Celebrating diversity by blazing trails.

Pioneering Leadership in a Diverse World Insights from Two Remarkable Individuals

In a world where diversity is increasingly celebrated, Alia Hall and Daniel Magon have blazed trails in their respective domains, challenging traditional gender roles and cultural boundaries. Their journeys to leadership positions offer valuable lessons for aspiring professionals.

Dipl.-Ing. Alia Hall

Segment Head – Driveline & Electrification
Continental Engineering Services USA

Shattering Glass Ceilings in Engineering

Alia’s path to a leadership position in an industry predominantly occupied by men is a testament to determination and a passion for her field. Armed with a post-graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, Alia’s journey was marked by a series of strategic moves and unwavering commitment.

During her academic years, Alia founded her university’s Formula Student team, demonstrating leadership skills and a knack for innovation. These extracurricular activities, coupled with internships and working student positions, provided her with a solid foundation. Alia’s career took off when she led the design and construction of a greenfield manufacturing facility in Ohio, USA, for a Tier1 company.

Alia’s path wasn’t without its challenges. Maternity leave presented her with dips in her career, but her involvement in the Continental Women’s Network in Detroit proved to be a crucial support system. This group of women became her inspiration, offering guidance and encouragement during difficult times.

When asked about advice for young women aspiring to leadership positions, Alia emphasised the importance of setting clear career goals and identifying the necessary steps to achieve them. She encourages them not to overthink the application process, understanding that rejections can be stepping-stones toward personal and professional growth.

When asked about her proudest achievement, Alia shares her guiding principle, “I am particularly proud of being able to keep my career focused working in areas that I am passionate about. This keeps me motivated and driven to go over and above.” Her current role involves growing the business in drivetrain electrification in North America, a challenge she embraces with enthusiasm.

Daniel Magon

Head of Continental Engineering Services Asia

Bridging Cultural Divides for Global Success

Daniel’s career has been a journey across continents and cultures, providing him with a unique perspective on work dynamics and communication. Working with colleagues from diverse backgrounds in Japan, China, Korea and India has reshaped his approach to business. Reflecting on his experiences, he offers this insight: “While this finding is nothing new, I learnt that understanding each other’s concerns and intentions along language barriers is the real challenge.”

He acknowledges the importance of understanding cultural nuances in relationships and decision-making processes. Daniel’s experiences highlight the significance of effective internal communication in a global organization like Continental Engineering Services (CES).

As a leader, Daniel brings a balance between European and Asian cultures to his teams. He facilitates connections between colleagues from different regions and bridges gaps in communication styles. While German communication tends to be direct, he recognizes the preference for more indirect communication in Asian cultures. His role involves nurturing mutual understanding among team members, irrespective of language barriers.

Daniel’s journey to leadership was supported by a mentor who recognised his dedication and passion. He was afforded opportunities to take on international responsibilities, accelerating his career growth.

One of Daniel’s proudest achievements is the sustained business relationship his team in Japan has maintained with Honda. He is currently spearheading a new venture in Japan, building on CES’s ARAS technology for motorcycles, which promises exciting prospects in the Japanese market.

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