December Digital Business Women

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This edition is all about women who found their strength and want to share their journey and challenges. This is the kind of women we want to validate and celebrate. You can only make a difference if you stand out and Be Bold for the Sake of the Next Generation who needs to find their voice and believe in themselves. Thank you for accepting my invitation to speak out loud about experiences and all the challenges that you faced in life - THANK YOU! Our main goal is to support women with genuine advice and practical ideas and observation of facts or events that would impact our lives. If you are looking for support and collaboration, you have found your place here. If you want to join us, contact us! Candyce Costa - Founder and CEO





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Anju Solanki Founder MEA Consulting Group


SOLANKI Tell us about you and your business.

How did you decide to go into Diversity?

I founded MEA Consulting Group in 2018, with an aim to help companies attract, retain and accelerate their female talent pool, through changing their business culture. I noticed there was increasing focus on gender diversity, but very little progress and results. There was a lack of real awareness on both the tangible and intangible barriers women face across the career pipeline, and I strongly believed a different approach was needed. MEA Consulting makes change using a 3 'i' mission model, which is to create 'Impact', to 'Influence' and to 'Innovate' to achieve gender diversity. In simple terms, it means finding new ways to solve old problems. What we have previously been doing, has not been working, so it is time for change. We consult, provide strategy sessions, host events and design training programmes. We also campaign and raise awareness through media. I personally am also a Business Mentor for the Cherie Blair Foundation for women, which is both an amazing learning curve and insight into the additional challenges women face in developing countries. Prior to setting up MEA, I worked in Investment Banking Sales where I spent 12 years on a trading floor working for Citigroup and Lloyds and previously Barclays in a different role. I used to distribute financial products to institutional clients such as Private Banks, Pension Funds and Asset Managers. The focus was on making revenue, meeting sales targets and building the franchise for the bank I worked at. It required quite an interesting skill set, from absorbing as much information as possible, communicating that well to clients, providing investment advice and working with traders in what can only be described as an alpha environment.

Whilst I was working in Investment Banking I found it an environment which was exciting with fast moving markets, working on trades and being in a dynamic workplace with intelligent people. That said, I found the lack of female representation and role models begin to grind on me, and even more after returning back to work as a mother. It was then that I understood the difference between diversity (a metric we can measure) and inclusion (a sense of belonging which is a feeling and so important to get right). Having always been surrounded around by strong women (I was raised by a phenomenal single mother grew up with three strong minded sisters and a female cat!) I felt it was time to take matters into my own hands and switch industries where I can make a real impact. To what do you attribute your success?

Support from my loved ones and a genuine belief that anyone can do anything. Hard work, integrity and consistency has hugely contributed to my journey. I also seek inspiration from coaches, and even on my social media I have personalised my feeds so that I receive and read positive messages which help me stay motivated at all times


Did you always know that being an entrepreneur was what you wanted to do?

Actually no. I could not have expected to start my own business and focus on diversity and inclusion. It is an area which has historically been run by people with HR backgrounds, and was completely different to what I had done for the 12 years leading up to my change. What drove my change? I think there gets to a point in life where you reevaluate what you want and why you are doing something. I read a powerful book by the inspirational thought leader Simon Sinek, Start With Your Why. Essentially it says that in business, it doesn't matter what you do, it matters WHY you do it. That was when I realised my calling! Now I am here, I work more than I have done before and my value system has been redefined. I am driven by passion and purpose, not just by lining my wallet. Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to pursue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it?

When I was younger, my dream was to work in the creative industries. I loved the idea of working industries such as fashion, advertising, film and TV. Growing up, whilst I was given absolutely everything a girl could ask for with love, attention and values from my mother, I did not come from a place of financial security. That meant I had to work very hard and prioritise working in an industry which would allow me to start earning an income and provide my own financial stability. However, in recently switching industries and pursuing my business I have most definitely been discouraged. To an extent, in my network and even with some friends/family, some I sense are waiting for me to fail. I have realised however, that is more them projecting their own insecurities and belief systems on me over that being the truth. I truly believe all of us can push our boundaries and live life achieving our dreams. What did you learn from your biggest failure?

I learnt there is no such thing as failure. I will share with you that I had a difficult journey becoming a mother. My daughter was critically dehydrated shortly after birth and spent some time in intensive care. We later went back to hospital for quite some time with gastro issues, feeding aversions and tubes. Even when we had her home, feeding was a traumatic journey and she would often get ill which resulted in hospital stays more than we anticipated. I felt like a failure at the time as a mother. I felt I could not protect my baby girl. Moving forward to her now nearly turning 4, I can tell you, I learnt this - you will always survive hard times. Resilience is an invaluable quality which many only learn through hard times. I learnt that a plain sailing preconceived idea of success does not give you the chance to reevaluate your life and choices you make - hard times do. So I try to avoid the word failure. It is just success and learning curves.

What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before starting your career/business?

Being an entrepreneur is hard work and it is not for the faint hearted. That said, it will be more rewarding than any other work you have previously done. You need to be your biggest advocate, you need to be your own recognition and you need to lead with courage. Working in a job previously, I had a steady monthly income and performance reviews with a pat on the back. Starting your own business, you need to celebrate your successes, your small wins and eventually the big ones as noone will do that for you. Dream big, think anything is possible and do not look to anyone but yourself for validation. Not everyone will get you or support you, and that is ok. Carefully choose who you surround yourself with and make sure they are people who leave you feeling positive.With respect to working in diversity and inclusion, be open to learning new things. Noone knows everything and personal growth comes from being open to new information and new ways of doing things. In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women to succeed in the workplace/business?

The biggest obstacle for women to succeed is the challenge in changing culture and mindsets of dominant groups. Whilst there is a general vocalisation that diversity improves business performance, there is not a huge amount of authentic belief it does, and it shows in business leaders, the lack of strategy and PR stunts of initiatives. There has been too much focusing on changing and empowering women, and the focus now needs to be on valuing women as they are and redesigning workplace policies and culture to reflect that. How do you find inspiration in your life?

My mum is my biggest inspiration in life. She inspires me everyday. She has had a hard life and she gets through every hurdle, stays positive and grateful. She manages to be there for her family, work to provide and is the ultimate role model in my life. In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women?

Where do I begin! Here are some tips I can share with you which apply to everyone:- Amplify women in meetings. If you agree with their contributions, validate it by reiterating what they have said and crediting them.- Think about your team meetings you hold are they inclusive for parents, in particular women with childcare commitments?- Think of who you go for a coffee and lunch with? Is there a boys club culture at work?- Think about your leadership prototypes. What qualities do you value in your leaders? Are they typically more masculine or feminine?


Indra A. Books Agility for All, S.L. Founder and Chief Transformation Officer

INDRA BOOKS Tell us about you and your business. Indra has a passion for working with organisations to effect meaningful, goaloriented change. She moved her practice from the U.S. to Spain where Agility for All currently works to sustainably grow Agile practices around the globe for businesses that want to make value-based change and see results with highperforming teams.

How did you decide to get into Tech? I have always been effecting change whether as an educator early or project manager. It wasn’t until later that I realized that what I was doing had a name - Agile. At my core I believe in putting people and interactions before process and tools; the first line of the Agile manifesto. However, I hesitate to say I am a Certified Agile Coach because people associate it with scrum and it is much more.

