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An example of determination and female leadership

Published 9.5.2024

On a journey that’s taken her from Brazil to Mexico, Marcela Diniz is today the first woman leader to be Project Procurement Manager at Techint Engineering & Construction.

 

Born in the city of Jacareí, in the interior of the state São Paulo, Marcela Diniz has a degree in Mechanical Production Engineering from the Universidade Paulista. She joined Techint Engineering & Construction in 2011 as a Young Professional, after working at a multinational in the aeronautical sector, and found a good environment to support her career. Thanks to her innate restlessness, she gradually worked her way up through different areas of the company, from Planning to Supplies, to occupy the position she holds today, Project Procurement Manager.

Her career has taken her beyond the borders of her home country. As by 2015, after only four years at Techint E&C, while working in the Supply Chain area, Marcela was offered her first international experience, with a posting to Milan. There she immersed herself in Italian culture and expanded her professional horizons, while contributing to the integration and unification of the company's global processes.

“I always wanted to live abroad, and this was a fabulous opportunity. I had no difficulty adapting to the local culture, and I dedicated myself to enjoying every moment, both personally and professionally”, she recalls.

 

Taking advantage of opportunities

Back in Brazil, she worked as a leader in the Supply area, making a name for herself in projects such as Parnaíba V, in Maranhão, forming part of the team in charge of building a thermoelectric plant for one of the largest thermal natural gas power generation complexes in the country. Her commitment and enthusiasm caught the attention of the company's leaders, who offered her the opportunity to coordinate a project in Mexico.

Marcela accepted the challenge, with just one condition: her family had to come with her to Mexico. Her husband, Amarildo da Silva, who also works at the company, agreed to give up his post in Brazil, with all the professional stability that entailed, to support his wife's career dream, as she became the first woman to hold the position of Project Procurement Manager (PPM) at Techint E&C.

As part of her duties, she was responsible for managing all the purchasing for the project, dealing with fresh challenges every day and leading a team of eight professionals, directly and indirectly.

Marcela is currently working on the Southeast Gateway Project (SGP) in Veracruz Norte, in the southeast of Mexico, involving the construction of a 70-MW compressor station and laying a 21-km gas pipeline, in the city of Tuxpan in Veracruz. This project involves more than 1,300 professionals, two million labor hours and over 136,000 hours of engineering planned, a work that will guarantee gas supply to the entire region.

“Getting used to living in Mexico was very different to my earlier experience in Italy, particularly now that I’m married. Mexicans are really friendly and welcoming, which made the transition smoother,” she says.

 

The greatest challenges she’s overcome in her career

Marcela also shares the challenges of working outside her home country. “The biggest issue is being away from family. Whenever I'm abroad, there's sure to be a delicate situation that needs to be handled carefully, even from a distance. Not having my parents close by as they grow older is the most painful part,” she states.

Furthermore, she comments that she’s had a few challenges to deal with in the workplace environment, but that she learned to overcome these situations by focusing on her career.

“There’s no doubt that macho attitudes are a major sticking-point in many different spheres of society. However, at a personal level, I’ve never allowed these obstacles to define my aspirations. We must focus on our work, on doing our best, regardless of the challenges we face every day, whether these are due to gender, age or any other factor,” concludes Marcela.

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