Celebrating International Women’s Day with Vanessa Buttignon

On 8 March 2021, we are proud to celebrate International Women’s Day. This is a special opportunity to shine the spotlight on women working in the garden and outdoor power equipment industry, highlighting their unique experiences and expertise, and what led them on this career path.

We are delighted to share with you the story of Vanessa Buttignon, EU Corporate Affairs Manager at John Deere, as well as an active expert in EGMF, highlighting her key role and motivation in shaping our industry!

What is your current job title and responsibilities?

I am the Corporate Affairs manager for Europe. I work on trying to ensure that the  policy and legislative environment is favorable to our industry. My day-to-day work involves lots of readings and knowledge sharing with my colleagues and with other stakeholders in Brussels. This is how I have started to work with EGMF and became the Chair of the Task Force Environment & Sustainability. This combination creates a pleasant and dynamic workflow for me, there is always something new to do! 

What initially interested you, and let you do this industry?

As a lobbyist, it´s easier if you can relate to the sector and have a good understanding of the business. My grandmother was quite the gardener. From a very young age I loved working beside her in her lush garden. Still today, in an unstable and often infuriating world, I find it extremely therapeutic to see my hydrangea reliably spring to life every year. Connecting this early-age experience with my experience with John Deere landscape products naturally led me to EGMF and this industry.

Do you have any insights or advice for other women who may not know this industry as a potential sector for them?

Women should definitely not be intimidated because this is supposedly a “man’s world”. Women choosing to work in the machinery and gardening sector are not looking for the most obvious career path, but the industry has changed a lot in the last 10 to 20 years and I would encourage young women to keep an open mind. Working in a high-tech company is really fun and challenging, and all jobs are now open to women, including the most technical ones.

Read our full conversation with Vanessa here.