Celebrating Women In Leadership – Annamaria Cozza

Celebrating Women In Leadership: Annamaria Cozza, Maxeon Solar Technology
Diversity and Inclusion
Female Leaders

There are several reasons why cleantech and renewable energy companies may have a head start when it comes to attracting top talent.

The increasing awareness of the impact that human activities have on the environment, and the desire to do something about it drives many individuals to look for ways to make a positive impact and contribute to a more sustainable future. Working for a cleantech or renewable energy company can be a way to do that.

Another reason is that the cleantech and renewable energy sectors are growing rapidly and offer exciting opportunities for innovation and growth. These companies are often at the forefront of technological developments and are driving the transition to a more sustainable future.

In addition, cleantech and renewable energy companies are often seen as more socially responsible and aligned with values such as environmental stewardship and social justice. This can make them more appealing to employees who are looking for meaningful work and want to make a difference in the world.

As an executive search firm closely working with companies in this sector, Pacific International knows that despite these advantages, cleantech and renewable energy companies struggle to attract diverse talent.

Each year, International Women’s Day brings into focus the continued need to highlight the issues around diversity and inclusion.

This year, we celebrate companies that #EmbraceEquity and actively champion diversity and inclusion by amplifying the stories of their female leaders.

Rupert Haffenden, Head of the Renewable Energy & Cleantech Sector at Pacific International, spoke with Annamaria Cozza, Global Brand Director at Maxeon Solar Technology (NASDAQ: MAXN), a global leader in solar innovation headquartered in Singapore, to talk about her professional journey, inspirational women in her life and the key challenges facing women in 2023 and beyond.

RH: Hello Annamaria and thank you for your time today. Please tell us about your professional journey as a female leader and the challenges you faced along the way.

AC: It would be quite pretentious of me to call myself a leader. I prefer we use the word catalyst. I have always wanted to create an environment where everybody can become the very best version of themselves.

Sometimes I did find myself in situations that did not encourage me to give my best and I found it such a waste of effort and resources. But in general, I believe that all such situations and experiences teach us something about ourselves that otherwise we would not have discovered.

What continues to puzzle me is that even nowadays women are still perceived as mothers first as if all women, before being individuals, were first and foremost mothers. Do we consider men as being first and foremost fathers? Probably not…

RH: Were there any significant women in your life who impacted who you are today?

AC: I’ve been very fortunate to meet a few inspirational women. One of them is Amy Carrol, an amazing communication coach I have met many years ago. Amy helped me understand that although I often have no control over situations I find myself in, I have the power to decide how to react to them and this new perspective has inspired me ever since.

Another strong woman I admire is pop star Madonna. She made a name for herself despite her humble beginnings but has never settled and she continues to set new trends and re-invent herself by stepping outside her comfort zone. A very inspirational attitude that I try to emulate.

RH: Pacific International champions diversity both internally and for every executive search engagement. You have experienced working with Pacific first-hand – could you share your experience?

AC: I remember very well when I received your first message, Rupert, and I thought “OK, why not” but I had low expectations. That changed during the first interview, you made me feel so comfortable I felt like I was speaking with a colleague rather than an executive recruiter. Many recruiters’ goal is to expose the person’s weaknesses. With you, it was the opposite. I felt like you were trying to understand my strengths and get to know me, and that made all the difference.

RH: I appreciate your kind words, Annamaria! And the final question, in your view, what are the key challenges facing women in 2023 and beyond?

AC: Many conversations about women leaders frequently evolve around training on how to gain confidence and be more assertive. These characteristics are usually associated with men. I’d love to see training courses for men leaders on how to be more empathetic and more caring: two qualities that are often considered (rightly or wrongly) to be a female domain. There is a lot of talk about these qualities in leadership courses, but we still hardly ever experience male bosses embodying them.

RH: Thank you for your insights, Annamaria.

For a confidential discussion about how Pacific International can assist you with your Talent Acquisitions and Diversity challenges, please contact Manuel Preg or one of our Executive Search Consultants specialising in your sector.