Did you always know that Tech was what you wanted to do? I started my career as a teacher so even if I couldn’t put a name to what I was doing and didn’t have titles and certifications to define it, I knew I always wanted to change how we looked at the world and how we interacted. Being a teacher without textbooks taught me to change the way things were done. Now I work with organisations to help reshape their culture to create high performing teams.

INDRA BOOKS Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to persue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it?

What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before started your career/business?

Twenty years ago I was one of three technical women where I worked. Every week we had a committee meeting at which I was the technical expert. Every week the chairman started the meeting with “hello gentlemen” and then deliberately looked at me and said “Sorry.” I had a choice at that moment to fade or to stand up. I chose to confront him. I am not sure where my career would have gone if I hadn’t.

Too often we attach success in an industry to credentials. Education is extremely important. Foundational understanding of Agile practices is tantamount to success. However, nothing replaces experience. Surround yourself with mentors, and talented women. Seek out opportunities where you can gain experience fine tuning your craft as an Agile practitioner. Don’t be afraid to take a risk.

In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women? I have seen many organisations recently start up inclusion committees. In my opinion, having a committee to decide how to include people is a problem in and of itself. Cultural change within an organisation has to happen inclusively as well. Starting with workplace bias is a good jumping off point. If both men and women don’t recognise their own workplace bias then it is difficult to change. To what do you attribute your success? I attribute my success to my failures and how I have recovered from them. No one has ever become truly successful by always succeeding. We grow and develop by learning from our mistakes. We reach even higher heights if we give ourselves permission to fail – just do it quickly and learn from it. I like everyone am a ball of string that sometimes comes unraveled, but I now know how to restore it.

In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business? My answer won’t be popular, but often we are our own obstacles. I don’t know if it is because we have had to fight to get what we have or if we don’t know how to lift each other up. We need to encourage and support, but we also need to share the burden of calling out bias even when it isn’t directly impacting us in the moment. If it can happen to someone else, then it can happen to you. What's your favorite quote? Only one? “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” - Albert Einstein Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.― Margaret Mead

What did you learn from your biggest failure? Being an expert is not the same as running a business. People said “You are amazing at what you do. Why are you working for someone else?” I dove into my first business (not Agile) without knowing what that meant. I knew my craft, but I didn’t know how to run a business. It turns out those elements are difficult for me. I had my eyes open and made different decisions for Agility for All. How do you find inspiration in your life? I am very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people. This hasn’t always been the case. It is really hard to let go even when someone is not providing you with positive energy. We tell ourselves we need to work harder to make it work when really we need to just let them go. When I need to recharge and be inspired I make sure to spend time reading their words or directly connecting.


Jayde Vincent TikTok Influencer with 1.2 Million followers

JAYDE VINCENT Tell us about your journey to today and how TikTok changed your life.

TikTok has changed my life in so many ways as I have learned so many valuable lessons along the way . It has opened up so many opportunities for me that were never open before. I would never have jumped on LinkedIn if I never started my following base on TikTok, so for that I am also grateful. What make your generation so different from the millenials?

How all started? Your videos and the finding of TikTok as a platform to work.

I believe that what makes my generation, gen z, so different to millennial's is that we are so raw and real. We don’t care how ourselves or others look, we’re just being our authentic selves. The gen z are so accepting and open to so many things and that’s what I love about TikTok because I’ve noticed how people would disregard you because of your race, disability, gender, sexuality, ect. We’re open to everything.

I hopped on to TikTok because I had just moved from the UK to Canada. I was bored and being trapped in a house with my family 24/7 can make you go a little insane sometimes so I needed an escape as I had no friends at this time. I saw my younger sister, Jasmine, on the app so I thought I'd give it a go too. My intentions on the app at first was to just pass some time until I had my first viral video. That's when I decided to push myself to grow on the app but it wasn’t until I saw a sweater, Teddy Fresh , going crazy on the app that I saw its potential to be a great place for business.

JAYDE VINCENT What are the Big Challenges on Social Media nowadays in your opinion?

I feel like the challenges with social media these days is people are really consumed with vanity metrics. Where as I would rather build slower, but have built solid relationships with my followers. It should be about engagement with your followers versus views or likes. In your opinion, how could the tech industry be more inclusive? I feel that if the tech industry created the same level of opportunity for everyone regardless of age, gender, sex, weight, looks, etc. it could be an even playing field, and everyone would have the same chance. Then the win would be based on who worked the hardest to get there not by the hand outs that some people get before others. What inspires you every single day?

My everyday inspiration is my parents. They are the ones that really have guided me to where I am today. They keep me focused, and in check. I honestly wouldn’t be here without them.

To what do you attribute your success?

I would attribute to utilizing my talent for dance to my ultimate success, and my consistency. What advise you can give to someone who is looking to follow your path?

Never Give Up, if you want to be a social media influencer you have to understand that the road there will be a challenge. It will not be easy, you will be tested, but to never give up. Stay consistent, engage with your followers, stay humble, and never be afraid to put value out in the community. Value should be shared, not hidden out of fear. What's your favourite quote?

My all time favourite quote is “An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you man. It means its going to launch you into something great”.


Luisa Baltazar Founder of Dialogy Consulting and of SOMA Services


BALTAZAR How did you decide to go into Start-up World?

I didn’t. Life did it for me. It is funny how life sometimes throws an un-expected ball at you… but as long as you embrace it as a new challenge and opportunity, you’ll never regret your choice at the time. And then the results can be amazing. Long story short: I am a proud High School graduate that started working at age 15 to support myself, so college was not an immediate option even being a desire and it had to be set as goal for the future. Later on, while working at a HR Recruitment unit at a Bank and while finishing up my admission to attend college, my goal and dream, I got an amazing job offer to go work for this “crazy”, high demanding and intense Marketing VP at a software company. A whole new area. Hard decision: Safety vs Adventure… Well, but if you are not adventurous at 25 when will you be? So, I took that job at Marketing and that visionary VP turned out to be my best mentor to this day and the reason why I moved to the USA a few years later. That day when I accepted a new adventurous challenge was the day I set in motion the wheels to end up at an amazing industry, career, and at a new country where I became a better person and a better professional. Being a self-taught and always curious for knowledge and wisdom, I kept pushing myself to higher and more challenging career paths embracing any and every opportunity to move forward as a Consultant. All of that led me to new adventures: to leading Innovation Programs, to the Start-up acceleration world, to Business Development and eventually to founding a few businesses of my own.

Tell us about you and your business.

If in need to describe myself, I always say I am an everyday get $#it done person, either as a Senior Consultant, a Mentor or as Founder of a few businesses. A “self & others” made person at life and business that keeps gathering under my belt a few tools, knowledge, experiences and initiatives for the entrepreneurial ecosystem after 20+ years of career in the MKT, HR, Startup and IT worlds. I like to call myself a natural born communicator in constant search for the paths that may take my curiosity from knowledge to wisdom and with a never stopping drive to learn and to return and give back. I live and feel like a happy nomad soul from Lisbon, Portugal who is now an American after a decade living in San Francisco, CA and the mother of 2 amazing kids that are definitely my most demanding and yet rewarding project ever. Did you ever know or thought about what you wanted to do?

