Celebrating International Women’s Day with Roberta Togni

Celebrating International Women’s Day with Roberta Togni

We are proud to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March as a special opportunity to shine the spotlight on women working in the materials handling industry, highlighting unique experiences and expertise, and what led them on this career path.

Today we share with you the story of Roberta Togni, General Counsel & CSR Officer of Automha S.p.A, and FEM ISPG Board Member, highlighting her key role and motivation in shaping our industry!

What does your role involve and what are your responsibilities?
As the General Counsel & CSR Officer of Automha S.p.A. I coordinate and supervise the Legal, HR and Compliance department, and I personally take care of the corporate management, including our parent companies. In addition, I manage and coordinate all activities related to sustainability. Lastly, I represent Automha S.p.A. in different associations that take care of the technical-normative part for the intralogistics sector: I am member of the General Board of Anima with responsibility for innovation, AISEM Vice-President with responsibility to Associative Relation and Group Leader of the Italian Intralogistic System Association and FEM ISPG (Instralogistic Systems Product Group) Board Member.

What initially interested you, and led you to this industry?
The interest and passion for this sector was certainly passed down to me by my father, Franco Togni, the founder of the company and President of the Automha group. I then became passionate about technology. At first glance, it may seem that my law studies and logistics are not compatible, but, in reality, law, like mathematics and logistics, require mastering a method to analyse and interpret data. Without a method even the best of intuitions would be not applicable.

Do you have any advice for other women who may not have considered this sector as a possible opportunity for them?
The world of intralogistics is truly vast and with many possibilities. It is a very dynamic world, constantly evolving, offering the opportunity to interface with new technologies and business models. We must not think of intralogistics only as a set of mechanical and electrical components, but all processes at 360°. We can find several areas, such as engineering and innovation, software, production, sales, marketing, purchasing, HR, administration, project management, logistics, and much more, where women can express their potential. The world of intralogistics also offers continuous industry connections, allowing one to increase their skills and knowledge starting from other sectors know-how, other countries experiences, and other needs. From a legal point of view, it is very useful to be able to communicate with different industrial sectors, taking advantage of useful lessons. The female ability to work in teams and to systematically plan their work is a great plus in using and synthesizing experiences taken from other areas.

Do you have any insights into what could be done to encourage more women into this sector?
I believe a cultural change is happening and I noticed a rapprochement of the female gender also to the more technical subjects. In Automha S.p.A., our daily mission is to nurture the talents of each individual and support a healthy work-life balance. In this case, Automha S.p.A. was the first company to reduce the working hours of all employees who are mothers of children aged 1 to 10 years old by 25% without a reduction in pay, an initiative highly esteemed within the company as well as within the local community. It is important for women to follow their passions without being influenced by cultural biases that still see them tied to certain roles. In our company, the collaboration between male and female technical figures has often led to surprising results, as issues have been approached from different perspectives, with different, but complementary creative methods and styles.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I see myself further developed and engaged in my professional field. My primary goal is to make a significant contribution to the company’s success by spearheading innovative projects and actively collaborating with the team and external companies operating in the wide Corporate Social Responsibility to achieve common objectives. I aspire to grow professionally because, as I always say, we never stop learning, potentially taking on a leadership role or providing more guidance within the organization. Additionally, I hope to continue tackling stimulating challenges while maintaining a healthy balance between work and my personal life.