Warning This site is not recommended for Internet Explorer browsers. Please use another web browser to get a better experience.

Maria Spada


Quality Manager, Safran Oil Systems

3D loom : carbon fiber

How long have you been working at Safran?

Eight years.

How would you describe your role?

I am responsible for managing and overseeing the activities of the quality department and staff. I develop, implement, and maintain a system of quality that is reliable and safe for the production and development of processes.

What are you passionate about?

For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in space shuttles and aircraft. My parents’ basement was filled with photos from NASA and different aircraft. I was always curious about how airplanes are designed, developed, and operated.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?

The aviation/aeronautical field is very challenging. Coming across customers or suppliers that underestimated my technical expertise to solve their issues or concerns was a challenge as a female engineer. The way I overcame it was to communicate technically, precisely, and efficiently. Building trust, comporting myself with grace and dignity, and having a good sense of humor definitely helped.

Have you been inspired by any women in your life? Please name them and briefly describe how they have impacted you.

Aeronautical engineering has a strong male influence. Therefore, most of my career inspirations were derived from great male engineers. My biggest influence was my mother who was an immigrant to North America with a limited education. She encouraged me to have the strength to complete my engineering degree. She taught me to try hard and if I failed, to try harder until I achieved my goals and fulfilled my destiny.

What is your proudest professional moment?

My proudest moment was participating in the first flight of a new aircraft where I was a part of an engineering system integration team that designed and developed the aircraft.

What have you learned by working in the international environment that comes with the global scope of Safran?

One of the key attributes to working globally is to be open-minded and adaptable to differences in cultures and company policies.

What can your personal achievements/career progress at Safran teach us about women’s leadership?

Push yourself to keep growing. Do not be afraid to take calculated risks and lead my example. Be ambitious but stay humble. Become very skilled and vigilant so that your talent and commitment will not go unnoticed.