To be honest… Psychology was my dream career. Early on I always, always knew (with that heartfelt to die for certainty in life that only a teenager can have) that I wanted to study and work in Psychology. At my early 20's I ended up working at a HR Recruitment where I was in heaven handling all those assessment tests and learning so much about how to apply my field of preference to a career. And it paid well for my bills. Along the way, as I’ve mention before, I ended up falling in love with the IT world and with Marketing since it is psychology applied to communication by figuring out what makes people tick and how to influence their behavior. Therefore, and inevitably I found myself in the Marketing & Communication industry as core to a natural and successful career path. Now I only know that “I know nothing” …

LUIZA BALTAZAR Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to persue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it?

Well… it depends on if the discouragement comes from lack of believing or from lack of resources. If from lack of believing that I am able to achieve and pursue my dreams, then I do my best to find former self-achievements that help me believe I can do it. Or I find a friend or mentor that I highly respect and admire, that is honest and blunt and that will say it to my face if he/she believes I can or cannot. Then I will believe him/her because I respect him/her. If from lack of resources, then I try to reverse engineer the whole thing. Instead of thinking of what I can’t do, I try to think of what I CAN do with what I have. As an analogy: Imagine my dream is to indulge my friends with The Best frittata ever. Then I realize I lack the eggs to make it as I intentioned but I still have the rest of the ingredients… So, I will sauté those in a yummy way and plate it really nice. No one will know, nor care actually, if initially my intention was to make a Frittata. They will eat it gladfully and appreciate my cooking. As long as my intention was honestly to indulge my friends, and not to show off my Frittata skills, then I have achieved my purpose. Belly full for all. No eggs nor Ego. In your opinion, what can the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women?

I have very strong and wide opinions on this… Not sure this article is long enough for all of them. Everyone is treating the “problem” in silos. How to do better in Leadership. How to do better in the Workplace or in Business. Or in society in general. And so on and so on. In my opinion it will not work until we treat the transversal root of the problem. If I had to choose 3 areas where to focus in order to get a pareto out of it (20% solution to 80% of the problem) I would choose Education, Relationships and Civic Responsibility. To me this is where we are lacking hard, bold, strong intervention. We should be doing it as NASA did to get to the moon. Set the goal for 20 years from now and then just focus all energy and efforts in the root problems of what we want to achieve in the future. Personally, I hope that my kids, as they already show at ages 17 and 12, will never lack knowledge on how amazing a woman can be, will never mistreat nor abuse of a woman and will never lay down arms as silent bystander witnesses when in front of abuse. So, educate women and men, help on relationship management and speak up and out to defend others. If you do that and demand that from others, change will come by itself.

What did you learn from your biggest failure?

Recently I was made to think about my life's failures. By a friend of mine who is also a Coach. He was helping me to define success by naming my failures. And I couldn’t name not even one that I felt as a failure... I have had business projects that haven't turned out as good, as productive or lucrative as I expected. I have had ideas and projects that have never seen the light of day nor come to be. I have had a marriage that ended and I have had relationships, friendships and partnerships that have died out. But none of them I see as failures. Because I see all of them as lessons lived and learned. I have learned something out of all of them. How to be more profit drive, how to accomplish more and be more productive, how to value a person while I have them in my life and how to accept myself at any and every given point of my life. And in the process, I have defined success for myself: “Success is achieving a self-imposed goal. Or to continue on the path to do so". To what do you attribute your success?

To my ability to Learn. Even if I, quite often may I say, lack the confidence on if I have an ability, skill, knowledge, experience or not, I always trust that I can learn how to do it as long as there is information on it or someone to teach me about it. Because I am 100% confident one can always learn.

In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women to succeed in the workplace/business?

Other women… I have yet to understand how women can be such bitches to each other. Honestly. Stop being a bitch to other women. Stop gossiping and spreading rumors about other women. If you really have the urge to gossip, then do it about men to at least even out things. Stop being envious of other women success. Try to find a way to admire them. If needed be, just think that they are the ones paving the path for all of us and for our daughters. And it is indeed a lonely place up there when you are the only woman at top. So, show support. Be an advocate for a woman in a high position or one who’s trying to get there. Even if she’s your competitor for the same position. Because two runners do better if they support each other when running against any pack of wolves.

LUIZA BALTAZAR What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish you knew before starting your career/business?

As a Woman: Be true to yourself. Always. Always and then forever more. Do not make choices that are based on what people expect from you, but on what you expect for and mostly from yourself. If being a full-time mom, for a short or a long time is what your heart tells you to do, then do it. Give yourself to it and enjoy it. Don’t think about how people perceive you. Think about how your kids will perceive you when looking back into their childhood. If having a career is your heart’s desire, work for it and then proudly own it! Outsource help to get things done in the family and when you are home, be home. Find a way to disconnect even if it is timing yourself not to check work so you can really be there for your kids for a few hours. As a Marketeer: Never be lazy to get things done! Be creative and proactive because if you are motivated and doing things out of passion, creativity will come naturally. Let go of EGO. Ask for help and work as a team. We work better and are more creative when fueled from others’ experiences. Because no woman can know it all, try it all and think of it all, all by herself. As a human: Now and then, give yourself to laziness! Enjoy a long bath, enjoy an afternoon of reading or napping, a day of going out with friends or of shopping and spa pampering or any moment that recharges your batteries. Those will keep you going when you need an extra surge of energy for an unexpected challenge. Be happy. Enjoy life.

How do you find inspiration in your life?

Unexpectedly, Balance is the key word for answering this question. Distributing the hours of the day and one self 's energy to achieve all that I need, or think I need…, to do. To me, finding balance is an everyday, every hour of the day challenge but also a strategic tool to move forward. And I find my balance starting out by being honest with myself in a moment of self-admittance and honesty: “In reality and for real I’m no Wonder nor Elastic woman so therefore I cannot work miracles, magic or amazing stunts of strength and endurance.” So, there are days that I just need to pause, rest or go do whatever I feel like it so to recharge myself. I rest or spend time with kids, travel, go to a museum, go out with friends, binge watch whatever new trendy series, read until my eyes fall off, or do whatever rocks my boat that day. And every time I come back recharged and re-inspired by a painting, by a friend, by a quote or sentence or by the simple realization that my life is really great and good.

What's your favorite quote?

Actually, I have 2 quotes that have followed me through out the years… I live by these two ideals, both from Maslow a wise mind for reference. “You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.” And at last but not least… “What a person can be, must be.” They both lead to yet another quote and advice from him: “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” He was a wise man. Indeed, he was.


Máirín Murray Digital Doddle, Tech for Good Innovator and Founder


Tell us about you and your business.

I'm a tech innovator and make products that harness tech in order to have a positive impact. I have an MSC in Multimedia Systems from Trinity College and as Senior Digital Producer at BBC led the development of inclusion and education products and services across web and mobile. My passion is Tech for Good and I cofounded Tech for Good Dublin and regularly facilitate workshops and hackathons to support others to harness tech to solve the challenges facing our communities, cities and planet.

