The fifth annual Women in Industry Awards was held in June in Sydney. The awards bring together leaders across Australia’s industrial sector to celebrate and applaud the achievements of women working in these areas.
The Women in Industry Awards aim to raise the profile of the women working within the mining, engineering, logistics and road transport industries as well as promote and encourage excellence. Here LMH speaks with VISA Global Logistics’s Federica Guidi, who was awarded Business Development Manager of the Year.
The path to success
Federica’s role at VISA Global Logistics is her first in the logistics industry. “For many people, they start in logistics very early on and work their way up, this was not the case for me,” she says.
While working at the Italian Chamber of Commerce Federica worked closely with board member Vittorio Tarchi, Executive Director at VISA Global Logistics Group. It was during this time that Federica was exposed to the logistics industry and Vittorio proved a great mentor. “I was very impressed with his leadership skills and knowledge of the logistics industry in general,” Federica says.
Eight years ago, an opportunity rose for Federica to join VISA Global Logistics in the events and marketing space, and she jumped at the chance to move into the logistics sector. After only a few months Federica moved into a sales position and hasn’t looked back since. “Sales here is very dynamic, you can be working with small to medium enterprises locally but also huge international companies, there is never a dull moment,” she says.
VISA Global Logistics delivers a fully integrated solution which includes forwarding, clearance, warehouse and distribution. Founded in 1892 VISA Global Logistics is privately owned, it functions with two directors and two partners, one director is Australian and one is Italian.
The international presence of the company enables Federica to travel extensively. “I go to Europe at least once a year to link international opportunities together and to seek out prospective clients,” she says.
The importance of mentoring
For Federica, having a mentor is crucial, particularly in the logistics industry. “Throughout my career I have had very good mentors to help me along the way. Without which, navigating your way through this industry would be impossible,” she says.
Vittorio’s guidance as well as the greater team at VISA, have been key factors in her success. “Logistics is very fast-paced, it doesn’t sleep. Especially when you run a global operation. You need a good, reliable, trust-worthy and passionate team, and I have found this at VISA,” Federica says.
This passion for mentoring has been something that Federica has been able to pursue in her role at VISA. In her position, she looks after the internship program. VISA organises an internship program for students from the Maritime & Transport University in Italy. The students come over to Australia and partake in a program where they work for six months and then travel for six months. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to get some practical working experience as well as see Australia,” Federica says.
This aspect of Federica’s role is very rewarding and gives her an opportunity to share her passion for logistics as well as what she describes as a beautiful working culture at VISA Global Logistics.
For Federica, working in logistics is more diverse than other sectors. “It’s different to any other sector I have worked in, we work with all kinds of companies and all different commodities. One day it’s medical equipment, then it’s lollies or white goods. In addition, you deal with various stakeholders. it’s very dynamic and it’s this aspect that keeps me enjoying my job every day,” she says.
Looking to the future
As VISA Global Logistics continues to grow, so does Federica. “In this position, there is a lot of networking, events and seminars. I really enjoy this side of the role as I am always learning,” she says.
“In business development, you can always achieve more, you have to find ways to keep growing and learning,” Federica explains. At VISA, she has found the senior management team very approachable and that they are always happy to help.
VISA places a huge emphasis on professional development and even has what it refers to as VISA University, a programme to train staff internally. Federica is also due to start an MBA in July this year. “I am always looking for new opportunities to grow, to keep up with innovation and to tackle new markets,” she adds.
On winning the Business Development Manager of the Year award, Federica said it’s great to feel gratification for what she does. “I was very excited to win, it was quite unexpected. It’s fantastic to get acknowledgement for all the hard work, all the extra effort you put in. It’s very rewarding and I am looking forward to growing on the success.”