Siemens Energy’s CFO on why she became chief inclusion and diversity officer, too

Good morning,

“Whatever I do, even if I’m sitting in a board meeting doing succession planning, I always have [inclusion and diversity] on my mind,” Maria Ferraro, CFO and chief inclusion and diversity officer (CIDO) at the technology company Siemens Energy AG, told me. Ferraro holds two C-suite positions she believes are intertwined. 

The Canadian native has been with Siemens Group AG since 2004 working across the globe. In 2017, she was appointed CFO of digital factory/digital industries. Ferraro served as chief diversity officer at Siemens AG from December 2019 to April 2020. Then in May 2020, she became CFO at Siemens Energy, a spin-off of the German multinational conglomerate. Becoming finance chief at “a new company with a long history,” meant Ferraro had to initially step away from her diversity role. But she’d soon have the opportunity to continue her passion when she became CIDO on November 23, 2020.

Maria Ferraro, CFO and chief inclusion and diversity officer, Siemens Energy.

Siemens Energy offers products and services from power generation and transmission to storage. The company, led by CEO Christian Bruch, began trading on September 28, 2020 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the ticker  ENR1n.DE. It generated revenue of around €27.5 billion (about $32.57 billion) in fiscal year 2020 and has majority stake in the listed company Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE). Siemens Energy has over 90,000 employees in more than 90 countries. I asked Ferraro how she’s keeping track of inclusion and diversity. 

“I don’t do it on my own,” she says. To support the strategic initiative, Ferraro has instituted a new global council, “right down to the country level,” and serves as chair, she says. “I have CEOs of some global businesses,” in the council, “but I also have other representatives within a support function there,” she says. A framework for inclusion, mental health and wellness, and accessibility may vary depending upon the country, Ferraro says. “I need to give latitude and empower people enough to be able to execute on these topics within their countries, but give them the resources to do it,” she says. 

The council in each country is cross-departmental from finance, HR, communications, and sales, among others, and meets monthly. “We have a larger group meeting on quarterly basis,” Ferraro says. Right now, it has been more of getting the process going, but in a year’s time, she expects to concrete examples of the council’s effectiveness, she noted.

Siemens Energy also has the goal of increasing the number of women in executive leadership positions on first and second levels to 25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030. “A hard KPI is what I call it … and we’re on track there,” Ferraro says. The company also measures the percentage of spend on diverse suppliers and sustainable suppliers. Sustainability is one of Ferraro’s major focuses as CFO of a “global energy technology company that’s helping our customers and our stakeholders [in] the energy transformation,” she says. “We’ve committed ourselves by 2023 to have only energy sources, for example, from green sources,” Ferraro says. As finance chief, she ensures there’s transparency in reporting EU taxonomy requirements and reports sent to the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

Ferraro’s role as CFO is enhanced by the holistic understanding of how diversity drives Siemens Energy’s business, she says. “In Egypt, on a contract that had locals, plus people from headquarters and representatives from the sales organization, when all those individuals worked together, we were more successful [and] that project was more profitable,” she says. In her CFO role, Ferraro can provide “tangibility” of the fact that inclusion and diversity are fundamental for sustainable value creation, she says. 

See you tomorrow.

Sheryl Estrada

Big deal

Bakkt, a digital asset platform, commissioned a survey released on September 1 detailing customer use of cryptocurrencies. The data indicated that 48% of respondents have invested money in crypto in the past six months. More than half (58%) of respondents who own crypto do so as a long-term investment, compared to 11% who use the digital currency for transfers and payments. The data is based on a survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers on the platform conducted in July 2021.

Courtesy of Bakkt

Going deeper

A Gallup poll released September 3 found 56% of Americans favor vaccination requirements at their office or work site, 53% in the U.S. support them for dining in a restaurant, and 61% favor vaccination requirements for air travel. 


Vanna Krantz was named CFO at Passport, a transportation software and payments company. Most recently Krantz was the CFO at Masterclass. She has also served as the CFO of Disney Streaming Services. In addition, Krantz has held various divisional CFO roles at Thomson Reuters and senior finance positions at Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Igor Lima was named CFO at Learning Tree International, an IT training company. Lima replaces current CFO, David Asai, who will remain with the company in an advisory capacity throughout September. Most recently, Lima served as CFO of Mailgun Technologies, Credible Behavioral Health Software, and Amify.


"Technology’s changing—you’re getting smaller satellites with big constellations, and how the old guard are going to compete against that is something we have to watch."

—Bank of America aerospace and defense equity analyst Ronald Epstein on the new space economy, as told to Fortune.

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