In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women?

There are so many different factors it’s hard to know where to start. I believe that workplace ‘culture’ is so important - if women feel they don’t belong or don’t want to belong then that’s a real problem. There are so many subtle things – how people communicate, what traits are valued and how teams are rewarded. I recently founded TechFoundHer to celebrate women tech leaders. I believe that female founders are powerful change makers and are creating companies with new and fresh workplace cultures that are more inclusive for other women.

How did you decide to go into Tech?

At school I loved science and creative subjects but at that stage it wasn’t clear which industry would satisfy my creative and problem solving leanings. The only fit was Architecture’ but the 7 years of studying put me off. A few years after graduating in Philosophy I heard about a new MSC in Multimedia Systems course that Trinity College Dublin was offering. It was a light bulb moment and I applied.

Did you always know that was what you wanted to do?

The digital tech industry didn’t even exist when I was at school. As a teenager I spent a summer volunteering with a community video unit in Belfast supporting disadvantaged communities. When ‘digital media’ became a thing - I was very excited by how digital media could make storytelling and story making accessible for all. Looking back I realise that Tech for Good has been the consistent thread in my career whether it was at the BBC developing learning platforms to upskill disadvantaged teens or at Digital Doddle to educate and empower patients..

MAIRINMURRAY Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to persue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it?

Of course I’ve been aware of biases and different expectations of me based on my gender. However from a young age I’ve been a feminist and while noting inequalities and gender stereotyping I’ve been determined to follow my own dreams regardless. I am very aware of my many privileges and grateful for these in giving me skills and confidence - having parents who are teachers, having the benefit of a free Grammar school education, being raised in a home full of books and ideas and creative activities. I spent many summers ‘helping’ my art teacher dad with his self-build projects by mixing cement! Allies are important! What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before started your career/business?

My advice would be to stay on a steep learning curve. If you’re not learning in your paid job then work on your own side project to develop new skills and to demonstrate your interests and abilities. I love being part of technology that’s ‘new’ and emerging. It’s exciting being involved at the start before all the job roles are defined and when there’s a real sense of adventure and discovery involved. Recently I studied data science and machine learning as keen to find out how to harness it to address to solve community and global challenges. I'm also interested in contributing to debates around the ethics of AI. What did you learn from your biggest failure?

My biggest failure has been doing jobs or staying in jobs simply for the salary. I’ve learnt to ask myself now would I continue to do this ‘work’ and spend my time in this way even if I won the lottery? I now choose to spend my time on ‘work’ that is aiming to make a positive change in the world and trust the financial rewards will follow. What's your favorite quote?

I love the Margaret Meade quote "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeeding in the workplace/business?

It’s tricky as it’s about what defines ‘success’? Promotion and greater responsibility in a workplace or business may not define success to you. At the BBC I loved being a producer and working at the ‘coalface’ actually making products with my team. I wasn’t interested in become a senior manager as that would mean being removed from the creative production process which I loved. So it’s important that every individual reflects on what ‘success’ means both in terms of the type of role that satisfies them and also how much time they want to spend doing ‘paid’ work. It’s so important that workplaces offer ‘flexible’ working so that all individuals not just women can create lives that are ‘good’ and aligned with their values and changing priorities. How do you find inspiration in your life?

I find inspiration from my ‘work’ - not simply paid work but side projects and unpaid collaborations. As co-founder of Tech for Good Dublin I’ve become a cheer leader for Tech for Good start-ups and so inspired by the amazing people who are harnessing tech to drive change. I also think that it’ important to connect beyond our own local context and I aim to connect to people beyond Dublin and Ireland. It's so inspiring to find out how people in other cities and countries are using tech to address similar problems and to help to share these local solutions. To what do you attribute your success?

For me success means having the courage to follow my own path and live by my own values. It’s so important to be contribute to tech communities and be generous with what and who you know. I gain energy and insights from other people and when we work together we have more impact. It’s also important to not give up too soon and to stay focused. In the ‘hero’s journey just when someone is about to give up the ‘treasure’ they seek is around the next corner. For a long time I felt stuck and had a tendency to over-think trying to ensure the ‘right’ decision. Now I am guided by what’s feels ‘right’ and have faith that my life will unfold as it’s meant to.



HOW LINKEDIN ARE YOU? There are well over 640,000,000 on LinkedIn. However, when it comes to how many people actually successfully and effectively navigate the platform, one questions come to mind, “How LinkedIn are you?” Sometimes, it is good to test your LI-LinkedIn Intelligence to see if you are optimizing LinkedIn and truly benefitting from everything this complex professional networking platform has to offer you. Here is a little quiz to help you determine your level of Link-ability: Count the number of Yes' you have and see how LinkedIn you really are? 1. Do you have a customized background photo connecting you to industry, business, or specialty? 2. Is your tagline truly your unique value proposition (UVP)-catchy along with keywords? 3. Does your summary start with an enticing opener in the opening lines? 4. Do you market your TOP 3 skills and place them strategically at the top so they can be seen? 5. Is your URL customized to be LinkedIn/in/yourname? 6. Is your story written in 1st person? 7. Do you have customized anchor links to the 3 websites you can use to increase your marketability? (Select the “Other” option and make these websites count) 8. Is your story authentically talking to your viewers (and not a copy/paste) of your resume? 9. Do you have at least 3 recommendations/testimonials on your profile, since social recognition matters? 10. Are all "4-key" LinkedIn search areas fully developed: Tagline, Summary, Experience and Skill section?

11. . Is your profile picture approachable, friendly, front-facing, & only you? 12. Is your profile accessible, current, & visible (check privacy settings)? 13. Do you start each experience section with a summary to show who you are behind the title? 14. Do you customize EVERY connection request even using your mobile? (Click on “More” instead of “Connect” so you can personalize every request) 15. Is your location/industry accurate? 16. Have you identified "key" words you want to be found for and sprinkled throughout your LinkedIn story? 17. Do you include a Call-to-Action (CTA) to tell people to follow you, reach out, or whatever you want them to do? 18. Do you write longer articles via LinkedIn Pulse to increase your professional credibility & show thought leadership? 19. Do you put Relationship Building first & avoid starting things off with that annoying sales pitch? 20. Do you introduce everything you share? 21. Do you use #hashtags and encourage people to follow? 22. Have you added images, documents, presentations or video to your LinkedIn story to make it more robust? 23. Do you offer readers a glimpse into your future goals, ideas, and objectives? 24. If you are a job seeker, is your profile optimized for the job you want and not the job you have? 25. Do you have a tagline that makes people curious about who you are and what you offer or do you have something like “Seeking new Opportunity” which does not state your value and instead describes a temporary situation without any relevant keywords and negative personal marketing? 26. Is the name you use on LinkedIn, the same name you use day to day? 27. Is the name section of your profile made up of your name only? 28. Are the skills on your profile relevant skills and ones you actually have? 30. Do you belong to some LinkedIn Groups relevant to your profession, industry, academic background, or career interests? 31. Do you comment and engage with other people's posts or simply passively use "like" most of the time? 32. Do you reference job descriptions (especially on LinkedIn) for any desired positions you are seeking to find keywords and craft your profile in a way that would be attractive to potential employers? 33. Do you have at least 50 connections? 34. Is your LinkedIn profile mobile-friendly? 35. Have you filled in the optional sections that LinkedIn provides to help you make your profile more robust (languages courses, volunteer experience, etc.?) 36. Have you recently cleaned up your endorsement section and got rid of any skills that you no longer want to showcase or now feel are irrelevant? 37. Do you format your LinkedIn posts and create ones that are pleasing to the eye: shorter sentences, visuals, spacing, and even well thought out emojicons to break up the post? 38. Do you mention (@) others, in your posts, when the time is right (give credit, relevance, reciprocity)? 39. Do you have quantifiable achievements in your summary? 40. Have you thoroughly familiarized yourself with the privacy options in the ‘Settings and Privacy’ section?

