Top 10: Women in Manufacturing in the UK & Europe

Top 10 Women in Manufacturing UK & Europe: Volvo, Ferrari, Volkswagen, Stellantis, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Atlas, Airbus & STMicroelectronics
Rajita D'Souza

Rajita D'Souza is the CHRO, President Human Resources and CSR at STMicroelectronics. She studied law at the University of Mumbai and now lives in Geneva, Switzerland. She has experience across tire, chemical, plastic and electrical manufacturing, while specialising in union council relations, management development and employee retention strategies, as well as compensation and benefits management.

D’souza has worked at STMicroelectronics since 2021 and previously worked in Bekaert and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

Nina Buta

Machine manufacturer Atlas Copco turns industrial ideas into business-critical benefits. Buta has spent six years with Atlas Copco and she currently serves as the Head of Distributed Manufacturing Semiconductor Service Division in the UK. Buta earned her BA in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Brighton, where she graduated in July 1997. This was followed by a Master of Science in Computational Modelling and Finite Elements in Engineering from Swansea University. 

Silvia Gabrielli

Silvia Gabrielli is the Chief Digital and Data Officer at Ferrari. She is based in Modena, Italy. Gabrielli joined Ferrari in 2019 as Head of Digital & Analytics. Previously, she worked as Digital Transformation Advisor at Microsoft and Business Transformation Consultant and Industry Principal at SAP

Her responsibilities involve overseeing digital channels, data and analytics, CRM, car configurator and the management of connected vehicles.

Hauke Stars

Hauke Stars is based in Wolfsburg, Germany and is a member of the Executive Board and CDO of Volkswagen Group. She studied Computer Science at Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, 1986 to 1991. Stars also holds a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Warwick. 

As a member of the Executive Board and Chief Digital Officer at Volkswagen, she is passionate about fostering a culture of trust and ethics and bringing new digital solutions to the road.

Brigitte Courtehoux

Brigitte Courtehoux lives in Paris and is the Chief Executive Officer at Free2Move, Stellantis. The company aspires to become a sustainable mobility technology leader, while creating added value for all stakeholders and the communities in which stellantis works. Courtehoux has also worked at Group PSA and EDF. With the Free2move Connect Fleet solution, Courtehoux helps its partners to take control over their fleet, with real-time vehicle data to cut the carbon footprint for a more sustainable mobility and increase efficiency and safety through driving patterns analysis. 

Ilka Horstmeier

Born in Duisburg, Germany, in 1969, Horstmeier pursued an education at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, 1988 to 1994, earning a degree in Business Administration. She then joined the BMW Group as a trainee and went on to hold various roles in production and logistics. In 2012, she led the company-wide initiative ‘Future employment structures' before becoming Senior Vice President of Production and Planning.

Renata Jungo Brüngger

Renata Jungo Brüngger is a Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group, where she works with integrity, governance and sustainability in mind. Before her current role, Brüngger held the position of Vice President and General Counsel at Mercedes-Benz from 2011 to 2015, based in Stuttgart. Prior to joining Mercedes-Benz, she worked at Emerson Electric and General Counsel in Switzerland.

“Sustainability – this is not just a buzzword, but a central part of the business strategy of Mercedes-Benz,” she says.

Erika Ludwig Burk

Erika Ludwig Burk is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Porsche Cars North America. Burk recently visited GeorgiaTech to participate in a German Days event, where she enjoyed hearing the aspirations of students at the start of their professional journeys. 

“I look forward to taking their perspectives back to my team as we work together on ways to fuel the curiosity and enthusiasm for the next generation of Porsche team members and enthusiasts alike.”

Andrea Fuder

Andrea Fuder serves as the Executive Vice President, Chief Purchasing Officer Volvo Group, based in Gothenburg. As The Volvo Group has one of the biggest Purchasing Departments in the world, Fuder’s day is busy covering supplier quality and indirect purchasing. She is also committed to Volvo reaching its net-zero targets and decarbonising production.

Fuder took part in the World Economic Forum “Meet the Leader” podcast to explore the role of CPOs.

“Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration,” said when asked about the work involved in her role. “We have to work internally in the companies, but also externally, hand in hand, to make it happen,” she said.

1. Julie Kitcher


Julie Kitcher

Julie Kitcher is the Chief Sustainability Officer and Communications at Airbus. She has spent over 20 years in aerospace and is focused on the decarbonisation of the sector and the broader sustainability agenda with a focus on societal value: 

  • Valuing people
  • Respecting the planet 
  • Enabling prosperity. 

“I engage with individuals and businesses throughout the aerospace industry and beyond who share my passion for driving change through responsible practices, driven by a clear Purpose,” she says.

A big part of Kitcher’s role is ensuring effective advocacy, to inspire action across the manufacturing sector.

“I believe that aviation is a great uniting force. I’m inspired by the early aviation pioneers – dreamers and problem-solvers, engineers and global citizens,” she says. “They show us what can be achieved through ingenuity, technology, and sheer resilience.”



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