International Day of Women and Girls in Science with Angela Falagario

Last Sunday, we celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The initiative comes from the United Nations, in an effort to call attention to a persistent issue in terms of gender equality: the still significant gender gap in STEM all over the world. Two women who unintentionally show the way to young women in agriculture by being great at their technical jobs are Claudia Campanella and Angela Falagario. This week, we celebrate them and all the women in agtech who show the younger generations of women that it is possible. Because, as we know, representation matters. Today, we meet Angela.

Like Claudia, mechanical engineer Angela Falagario started her career in the automotive sector: first in R&D at Fiat Auto Research Center – where she patented her first technology, a Hybrid Metal-Plastic Tech for Structural Applications – then at Fiat Auto, focusing on Product Development and becoming System Responsible for complete cockpit modules. In 2008, after twelve years in automotive, she switched to Agricultural machinery at CNH.

A new way of testing

For four years, Angela focused on supporting and facilitating the company’s transition to a modern, innovative, structured approach to testing. In that role, she was a key factor in the implementation of a full integrated test planning based on work tasks. This plan is still today the point of reference for testing at the company. During her first assignment, however, she found that test repository was very out-to-date and proceeded to a complete renovation through the definition of specific targets, basically pioneering the role of Vehicle Testing Responsible and creating a whole new standard inside the company.

After this, Angela moved on to the position of Specialty Platform Manager at New Holland. Here, she patented the second technology in her career: the BLUE CAB™ 4, featuring a double filtration system that guarantees the operators’ safety and comfort. Having extended expertise on all aspects of the job, she covered the role of Cost Reduction Cross Platform and Utility program Manager for several years. But Angela can’s seem to sit still for long. Already, she is working on a new challenging project at New Holland, currently under embargo.

Safety

The theme of Angela’s career seems to be customer safety, whether active or passive. She focused on safety while working in the automotive sector, where she was dedicated to the complete development of the cars’ cockpit including airbag, air conditioning, active and passive safety devices for seven years. When she moved to CNH, she applied to agriculture the methods and practices she learned in automotive. “Angela developed a whole new approach to testing and safety inside New Holland and basically supporting and promoting a culture and knowledge shift inside the company, moving from a outdated to a more modern and up-to-date way of conceiving safety in agriculture”, New Holland states.

“Especially in Europe, operators of agricultural machines and light equipment are often forced to deal with limited, very tight workspaces; with irregular, bumpy or uneven terrains and risky working conditions. This is especially true with the specialty segment, which, by definition, is dedicated to the wider variety of applications and needs to be adaptable to a myriad of conditions, often in unsafe environments. Through a scientific and methodologic approach, Angela immediately recognized the need to prioritize safety during the first phases of the product development, focusing on the platform management and on the testing phase.”

Angela developed not one but several important innovations in her career, one of them BLUE CAB™ 4, an innovative design focused on the well-being and safety of those working in vineyards and orchards, to offer protection and insulation when carrying out phytosanitary treatments. “BLUE CAB™ 4 features a double filtration system that can be activated by the operator with the push of a button. The pressure difference within the cab works together with the filters action, allowing an enhanced filtration against dust, aerosols and vapors and guaranteeing the operators’ complete safety and comfort”, the brand continues.

Inspiring change

According to the International Labor Organization’s estimates, approximately 170.000 agricultural workers are killed during their work each year. This means that people in our industry have twice as big a risk of dying on the job compared to workers from other industries. Many more people in agriculture are (often seriously) injured in workplace accidents involving agricultural machinery or are poisoned by pesticides and other agrochemicals. Just in Italy, at least twenty deadly accidents related to agricultural machinery specifically occur per year, according to New Holland. Less visible components such as products might not cause direct problems, but can result in health problems in the long term. Safety is of the utmost importance in our industry. And that’s where Angela Falagario comes in.

“Her passion and commitment to improve safety and sustainability for the future generations of agricultural workers is to be recognized as outstanding and her achievements in the sector are visible to everyone. She contributed to improve New Holland’s reputation and, by doing that, she set a whole new standard in the whole industry in terms of safety and overall attention to operators’ needs.”

Both Angela and Claudia were nominated by New Holland for the 2023 Women in Ag Awards at Agritechnica, and we understand why. Like Claudia, Angela sets an example for women and girls who dream of a career in a technical job in our industry. Because of women like them, young girls finally have people to look up to and a reason to believe that they, too, can do it. They inspire the change our industry needs.

 

 

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