Revving Up in the Land Down Under: Vanessa Giordani’s Road to Success

Revving Up in the Land Down Under: Vanessa Giordani’s Road to Success

Vanessa Giordani's career in the automotive industry began with a lucky encounter – she stumbled upon a booklet advertising engineering careers during her university days in Brazil. Little did she know that this moment would steer her towards a career with Nissan on the other side of the world, ensuring the highest quality of parts, vehicles, and processes for Nissan Australia.

Studying engineering at university, Vanessa initially felt more passionate about the practical side of the course. She reflects, "Once I completed the mandatory mathematics courses and delved into problem solving, I discovered my passion for it". That eureka moment led to her debut in the automotive industry as a quality engineer.

Vanessa participating in the Onigiri Action event at Nissan Australia

Opportunity knocked when she was presented with a chance to fulfil a lifelong ambition of working abroad. Vanessa eagerly moved to Australia, not even waiting to complete her visa application before making the big leap. This led to an unexpected stopover inNew Zealand before she could officially begin her new life in Australia. Eventually, she seized the opportunity to join Nissan, finding her place at the casting plant in Melbourne.

In the hectic, non-stop environment of the casting plant, Vanessa fearlessly forged a path ahead for herself, first as a Quality Manager and then as a New Business Manager. Looking back on this first role she reflects on how she relished the challenge of "developing a strong team and implementing new systems and tools to help us improve quality performance". Her talent saw her rise to New Business Manager, where she was trusted with numerous demanding responsibilities including negotiating the allocation of new EV components to be manufactured in Australia. Once again, Vanessa rose to the challenge, and it wasn't long before she was thrust into a brand-new role away from the plant where she had made her first impression.

After seven years at the casting plant, Vanessa's dedication and skills propelled her to the position of Deputy General Manager of Procurement for Nissan in Australia – a role she cherishes. "This role allows me to assess efficiencies across our various workstreams, getting the opportunity to ask, 'What are we doing?', 'How can we change?', 'Can we do better?", Vanessa enthusiastically shares. As Nissan gears up for electrification on a global level, Vanessa is eager to shape how existing workstreams can adapt to the electric vehicle revolution.

Another cause close to Vanessa's heart is the representation of women within the automotive industry. She has already participated in multiple events for the "Girls on Track" initiative – a programme in Australia designed to support young women from the ages of 15 to 22 pursuing careers in the industry. Vanessa is pleased with the progress the initiative has made and even notes that one participant secured a position at Nissan's casting plant through the network. However, she acknowledges, "We need to do more, or other girls won't have the same opportunities".

In Vanessa's view, her procurement community boasts "a good mix of culture". Nevertheless, she is aware of the importance of giving women more visibility in all aspects of the automotive industry, not just a select few. She believes outdated assumptions, such as the notion that women need a man to buy a car, persist, holding back female participation in the industry. It is these perceptions that she feels need to be changed if further progress is to be achieved.

Vanessa with her family

Ultimately, Vanessa's journey into the automotive industry came somewhat by chance. She acknowledges that her success and passion stem from the opportunities that came her way and the inspiration she gained from her professional mentors. This guidance, received when she was just starting out, now fuels her determination to inspire those under her leadership, encouraging them to power the industry forward. Especially for the women she mentors, Vanessa aims to convince them that the automotive industry is a place they truly belong.

In the vibrant world of automotive engineering, Vanessa Giordani exemplifies the power of seizing opportunities, challenging the status quo, and inspiring the next generation of industry leaders. Her journey shows that dedication and a passion for change can take you far, even if you didn't plan on it in the first place!