41. Do you make it easy for people to reach you by adding your email address and cell number to the contact information section? 42. If you are a job seeker, do you list your major skillsets in your summary as a bulleted list? 43. Are you effectively telling your company’s story by showcasing your products and services, sharing updates with followers, and speaking directly to your targeted audience on your LinkedIn company page? 44. Have you deleted any additional LinkedIn profiles? 45. Are you making sure to avoid using the "buzz words" that are commonly used by everyone? (Sometimes there is a way to much "passion" on LinkedIn!) 46. Do you proactively network and build your community on LinkedIn to show that you are open to social connectivity? 47. Is the first letter of ‘Each Word of Your Name Capitalized’? 48. Is your summary more of a conversation piece rather than a dry recollection of your experience and skills? 49. Are you putting in the time to make your LinkedIn profile AWESOME by taking LinkedIn's suggestions and offers on how to make it stronger? 50. Are you exercising patience on LinkedIn; keeping in mind that patience and persistence will help you achieve LinkedIn success? Above 45 -Bravo! You are on Fire!!!!! 40-45 -A bit more work will be worth it!!! 30-40 -Work to be done-Maybe time for a LinkedIn Make-Over! 30 and under -Start from the beginning and make the decision to effectively write the amazing online career story of you. ****If there are some that do not apply, adjust accordingly! LinkedIn works if you work it! And you are definitely worth it!

About Shelly Elsliger Shelly is Globally Recognized LinkedIn Trainer, on the Forbes Coaches Council, 2019 Woman of Inspiration , Author-UNSTOPPABLE, and a LinkedIn Super-Woman-with a cape! "LinkedIn in High Heels : Rise Up and Lead Online " is her signature workshop, and is about women Leading-IN, Linking-IN & becoming IN-fluential leaders online. Read her LI in High Heels manifesto rocks: As a Certified Career Coach; she empowers future leaders, build career tool-kits, develop engaging, experiential workshops, & coach groups/individuals along a path of career success at YofT. As a LinkedIn Learning Liaison, I oversee initiatives to help students hone their skills via ✔Forbes Coaches Council ✔Women of Inspiration Nominee 2019 ✔WSA Woman You Need to Know✔Woman of Achievement ✔LinkedIn Expert / Ambassador-She's On Top ✔Mac's List ✔4x Digital Business Women's e-mag✔Zero2Hired / Business Blast / Your Career / BIYF Podcast ✔Louise Reid Show✔U of T True Blue Award✔Screw the Naysayers✔Dreamer2Creator Magazine ✔Career Professionals of Canada: Insider Secrets from CareerPros and "How to Use LinkedIn to Grow your Business" Expert Round-Up ✔Contributor-Ultimate LinkedIn Guide

HOW DO I KNOW THAT MY TEAM IS SUCCEEDING? I am often asked to define success for teams. Imagine the shocked looks when I say that success is defined by failure, or rather how failure is handled. For the better part of my career, I have worked in the technology industry. In particular, software developers have a presumably deserved reputation for wanting to work on their own. Headset on, servers in the basement (or now in the cloud), the more isolated the better. What happens then when you ask individuals to work as a team? To define their daily existence based on what others on the team are doing or need? Can it be done? We hear a lot of talk about psychological safety in the Agile community. It is like any other buzzword tossed around in a classroom and carried over to the staff meeting. However, it really does have to be implemented, and it doesn’t happen overnight. First, the teams may have to learn a new framework for how they are going to manage their work. Out go the old project management plans that allowed developers to work in a vacuum until a deadline was near. In comes this crazy notion of a daily standup where everyone has to talk, not mumble, to share their status, and admit when they need help. Then there is a process where there is a backlog of work for a defined, short amount of time, and nobody is going to tell them straight up which task is theirs. They have to decide and then share the tasks they will take up. And at the very end, there is a Review, with developers doing this thing called “Show and tell” – not unlike that done in primary school - where you tote out your most prized possession and share it. Then there is the added pressure, potentially, of this being a leadership mandate to improve performance.

They need to know that their voice is heard; that others will listen and take what they are saying on board. In comes the coach. Trust has to be built. The team has to trust the coach to guide them through the quagmire of not just talking to their colleagues, but working side by side in this crazy thing called pair programming or work share. They need to know that their voice is heard; that others will listen and take what they are saying on board. They will grow toward self-management, and that growth comes with a lot of pitfalls and roadblocks along the way. So again, how will we know that the team is successful? Is it when they can execute the Sprints with perfection by perfectly estimating their stories and completing all of them over and over again? No, it will be defined with how quickly they recognise failure, how they respond to it, and how they handle the next event. I tell people that watching a team truly fail together is like watching all of the pins at the bowling alley fall down. I tell people that watching a team truly fail together is like watching all of the pins at the bowling alley fall down (a strike). It is an amazing thing to watch them all act in concert in response to an action (the bowling ball coming down the lane), but the truly mesmerising act is watching what happens next. In the case of a team failure, is there an automatic pin reset machine, or will they wait from someone to come and stand then back up one by one? A truly successful team has had enough time to build trust in each other and as such will have an automatic pin reset machine where after they all fall down, they are lifted back up again into place and keep going. THIS is success.

About Indra Books FOUNDER AND CHIEF TRANSFORMATION OFFICER With 25 years of award-winning coaching and leadership experience, Indra has a passion for working with organisations, teams, and individuals to effect meaningful, goal-oriented change grounded in Agile principles. She currently works from Spain to sustainably grow Agile practices around the globe for small to medium sized businesses that want to make value-based change and see results with high-performing teams. Indra is regularly invited to lead workshops and talks on Agility, and continues to shift the focus from short-term process concerns to long-term investments in company culture, people, and mindset.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL Despite the fact that we live in a more progressive and equal global society than ever before, women around the world still tend to do or I'd say choose to do the lion’s share of the work, from taking care of the household to looking after children to maintaining familial ties; the workload doesn’t decrease for working women who face the quintessential double bind and for whom spare time can be elusive. Responsibilities of their different roles, be it wife, mum, working/ businesswoman, daughter or friend are a regular for most women. Today when I woke up I realized that over a span of merely three hours, from the time I got off from bed till the time I finally started working- I had already been a #mom #wife #daughter #sister #aunt #sisterinlaw #daughterinlaw #friend #cook #classrep before I could finally take on a business professional role. Yes, admittedly, it is impossible to be everything to everyone and sometimes the small break we might expect from our so-called downtime’ isn't really a break at all as the laundry, rubbish, mail, pets and small children never stop needing our attention. These are also 24/7 responsibilities, requiring an on-call attendant at all times as I also wrote in my book Her Way To The Top. But while I was switching from one role to another, I also acknowledged that, most of these tasks that I was undertaking were not obligatory but rather tasks I chose/preferred/ wanted to do. Luckily, I am surrounded by people who never ask or force me to do anything for them but I still do them because these relationships are important to me. I also realize that this simple change in perspective allows me to feel less pressure. After all to be able to choose is a liberating feeling - it's choice versus obligation.

