Our People: Meet Rita
Rita is the valves sustaining engineering leader for our Pisa, Italy site, where she actively contributes to improving engineering processes. She is known as the “go to” person on sustaining activities for the Operations, Product Management and Technical Support teams. Rita has been with Pentair since 2010.
What is one piece of advice you have received in your career, personally or professionally, that greatly impacted you as a women today?
When I was 7 years old, my mother told me: “Take care of your education by yourself; it will be your best weapon throughout your life.” She repeated this when I was 24, going through a hard time and about to drop out of University. I stayed in school!
What is one piece of advice you would give women trying to enter the STEM fields based on your experiences?
To women who love math, science or physics, or like to assemble and disassemble things, I’d say just do it! A gender gap should not scare you. Men and women may be different for cultural and other reasons, but a woman’s abilities are no less than a man’s. My advice is do what makes you happy!
Who has inspired you and why?
I come from a family of farmers, going back centuries. My mother dropped out of school when she was only 10 – at that time it was normal for young girls living in southern Italy to leave school to help their families work in the fields. She has often told me she regrets that decision. Later she became a dressmaker, but often thinks she could have become ‘something else,’ if only she’d had the opportunity.
As you can see, I didn’t grow up surrounded by scientists or engineers. My mother’s experience touched me deeply and made me aware of the importance of education. Education makes people free…in all possible ways.