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Gilberta Gabrielli Minganti

1897 - 1970


Gilberta Gabrielli Minganti (Bologna, 1897 - Bologna, 1970) was the first italian woman who got a national prize by the President of the Republic for her commitments in the job development and long career. After getting married to Giuseppe Minganti, one of the pioneers of the Italian tooling industry, she worked her whole life with her husband, taking care of the organizational and accounting part of the factory.

Giuseppe, self-educated, grew in the father’s garage, and for his brilliance and resourcefulness was soon known also abroad, and, in 1928 in Paris, he submitted the first hydraulic-leading lathe with constant variety of speed. In the next years, the factory developed rapidly until 1943, when unluckily it was bombed. At the end of the war, Giuseppe tried starting the difficult reconstruction of the factory, but he didn’t manage and he died in 1947. At that point, Gilberta, in spite of the skepticism of people, took over and reinvigorated the company from its ruins, guiding it with intelligence and firmness to the successful production of precision machinery and to the opening of a new and modern headquarter in Via Ferrarese, in Bolognina. She was full of ideas and spirit of innovation, which allowed her to compete at the same level as other industrialists. She was, in fact, a small, well-groomed woman with a very strong personality and an extraordinary practical sense. Mrs. Minganti worked for twelve hours a day; she travelled in order to enhance national and international relations; she spent a lot of money on investments and she surrounded herself with top-level collaborators. All these aspects allowed her to break a kind of taboo. Six years later, in 1970, when Gilberta died, her death coincided with the industrial crisis and with the decline of her factory. Today the whole complex, designed by the architect Francesco Santini in the fifties on an area of 40,000 square meters, is occupied by a shopping centre. However, it has kept the charm of an industrial building planned with care, especially for what concerns the use of space in line with what Giuseppe Minganti would certainly have liked.

Traduzione a cura di Rodolfo Rigosi, Margherita Sforza, Sofia Guida; nell'ambito del progetto di Alternanza scuola-lavoro 2017/18 con il Liceo Ginnasio Luigi Galvani di Bologna.