This event´s theme was to celebrate International Women’s Day with ‘Women in Tech’. It was an extremely inspiring event for all present as we heard from 4 different women, each highly successful so driven and full of energy, you couldn´t help but feel it rub off on you!
The first speaker was Yaara Tam, the Team manager for South & Central Europe at Amazon Web Services. This highly talented woman from a small town in Israel who always dreamed of being a lawyer, strove to achieve her goal although when she got there, she realized that it didn´t quite fulfill her.
Today with more than 18 years of experience in acquisition, sales and management positions and leading multinational & multicultural teams in important companies such as IBM, she has been happily working for the last 4 years at Amazon Web Services. This single mum of 3 is what could be called an all-round super woman who cleverly balances her work and personal life.
Yaara expressed how she needs to have a career that challenges her and explained that one of her passions that keeps her sane with the stresses which can come with the job is taking part in the Iron Man triathlons. She has achieved a perfect balance, for example, if she has to go to her children at 4pm then she will go but she makes sure that her work is finished! It has been a long Journey to get to where she is today but said that you have to follow your dream and never give up! A truly inspiring woman!
Susana Andujar Ruiz, the Chief Digital Officer at Orange Spain spoke next. Susana boasts more than 19 years’ experience in ecommerce and an impressive curriculum under her belt! She studied business but today works far away from what she studied, but expressed that restlessness and curiosity is all that matters to learn more every day and to have the desire to change the world and not to be a conformist.
Always hungry to work in innovative roles, this impressive career woman dared to create Carrefour online. Back when internet sales where not developed and pretty much unheard-of, Carrefour was only used to selling through the supermarket and brochures. She learnt so much in that period but she had to swim against the tide and convince other people to do different things and go against what they were used to. Susana shared the message with us that you must be where you want to be and this is why it is so important to be restless and know that you are responsible for your life. We should surround ourselves with experts who have better capabilities than you.
Susana finished her speech expressing that anyone can work in the technological and digital world, you just have to have the drive to change things and the desire to understand life in a different way.
Following Susana’s inspiring speech, was Raquel Hoffman EMEA Demand Generation Leader at Amazon Web Services who inspired the audience with her incredibly positive energy. Raquel started her speech by looking at the different nationalities at the event and expressed that diversity isn´t just about race, gender or religion it is about places we come from, the experiences we have and the people you meet along the way.
Raquel was raised by whom she describes as two incredible parents who inspired her and taught her hard work, compassion, kindness and integrity. She had to work hard to get good grades and she expressed that there is no one harder on us but ourselves and we often push ourselves way past our limits, which can be both good and bad.
All her life she has always had goals that she has worked towards and has always been very practical and extremely hard working, which has certainly paid off! Susana expressed the importance of building meaningful relationships with people and also the huge importance of networks.
She values finding passion outside of work and explained that, even if you are working in a completely different area to one of your passions, you can still enjoy the things that you are passionate about the rest of the time.
Alejandra da Cunha, the PR & Digital Director at LVMH Fragrance Brands spoke next. Alejandra is a Brands Storyteller of the Beauty & Luxury world, who is passionate about the Digital world, an optimistic Social Media expert, a content creator & has been building brand images since 2000.
In 2008 with the start of social media with Facebook being founded, Alejandra saw that this was a good way of communicating about brands too, not many brands were using social media at that time but she saw the opportunity. Back then there was more freedom and she solely decided to create a fan page for the company which received a huge response and that was her first digital experience in her career.
She very much learnt by doing in the digital world, although she later studied here in Madrid and also proudly attended a seminar about digital business at Harvard university which is where her dream came true, to be able to listen to those incredible teachers. Alejandra loves the variation in her job which combines PR with digital and makes her feel complete. She also touched on gender discrimination and feels we need to be careful about gender bias moments and when we are asked to do something we must stop and ask ourselves if a male colleague would be asked to do it, and if not then why not?
To finish off the event we heard from Russian born Lena Perepelova, who spoke to us about gender bias and told us about a job in the Netherlands when she was 21 in the sales department at a brewery company, a male dominated company back in the 90´s.
She was asked about her professional goals and she told them that she would like to become the commercial manager of the company and they all laughed. She left that company 10 years later and became the area manager for Eastern Europe and Latin America at Grolsch brewery.
She later changed her direction when she became a mum and started teaching children. She strongly believes that understanding finance, business and economics by the general public will diminish inequality and improve social equilibrium and with this we can really make this world a better place. Lena manages two entrepreneurial initiatives, www.funfinanceacademy.com and www.womaninvestorsclub.com
This last speech saw the end to yet another fantastic event organised by Nehad Sharaf, Vice President of the INC.
Abi Lindsay Clark