The power of language, and specifically the language of choice, is important in determining how you feel and how others perceive you. Thus by replacing negative and limiting language with the language of choice I chose to empower my decisions. As an NLP practitioner, I've learned to replace my shoulds with more empowering words. The word ‘should’ reeks of a must-do obligation. Having a Type A personality I still tend to overdo things in all the roles I play, but I now understand that things I do are what I enjoy doing versus things I should be doing. This has given me the freedom to choose whatever is best for us as a family and to feel proud of my choices. I am also aware that many women may not be in a position to make a choice but the power of positive language can truly re-frame situations and release half the stress straight away. And so today I am not here to whine about time poverty and stress or any challenges that women regularly face or even about how women worldwide spend an average of 4.5 hours per day on unpaid work –the type of work historically undervalued and often taken for granted. Today I am here to celebrate and acknowledge all the wonderful attributes and strengths that make up women including #compassion #empathy #multitasking #collaboration #negotiation and many more. Be proud of them! Completing our never ending to-do lists requires us to be hard-working, organised and efficient multi-taskers as we play the role of multiple super heroes: ‘Super Wife’, ‘Super Mum’, and ‘Super Professional’ sometimes effortlessly and indefatigably while other times arduously. But one thing is for sure, women are executers and they get things done! Thus by replacing negative and limiting language with the language of choice I chose to empower my decisions

And today as we celebrate the International Day of Girl, this is also my message to girls across the globe. Be proud of your identity. Be proud of the qualities and strengths that make you. Be proud of your choices. And most importantly, be there for each other and support each other's goals and choices too. There is absolutely no need to bring down another girl and pass belittling or condescending comments about her choices just to prove your point and satisfy your ego. Be vocal and express your viewpoint by all means, but within the limits of propriety and without sounding derogatory. Also remember that each woman has her own right to choose whatever is best suited to her. Definition of success has many layers. Just because someone doesn’t share your passion doesn’t make her any less or more ambitious. To each her own. The whole point of feminism and being in it together for me is to embrace choices and to let every other girl be free to do whatever she pleases, and look however she desires without being judgmental. Be proud of your identity. Be proud of the qualities and strengths that make you. Be proud of your choices. And most importantly, be there for each other and support each other's goals and choices too.

Step up, own success and give yourselves permission to fail or to be imperfect. Choose to be kind, not nice. Niceness won’t keep you safe. Kindness can and should be taught. Niceness, however, springs from a desire to please others, even if it’s at our own expense. “For the most part, ‘nice’ means: be tolerant and accommodating,” writes Shefali Tsabary, a clinical psychologist and author of TheAwakened Family. “If we are brutally honest with ourselves, it also implies: do whatever it takes to keep the peace.” Instead of being nice, argues Tsabary, we should be self-aware, “which means self-directed, self-governed, true to ourselves.” Self-acceptance is critical if you want to achieve your career goals. An inability to accept, self-validate and love yourself – right now, as you are, with all your flaws and foibles intact – condemns you to an endless cycle of dissatisfaction. No amount of external validation will ever be enough if you cannot first accept and love yourself. The best kind of confidence is derived from internal self-worth as anything dependent on others can be shaky.

Bear in mind that the way to the top is never easy. There are many bumps and detours on your journey that will discourage you, but dig deep and be resilient. Trust yourself to get there. Navigating this path requires patience, determination and motivation. Setbacks are inevitable, but understanding them as learning experiences rather than failures will help you maintain positive momentum. Aim high but appreciate you are only human. Self-compassion is that safety net that enables you to try more. It motivates you because it’s what cushions your failure. Do not paralyse yourself with self-loathing. Your internal self-evaluation can sometimes be fastidious, but afford yourself the same leverage you afford others. Moreover, give yourself permissions... Permission to not know everything… Permission to fail… Permission to make mistakes… Permission to let go… Permission to miss out, and not have everything at the same time… Permission to delegate or outsource… Permission to hit the pause button and take time out for yourself… Permission to self-promote… Permission to be vulnerable… You owe this to yourself ! Happy International Day of Girl! Aim high but appreciate you are only human. Self-compassion is that safety net that enables you to try more. It motivates you because it’s what cushions your failure. Do not paralyze yourself with self-loathing. Your internal self-evaluation can sometimes be fastidious, but afford yourself the same leverage you afford others.

About Hira Ali

Author, Executive Career Coach, Leadership Trainer, Motivational Speaker, Podcaster, & NLP PractitionerChief Executive Officer Advancing Your Potential Co-Founder The Career Excel For Trailblazing Women Managing Partner International Women Empowerment Events Co-Founder The Grey Area Get my Book Her Way To The Top Read my article on Impostor Syndrome shared by Arianna Huffington


Women in Tech Global Awards Foz Palace in Lisbon Portugal - 6th November 2019

And the winners are...

Women in Tech Lifetime Achievement Corinne Vigreux Co-Founder at TomTom Founder at CODAM Coding College France/The Netherlands

Women in Tech Global Leadership Bedy Yang Managing Partner at 500 Startups Brazil/USA

Women in Tech Start Up Narisa Chauvidul-Aw CEO and Founder@ KogoPay Thailand

Women in Tech Allie Jeanette Cheah CEO & Co-Founder, The Hacker Exchange Australia

Most Disruptive Women in Tech Julia Salasky CEO at Legl UK

Aspiring Teen Brianna Gopaul Intern @Sanctuary AI Canada

THE POWER OF SERIOUS GAMES CAN WE ADULTS LEARN WHILE PLAYING WITH LEGO? The Lego® Serious Play® (LSP) methodology gives each person the opportunity to “build knowledge”, turning ideas into prototypes. The LEGO blocks will be turned into models that have a meaning – they’'ll become stories! While working on your soft skills: problem solving, creativity, critical thinking and communication. With LSP, each person will share insights, perspectives and points of view on a first round. After that, participants will be given a challenge: to build a common story, co-creating a shared model as a team. This means that everybody contributes to the final result. Participants are engaged and empowered. Having cognitive diversity, the final prototype will be richer because it embodies the collective intelligence of the group. Communication and collaboration will bring better decisions and better outputs – a prototype built together increases the added value of the model (story) and people's commitment. Sometimes it’s hard to put into words our ideas. When we apply (put in practice) our imagination, we are creative. When we play, we are flowing and we can perform, fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus and enjoyment. As a result, when we play, we are happier and more productive. That’s the LEGO power, using the colours, the formats and the 3D perspective of the blocks. We bring “life” into the sessions. ONYOU delivers “hands-on” learning experiences based on playfulness. Participants are the main actors, building the session in “real time”; co-producing the contents of this story. They will experience a new way of thinking – handstorming. Hands on! About Rita Pelica Networker, curious mind and innerpreneur, Rita is the Chief Energy Officer & Founder of ONYOU developing several projects on education and training of undergraduate students and executives (at Universities and in companies), with focus on soft skills and entrepreneurship mindset. She ́'s addicted to learning. Rita is Certified Facilitator in LEGO® Serious Play® and Certified Practicioner in Business Model You® because she believes these methodologies blend management, marketing and human resources concepts in a very innovative and visual way. As a complement, she did an international certification on Storytelling and Management 3.0.

