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International Women’s Day: Our women leaders share advice for their younger selves

Posted 4 years ago by Angus Quinn

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women and acts as a call to accelerate equality. One of the themes of the day is to try and make a positive difference for women around the world. So we spoke to our female managers and asked them to give us one piece of advice they would have given to their younger selves. Our hope is that their advice can help inspire women in technology and beyond.

Jenny Hunter is our Director of Customer Success. Her advice is around embracing challenges when they arise:

“Don’t be afraid of failure. My younger self would shy away from difficult challenges because I was afraid to tackle them and fail. I’ve since learned that challenges are the best opportunity to grow and learn, and it’s not about succeeding or failing, but rather gaining insight in the process to help you develop.” 

On a related theme, our Senior Merchant Development Manager Elena Fraioli would say trust yourself more. 

“Be more confident in yourself and your intuition. Early in my career, I relied too much on external validation from others, which made me doubt my decisions and judgment. I strived to be perfect and created unrealistic standards to always exceed results and prove myself.

Being confident in my own skin allowed me to show my unique voice, to be more open to change and accept that being ‘perfect’ is too idealistic.”

For our VP Revenue EMEA & APAC Dunia Silan, patience is a virtue. 

“Building a successful career is a journey. Embrace it. Don’t be too impatient or doubt yourself. Enjoy every moment along the way and take those risks you were so worried about. Fear is part of our daily lives and you will succeed, just don’t look back.” 

Advice can be practical too. Senior Publisher Development Manager Ellie Spooner puts an emphasis on the importance of life skills. 

“Start learning useful foreign languages. Take up a musical instrument and persevere with it. Practice public speaking and read more interesting books! There’s a lot of skills I wish I’d acquired when I was younger.” 

QA Manager Neenu Ramakrishnan has a similar perspective.

“I would advise my younger self to explore the world before turning 30. Travel on your own to engage with diverse experiences. And read more! The earlier you acquire knowledge, the more useful it becomes in your professional and personal space.”

Camilla Pacelli – Head of Partner Development APAC – stresses the importance of a positive outlook.

“If I could talk to my younger self, I’d say don’t overthink your failure and recognise it as part of your journey. You don’t need to overthink the times you failed. Instead move forward and learn what you can do better next time. And keep smiling and have a positive attitude. That’s a mantra I now try to live by every day.” 

Operations Manager Slavka Suchanicova makes a compelling case for keeping eyes on the prize. 

“Ladies all the best on our special day! This day is dedicated mainly to us, however I’d like for my advice to go out to both our female and male colleagues. If you have any goal in your life, have a clear vision of what you want to do and who you want to be and you’ll get there. Keep focused and find people with similar interests. They will motivate you and will keep you going.” 

Aim for better is one of our company values and it closely mirrors our VP Revenue US Lauren Newman’s advice to herself.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. So think bigger, push yourself harder and don’t settle for what’s comfortable. You need to constantly reinvent yourself, just as the business you’re in needs to be constantly reinvented.”

Lastly, Frog Capital Operating Partner and Skimlinks Board Member Shirin Dehghan, has advice on hiring for her younger self: “Make sure you hire the best. Pay particular attention to your talent’s level of energy, work ethic, proactiveness, resilience, competitiveness – essentially, a strong entrepreneurial spirit. People with these qualities will fit in just fine.”

Celebrated annually on March 8 since 1910, International Women’s Day theme in 2020 is #EachforEqual. The aim is to help position equality as an issue all should care about. 

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