Stories Of Women in Engineering – Stefania Vlad

Interview with Stefania Vlad

My name is Stefania Vlad and I’m a Competency Manager at the ALTEN Delivery Center in Eastern Europe. 

Can you describe your role and responsibilities? 

Working as a Competency Manager, my responsibilities encompass talent acquisition, team management, management of partnerships with multiple stakeholders and transversal liaison between our colleagues and the internal support departments. 

What role has ALTEN played in your professional development? How has the company supported your growth and advancement? 

ALTEN has had a primordial role in my professional development. Ever since the beginning of my journey, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with people who not only have seen my potential but have also helped me to enhance my skills. Obviously, the trajectory hasn’t always been linear – I have had my ups and downs – but most importantly I have always found the right motivation to move forward. 

What support systems or mentors have been instrumental in helping you overcome obstacles and achieve your goals? 

My support system is powered by multiple sources. On the one hand, I rely on our organizational culture, which promotes a positive and a growth-oriented mindset, and on the other the relationships I have built with colleagues, who are a great source of inspiration and motivation. 

How have you evolved in a male-dominated industry? 

My actual position in defined by hard work and perseverance. I have been part of ALTEN since 2017 when I was hired as a consultant. With small steps and constant work, I managed to become a technical trainer, transitioning to a leading position. Becoming and being a Competency Manager has been one of the toughest, and yet, one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.  

What makes a great leader in your opinion? 

What makes a great leader? Leading with respect, giving your colleagues the chance to be listened to and heard. 

In a few words, could you give us your vision of the place of women engineers in the professional world? 

By nature, women are a continuous source of energy and creativity. We have been given great abilities to perform in-depth analysis and as a result we manage to overcome challenges successfully. As a woman who works with women engineers, I am highly impressed by the capacity to self-improve and to always deliver results above the expected level. 

What advice would you give to young women who aspire to become top managers in engineering? 

My best advice to women who aspire to become top managers in engineering is to step out of the comfort zone. When embarking on a professional growth journey, be prepared to face both success and failure. This duo is co-dependent, so trust the process, learn from your mistakes, and keep in mind that with big failures come great results. 

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