Polina Khabarova Chief Transformation Officer & Deputy CEO for Human Resources, IT company CROC



Tell us about you and your career.

My story is quite straightforward. First, I graduated from the Philosophy Department at Lomonosov Moscow State University, and then I earned a Master’s Degree at the State Management Department. I started my career in the HR department of Merloni Elettrodomestici, a network of large international companies, then worked with Artcom Worldwide Partners, an advertising agency. Finally, in 2007, I joined IT company CROC and went on to become a corporate culture team leader after three and a half years. Some years later, I was promoted to the position of Chief Human Resources Officer and, since 2014, I have been working as Deputy CEO for Human Resources.

Now, I am a Chief Transformation Officer as well, so am in charge of business transformation, which includes changing corporate culture and adopting new approaches to business development.

How did you decide to go into IT?

Once I realized that I needed an interesting full-time job, I joined CROC as an intern to foster awareness of corporate culture. I was choosing carefully. The company’s business really mattered to me and it had to be IT and banking related. So, I was searching for a mature company and looked closely at the people interviewing me. I was lucky to find CROC, which was one of the first good fits. The managers inspired me as, when they were talking about projects, their eyes sparkled with genuine excitement. CROC’s case is unique. Many of the things created here aren’t seen anywhere else, not even in large international companies.

Did you always know that HR Transformation was what you wanted to do?

When I was 13, I tried to imagine myself as an HR manager, but I thought it was only about recruiting. Working in Merloni transformed my idea of this job in the modern business environment. It was all new to me, but I realized that any business-related matter involves the input of an CHRO. That’s when I clearly saw that a CHRO should be a partner who both participates in a business and knows what is needed for success. I mean people. Everything matters, from corporate culture to business processes.

POLINA KHABAROVA Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to persue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it?

In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business?

Well, I am one of the lucky few who haven’t been in such a situation. Again, I am lucky to work in a healthy teamwork environment, with colleagues and friends supporting my aspirations. It helps a lot when you have someone to rely on.

You should stop seeing yourself as merely a functional staff member or assistant to the business. Instead, try thinking of yourself as a stakeholder and clearly understand what the business does and why it is efficient or not. Don't distance yourself from the company you're working at and don’t narrow your area of responsibility. Business is about people. It is people who create and change the world. Realizing this makes all the difference.

What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before started your career/business?

You are your own biggest challenge. It is practically impossible to always be your best, so be ready to experience ups and downs. To what do you attribute your success?

I believe there is always someone smarter than you, a lot of people actually are. Some companies are better at something, so sharing experience is a good idea. Always. As we are pushing the frontiers of knowledge, we should go as far as possible, never shutting ourselves off from the world. Therefore, it is always worthwhile to experience new and different practices. I have my personal KPI: networking with external experts at least once a month. It might be a conference,round table, skype call, or chat via messenger. I try to stay current on Russian and foreign business community trends. If I come across an interesting speaker, I’ll get in touch and have a talk.

How do you find inspiration in your life?

Every day I meet and work with all kinds of interesting people who inspire me. I find inspiration in their success and can’t help wondering about how different they all are. Moreover, new experiences always help you get out of your comfort zone.

What did you learn from your biggest failure?

Just like everyone else, I sometimes face hard choices. Embracing and learning from mistakes always helps you to reconsider your views on business and see what really matters. Turning failures into opportunities for growth is a must-have skill in today’s world. In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women?

Our company does address this issue. For example, we are making the environment more comfortable for women, while also establishing smart and creative platforms within the company where men and women can work together. Mixed project teams work in a friendly atmosphere, with everyone having equal opportunities to develop skills and secure promotion. On top of that, almost half of our board of director members are women. What's your favorite quote?

Teamwork makes the dream work, and if it does not, the coach is to blame.


Rita Oliveira Pelica ONYOU – Empowering & Learning Experiences Chief Energy Officer & Founder



Tell us about you and your business.

Did you always know that it was what you wanted to do?

After working 20 years for the corporate world, mainly in management and human resources, I felt the desire to create my own business. I´ve always been a curious person but it “got worse” in the last years – round my 40th anniversary! I found my entrepreneurial side in several “side projects” and with an open mindset, I understood I needed to move on to something different: I was searching for a purpose, creative freedom and autonomy. I thought I could to better, helping people to empower themselves on soft skills, through new ways of learning, assuming their own accountability.That´s why ONYOU was born!

No I didn´t. But I had my feeling… At first it was a discovery process, step by step. Projects and new clients coming up and recommending my job was a great insight. After almost three years, I think I found my “space” to work with people/teams that are concern with their awareness, education and performance. Using different, innovative and more experiential tools to upskill and reskill. My positioning was simple: to include people in the center of the learning sessions. It´s about them – not about me – and how they interact, participate and engage in the process.

How did you decide to start your business?

Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to persue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it?

It was something really natural that made sense. Kind of “my timing”! When you surround yourself with beautiful and inspiring people you start dreaming that maybe you could be just like them, wanting to be a part of that tribe. So I took my chance and using my resources, knowledge and social capital I started my business – with the purpose to bring new approaches and a growth mindset to individuals, teams and organizations. With more energy and fun!

I must say no, in fact I had a great support from different circles: family, friends, colleagues and professional network. I´m really focused on ONYOU as my mission so I have a lot of energy and motivation to “keep calm and carry on”. Being resilient.

RITA What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before started your career/business?

Invest as soon as possible in your personal and social competencies (soft skills) and in your network (social capital). Today, it´s much more about you knows you, who can endorse you and recommend your job. You have to be the best version of you, even not being perfect. Women need to “walk the talk”, speak up and be visible and confident. What did you learn from your biggest failure?

We need to be courageous in life and in business. Don´t try to be someone that you´re not and do things you really don´t want to do just to please others and for the money. It will bring you tension… Now I do what I feel I must do; if it´s not a clear yes, it must be a clear no. Don´t loose clarity and keep your values in mind. Be faithful to you and to your principles. In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women?

Companies must stop with the “one size fits all” programs, regarding por instance motivation and incentives. Companies should work more on empathy and active listening; assuming less and being adjustable to the real needs. Inclusiveness and diversity policies are business-oriented in order to achieve better results. Fact.

PELICA In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business?

