María Galainena: Passion and hard work

Published on Thursday, 28 September 2023

“We were a small group in a corner, with the mission of breaking down many preconceived notions: the lack of competitiveness of renewables, their integration into the grid, and so on... in short, we had to demonstrate that energy generation from renewable sources had a future.”

– María Galainena, Head of Engineering and Construction for Argentina, Chile, Peru and Central America.

María Galainena

María played a key role in the takeoff of these new technologies in Spain and their international expansion. She worked in several companies: an electrical company, a construction company, and a Capital Investment firm, all before joining ENEL. After several roles within E&C (WCOE, Wind Design), she moved with her family to Italy as Head of E&C Disciplines and later took on the role of Head of HSEQ at EGP. In 2022, she was appointed to oversee the Engineering and Construction area in Chile for Latin America and given the necessary autonomy to drive the growth of renewables in the region.

Due to its unique characteristics, the design and construction of power plants has traditionally been one of the most male-dominated areas within the electricity industry. However, for Maria, this has not been an obstacle to achieving success and completing projects, from their blueprints to the final physical and functional infrastructure.

“The world of Construction and Energy is predominantly a man's world, but I've reached this point through hard work and a passion for what I do. There's no other secret than that. I am a passionate person, and I put that passion into my work. I simply believed in myself, refused to limit myself, and fearlessly seized the opportunities that Enel has placed on my path. This has allowed me to navigate this predominantly male, though not macho, environment. I am a clear example of this as a mother of three who has been promoted twice while pregnant.”

– adds - María Galainena

María Galainena

For Maria, part of her success is the clear vision and shared objectives she has with the company, which have kept her motivated and proud to have been part of a pioneering team that is now leading the global energy transition.

María advises young women not to limit themselves, to study the subject they are truly passionate about, what they enjoy, and to leverage their talents, since most of the barriers keeping them from progressing are self-imposed.

María Galainena

Her testimony reflects that of a determined woman, ready to seize the opportunities her job is providing so that her children can become global citizens. She believes that her experience will be crucial for the development of the next generation of professionals who will take over the commitment to work for a more sustainable electrified world.