Linda Herrera’s journey in Tenaris started when she was awarded a Roberto Rocca Scholarship in 2014. She then had the opportunity to do a six-month professional training at Tenaris’s mill in Cartagena, Colombia where she later joined as a maintenance analyst, “I did a lot of maintenance planning work, focused on creating a team and building a clear methodology to plan and execute scheduled repairs and extraordinary repairs.” Her growth path continued when she took on the role of maintenance manager at the mill. “I think my journey is a great example of how organizations like Tenaris invest in young talent and help them grow into leadership roles,” she says.
The 27-year-old mechanical engineer enjoys her role managing the maintenance activities at Tenaris’s mill in Colombia, where she leads a team of 23 people and focuses on preventative work, ensuring equipment is running smoothly. She attributes her success in leaning on her planning skills and leading with empathy.
"I believe empathetic leadership makes a big difference in motivating teams," Herrera says. "It makes the connection that much stronger, more authentic. I know the names of the wives, children and grandchildren of everybody on my team." Herrera's focus on building relationships with her team members helps her understand their aspirations and motivations. "We all have different things that drive us, and you can only know that when you take the time to get to know them," she says.
Showing her team the strategic role of maintenance in the company, big picture, has been another key component in how Herrera leads.
“I believe that we need to empower all our people by giving them information so that they understand the business and see how they contribute to it. Maintenance is not just firefighters putting out fires, but strategic contributors helping to achieve the company’s objectives.”
Linda Herrera, Maintenance Manager at TenarisTuboCaribe
Working in a diverse environment, Herrera acknowledges the challenges she faces. "The number of women in the maintenance department is now increasing, but when I joined, I was the only one. Another challenge is generational diversity; we have very young people in the team as well as those with decades of experience in the company," she explains. Despite the challenges, Herrera is handling her role well. "Having a leadership role in this complex team, on balance, I would say I’m handling it OK," she says.
Herrera is continuing her studies, taking the Advanced Maintenance Program online at the Politecnico di Milano, looking to keep growing in the Maintenance department at Tenaris. Outside of work, she loves to go out and dance, read crime fiction and thrillers, and enjoys hiking through the mountains.