Since November, the CEO of Gerdau Summit has been 43-year-old engineer Michele Robert. It is a joint venture aimed at supplying parts for the generation of wind energy, jointly managed by the Japanese Sumitomo Corporation and Japan Steel Works (JSW). Michele is the first to hold the position in the company’s history and commands about 700 people, 90% of whom are male.
The executive was the second interviewee in the video series of the Nosso Olhar column, led by Yasmine McDougall Sterea, CEO of Free Free. Fortnightly, the novelty debuted shortly before the International Women’s Day, on March 8, with the participation of Juliana Azevedo, CEO of P&G. “It is a series focused on female leadership and gender equity”, explains Yasmine. “It proposes social change for both men and women”.
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Mother of two daughters, Michele worked for 18 years at General Eletric (GE) and has lived in Buenos Aires, where she started a university course in Mechanical Engineering at the Instituto Tecnológico, completed in the United States. He holds a master’s degree in Supply Chain from the University of Michigan and also worked at Motorola and Sterycicle, of which he was CEO until he moved to the Gerdau Summit. In the new position, his main goal is to diversify the company’s operations in other sectors, such as mining and sugar and alcohol.
“How was the experience of studying outside Brazil?” Asks Yasmine at the beginning of the conversation. “Being where I am has more to do with competence, my life experience, curiosity and the humility of wanting to know than with studying and living abroad”, responds the interviewee. “With a lot of focus and determination, everyone gets where they want to go”.
Regarding the difficulties of growing up in a profession historically more associated with men, he said the following: “I started in Argentina, in a military school, but the transfer to the United States opened my mind. The country was much further ahead on gender issues and that was more than twenty years ago ”. And how is Brazil doing in this regard? “Based on data from universities, the country already trains more engineers than engineers. Although much remains to be done to reduce inequalities, it has already advanced ”.
Watch the full interview: