the period of the First Gulf War). So immediately many British soldiers with automatic weapons spread all around the airport. One could feel the tension in the air. When I proceeded for my security check, they stopped my ‘special bag’ and asked me to open it… I did so and because it looked like one of those remote controllers for nuclear attack, immediately all alarms were raised and soon soldiers with their automatic weapons surrounded me. That was really scary, but I tried to remain calm. I smiled and explained them what it actually was. They probably realized I was not an actual threat but they asked me to operate the system, which I did with a multi-plug adaptor from the Duty Free section as my own one was in the checked baggage. Upon seeing my demo of the system, they set me free satisfactorily, but I missed my flight.
SW: We haven’t seen many women holding lead position in technology manufacturing. What do you feel is the reason for the same?
Federica: As I said above, I think things are now changing very fast in the business world and it is not going to be so unusual anymore to see women on the top. From my personal experience, I got the trust of the people I have been working with after many years of learning process and hard work from my side.
Honestly, I am so used to working among men that this is completely normal for me. Many times, I happened to be the only woman at the big table during business meetings or dinners, but I am totally comfortable with it and I don’t even notice that anymore and I see it is the same for my male colleagues, who sometimes completely forget that I am a woman, as they confess to me also! – Federica Giachetti, President, Morgan Tecnica
SW: How do you balance work and personal life?
Federica: Well, it is obviously not easy and it requires big effort and some sacrifices, but when you love your job like I do, it is worthwhile! However, in my case, I am totally grateful to my husband for his support who is also an entrepreneur and hence can probably better understand and accept my business timetable, my trips etc.
SW: Where do you see Morgan Tecnica under your supervision in next few years?
Federica: I see our growth continuing. We have already started working hard and investing to achieve our goal of becoming a fully integrated modular solution in the next few years, both by enlarging and improving our internal R&D department and even by some strategic acquisition of other specialized companies. We are also in the process of expanding our facility in Italy to significantly increase our production capacity and to be able to fulfill all the requests and reduce the lead time, which is critical for us at this time.
Morgan Tecnica is in the process of expanding its facility in Italy to significantly increase its production capacity and to be able to fulfill all the requests and reduce the lead time.
SW: Everybody is talking about Industry 4.0 concepts like IoT, Machine-to-Machine, Data analytics, etc. which are on high these days. On one side are the Industry 4.0 interventions which are primarily for the developed world while the major business for the technology suppliers is generated in the developing economies.
Where does Morgan Tecnica lay its focus on and how are you aligning these two markets together which share quite different needs for technology? In which all areas are you imbibing Industry 4.0 concept?
Federica: First of all, I would like to point out that all Morgan machines (cutters, spreaders, loading carousels, and labellers) have always been Industry 4.0, since we started our production 10 years ago, a long time before even the entire world started to discuss about this concept, so for us it is not exactly something that is extraordinarily new.
Industry 4.0 is the natural evolution of machine automation, together with information technology. We have been working on this type of software integration and real-time communication among the machines for many years, as this was a need coming directly from the users, and in fact, I believe this technology is highly beneficial for everybody, especially the production facilities which can take the highest advantage of it and improve their competitiveness.
Finally, I believe that Industry 4.0 is not actually suitable just for developed countries. Rather I think it is particularly beneficial for the production facilities, who are for the largest part located in the developing economies and can take the highest advantage of it and improve their competitiveness accordingly.