Women in Spine Series: Francesca, Market Development, Italy

In honor of International Women’s Day coming up on March 8, we’re dedicating a special series for some of our female leaders at NuVasive. What is International Women’s Day (IWD)? It is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women all over. In addition, IWD marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Internationally, purple is a color for symbolizing women, signifying justice and dignity. At NuVasive, our mission is to paint the world purple and continue to change as many patient lives as possible. Pairing the two purples together, we hope NUVA can help drive the movement to increase unity, advocacy, and action in our society.

Featuring our next #WomenInSpine, Francesca, Senior Manager of Market Development in Italy:

What woman inspires you and why? 

There are a lot of women who inspire me by doing something that changes the world and they become an example for others. The woman who inspires me the most is the scientist physician Rita Levi Montalcini. She came from a Jewish family, so during World War II, she moved very often from place to place. Every time she moved, she would build a laboratory in her shelter to continue her studies about the nervous system. This incredible tenacity eventually led to her receiving a Nobel award in 1986. In her life, she worked proactively in research and supported various social, political, environmental, and humanitarian campaigns. She defined herself as a free thinker, one who was determined, lively minded, and always ready to fight for what was important. She crossed a century of great events without fear of defeats, barriers or regrets she could meet, completely focused on her dream.

What advice would you give to other female professionals in Market Development? 

When someone asks “What is your job”, very often, I answer “I’m a problem solver”. Often I am faced with new projects and tasked with managing different challenges my team faces every day, and these projects require imagination, consideration, responsibility, and decision-making capabilities. One of the biggest difficulties you’ll face is being able to bounce back after being wrong in a situation. Accept the new situation and find a solution. Don’t obstruct the real purpose, it isn’t to demonstrate you are right, but to do a good job and produce something that can be useful for our colleagues and our patients.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership? 

In the western world, from a legal and formal point of view, there is gender equality. That is the most significant barrier to female leadership that is rooted in access to education and consequently, the image of the female that grows up in both male and females’ young minds. The message that family environment, school, and media should transmit is that the inclinations, abilities, passions, choices, and opportunities determine professional and personal growth. Fear and loneliness are the biggest threats to a lot of women, but we will feel most alone when we lose ourselves and our freedom. Those are the fundamentals for female leadership and what we should truly remember.

How do you think the female perspective benefits our company’s mission of changing patient lives? 

Women are determined, resolute, and sometimes punctilious in front of important missions, like the wellness of others. So when the mission of our company is changing patient lives, I’m sure that women are determined in transmitting this message to others. They fight to enhance the things that can improve the quality of life of patients. The actual changing of patient lives will be compensation and the message of changing lives will be motivation.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you? 

The challenge is always the same for females and males. To insert our life project into society in a sincere, ethic, and responsible manner. Very difficult! Apparently, today everybody can do whatever they want, but having a life project is different: it requires investment, consideration, time and the ability to accept bad results and drastic changes. Until today, the social rules represented a guide for the youth. Now, the creative freedom to what life can hold for a young person gives them great power to decide where they take their life path. Navigating all of that freedom may be the biggest challenge for the next generation.

To learn more about International Women’s Day and how you can get involved, click here.


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