News

Happy International Women’s Day from Halian!

8 March 2019

This year’s International Women’s Day Campaign is #BalanceforBetter, focusing on a gender balanced world. Halian prides itself in promoting gender diversity and equality and has seen a significant increase in the balance between genders over the years. This will continue to be a focus in the years to come.

To celebrate this day, we spoke to just three of our high-achieving, inspirational women to learn more about their journey to where they are now, lessons they’ve learned along the way, and advice they have for women at all stages of their career today.

Amandine Baudot, Team Leader of Operations, EIB, Luxembourg

What was your first job in the industry?

I started to work at 19 years old, first as a supermarket employee, then as a customer adviser in a clothing store where I had the opportunity to be trained as a merchandising assistant. At this time, I also worked in a theatre as an usherette, 3 evenings per week and during my holidays. Next, I worked in further administrative positions (Admin assistant, HR assistant etc) The first opportunity that I was given in IT was as a User Support Agent. I was in charge of helping users with their password resets, access, tokens, remote access issues and security convention between contractor and European Commission etc. Following that moment, my career has taken a new exciting direction.

What are, from your perspective, the biggest challenges for women in leadership roles?

In my opinion, being confident and building alliances with all your colleagues but also with decision-makers. When you are working with certain kind of personalities, they sometimes have the ability to make you feel that you are never being good enough. Also, you need to build healthy relationships, communicate efficiently, share your voice and never let yourself be bullied.

What was the most challenging part of your career so far?

I had to take over the Team Leader role of the team I was working with for many years. It was very sudden as it was agreed and announced at the last minute. Fortunately, the guys already knew me as a good collaborator and attentive to the needs of others. Most of all, we were used to working in a rock solid and trustful relationship, so the transition went smoothly. “Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect’.

As a Mother how do you get the balance between your family and career life right? Your tips and tricks?

Spend enough time sleeping, or have good make-up! Let go of perfection, Establish sane work hours, avoid frustration by accepting what you can’t control or influence, being well organized at home is definitely my key to a woman’s success at work!

What advice did you receive early in your career that has stayed with you?

“Don’t take things personally” said one of my managers, many years ago when I was just coming back to work after a small burn-out.

Victoria Robson, Senior Finance Assistant, UK

What was your first job in the industry?

I started off as a Recruitment Consultant before being asked if I would help in the small payroll team. Payroll had never crossed my mind as something I’d enjoy but I loved it and didn’t look back. After a couple of years in payroll specific roles, I was offered the job with Halian in the Finance team and have grown my skillset from there. Now I’m studying for my ACCA and cannot imagine being in any other career.

What are, from your perspective, the biggest challenges for women in leadership roles?

Respect – although, I don’t have this problem with Halian! I have had issues in the past though where it is obvious that women are almost not trusted to do the job by the men in the company.

What was the most challenging part of your career so far?

Making the decision and finding the time to study alongside a very full on career. The challenge is reminding myself that it will be worth it.

What advice did you receive early in your career that has stayed with you?

Focus on the end goal and don’t let other people create the barriers – life has enough of those coming.

Do you have any advice for young women starting out in their career?

A bad day won’t affect the end goal. Brush it off and stay focused.

What was your dream job as a child and why?

A heart surgeon! The way the heart works was one thing that stuck with me throughout my schooling and it still fascinates me. There are a few ways to patch it up depending on the problem but they all reach the same outcome and that’s what I liked. Always learning, always trying something new to increase efficiency or get better results but ultimately, getting the same end result for the required cause.

Regina Vorobyova, Project Co-Ordinator, Dell EMC

What are, from your perspective, the biggest challenges for women in leadership roles?

Women in leadership roles experience gender bias among peers as women are thought to be more emotional and that these emotions might affect business decision making. In addition, due to the cultural beliefs at times women have to constantly prove themselves to be of equal importance and in certain industries some companies do not have a great gender diversity. Women with a family in a leadership role will have the challenge of having to balance their career and family commitments.

What advice did you receive early in your career that has stayed with you?

‘To always take risks’ That is something that I always keep in mind when taking big decisions and has definitely helped career wise. Have used this advice when changing roles or jobs, as we usually feel comfortable where we are, and new opportunities are unknown in terms of what the future holds but I believe that it is worth trying out a new opportunity as you can never know what’s in store if you don’t. It is always a learning lesson when taking risks, just need to weigh out the pros and cons of a decision and the rest is to be seen. We need to take risks when a great opportunity comes our way as we never know when the next one might come along.

What was the most challenging part of your career so far?

The most challenging part was to constantly prove myself and my skills in an environment which had a lot of nepotism, wherein all the hard work was not being recognized and that just made it much harder to grow career wise. With the right management system it really makes a difference and I am currently in one, which I am more than happy with.

Do you have any advice for young women starting out in their career?

Life is a long learning curve, you must be prepared to accept all sorts of experiences that happen contrary to our will, so if your first/second or third job is not your dream job you should still take it, learn from it, grow yourself and you will reach your goals in the long run. Do not let anyone or anything put you down as you might get tough times in the beginning, but the most important thing is to keep believing in yourself, moving forward and fighting for what you want. Enhance your skills whenever you get the chance as the working environment is always evolving.

If you would like to know more about International Women’s Day and ways you can participate, please find below a dedicated link which delves further into the importance of International Women’s day including events across the globe and charities for women in need:

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

Rebecca Drummond, Group HR Manager