I think we need to understand the context where we are (society, culture, companies, …) and it can be not inspiring. Mind the unconscient bias! But I can choose my context! (to be there or notto be, if I can´t change it… I can change to a different context). And we women need to assume our responsibility in our selfesteem, ambition, confidence and performance. Building trust and credibility to show evidences. At the end it will be (I hope!) not about gender, but about trust and communication! How do you find inspiration in your life?

I found inspiration everyday in here: IRL – in real life, observing, listening and interacting with people and being aware of the atmosphere! Simple, practical with lots of resources. To what do you attribute your success?

Hard work, love and energy. Managing social media is an important part for my business, to reach my target. Tech is a real enabler for success! What's your favorite quote?

Can I have 2? “Put all you are into the smallest thing you do” by Fernando Pessoa and “Your brand is not an opt-out!” by Dorie Clark.


Yasena Zasheva Investment Manager Â


Tell us about you and your business. I started my career in the oldest financial institution in Bulgaria – Elana Financial Holding. Throughout the years I had the opportunity to work, among others, on the first successful IPO in Bulgaria after the financial crisis, the first for the region merger between mutual funds and the IPO of a tech company with international presence. I took my next step as senior financial analyst for the German company 2iQ research, where I subsequently became the Head of Capital Markets for Asia. Most recently, I have transitioned to the VC sector as Investment manager for Dynax Invest.

How did you decide to go into Finance and VC sector? It was a combination of my love for mathematics, my academic background in International Economics Relations and being fortunate enough to have an extremely supportive and encouraging first manager, who gave me opportunity to learn and set me up for success.

Did you always know that Finance was what you wanted to do? I have always been interested in financial services, but my experience has helped me take a step away from capital markets and into the venture capital sphere. We all know the tech giants, which are an integral part of most investment portfolios. However, I have found the VC sector presents the opportunity to be part of this journey from the beginning – from the moment when modern economic history is made.



Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to pursue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it? Everyone meets challenges along their professional path and feels discouraged at some point. The most important thing for me is to focus on the moments and people, that are willing to bet on you and give you a chance to evolve and achieve your professional dreams. I have been quite fortunate to meet a lot people, who gave me countless opportunities. What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before starting your career/business? I would tell them to consistently give 100%. Success, in my opinion, is a combination of constant and consistent efforts and dose of luck. When we methodically and continuously give 100% of ourselves, this inevitably increases our chances to be lucky and our ability to take advantage of it.

What did you learn from your biggest failure? To dust yourself off and make sure you don't repeat it. I also think failures make us empathise better with other and be self-reflective as opposed to judgmental. In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive of women? I think we need to evaluate work in absolute terms – without any consideration who may have done it. Work should be measured on the basis of quality, deadlines, scope for improvement, though constructing criticism of course. Whether the person behind is male or female should be irrelevant.

In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business? Giving up. When we hear “no” and are denied something, we usually accept this as a final conclusion to the matter. A "no" can frequently mean one of two things – “not this way” or “not now”. We need to re-evaluate the situation and find another path without getting discouraged. How do you find inspiration in your life? I find it in the numerous good examples and role models in my life internationally, in my professional network and of course in my loved ones.










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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Robin Selden Chief Marketing Officer Avast



FROM SCRUBS TO CYBER SECURITY From scrubs to CyberSecurity... how did this happen? Robin and I met during the Women in Business Expo that took place at Farnborough Expo Center in October. My first question, based on my own curiosity, was asking Robin how the transition happened from scrubs to marketing. Robin: "I studied at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo and after this, I decided to take an MBA in Business at Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business. So I started as a product manager and during the hiring process for this specific position, I proved to my line manager that I could do the job and had the energy to accept the challenge. Of course, I thought many times ‘Can I be good at this?’ but I just believed in myself." I really admire women like Robin, who have a high confidence in themselves and prove to the world that they are ambitious and competent to set a higher standard for themselves.

ROBIN SELDEN I love that she accepted the challenge and proved that she could deliver the job. My next question was: In your opinion, Robin, how can women survive in the tech industry, and have you been in a situation where you felt discouraged to pursue your dreams? Robin: "It is very important to build a network in tech to support each other. Tech can be tough but if you are ambitious and prove yourself, the tech industry doesn't care as long as you are capable of delivering your job. So, I never really felt discouraged."

And how are you helping and supporting other women now that you have already made it to the top? Robin: "Being visible and helping others is massive on my personal agenda. I support my team and attend events whenever I can because it is a straightforward way to show that I care and support other women around me. At Avast, our Board has three female board members and we keep looking at how and what we can do as a business to advocate and champion women in technology.�

During our conversation, I felt that not only has Robin worked really hard and thrown herself to face big challenges, but she is also a massive advocate for women in tech - a wonderful role model for all of us. My next question is about juggling a career and a family. Robin: "One of the most important signs I’ve had that I am doing things right was when my son wrote a school essay about his hero. I was surprised and emotional because he chose me - even though I had suffer of "mom guilty" most weeks, it's so reassuring that he recognizes my hard work and career.

Our time is running out really fast, so my last question is: What is the best experience in your career to date? Robin: "Being able to work in a company that is aligned with my ethos, with a wonderful team, full of talented and outstanding people, and to have the opportunity to be working to close the gender gap in tech. For most of my life, I was a minority in most of the meetings I was in and now, I want to work to increase diversity in the tech sector and support more women joining cybersecurity."


4 TRUTHS ABOUT DIVERSITY & INCLUSION It has been over a year since I set up MEA, a company designed to raise awareness and drive change to achieve gender balance and inclusion. It has been 36 years in which I have personally experienced being a minority (this is not all derived from being Asian female, but for various differences including personality traits and characteristics) and it was previously 12 years which I spent working within Investment Banking, a short time of which as a mother. I was deeply out of tune with the fire in me burning towards driving change. I previously held myself unaccountable for gender inequality, and a little moan of the injustice over a coffee was enough to reset the clock, go back to work and enjoy my nice monthly income. I believe it was my time returning back to work as a mother (of a lovely daughter) that this fire could not be suppressed with a moan over a coffee. There were deep-rooted systemic challenges which women faced, and there were cultural and societal expectations drowning in biases towards women. It was also clear there was a dominating and very singular path to workplace success. I realised I was not alone and saw this reflected amongst my friends in different industries, my network, clients and acquaintances. As I reflect on my time at MEA, my work with various industries, and own personal experiences, I’ve come to the realisation of 4 key challenges in the bid for gender balance and inclusion:

1) Diversity is still primarily perceived as charity work. A common theme I see, is that d&i work is a '7th performance KPI' for employees in the business (e.g. to get involved in the women’s network, promote diversity events etc). The overarching feedback is this is a non-promotable task. There is no reward for employees who do this well, and at times there are in fact penalties when there is ‘too much focus’ which is perceived detracting from mainstream business work. D&I budgets are undeniably small and have not grown at the pace at which companies are outwardly vocalising their commitment to drive change. Ultimately, businesses need to question how they truly perceive diversity. Is this merely a moral imperative or a business strategy which leads to increased representation of the customer base, diversity of perspectives, innovation and profitability? If it is the latter, it is time to be explicit on the capital investment put aside to achieve these results.

2) There needs to be a structural reorganisation if we want to see a shift in business culture. I remember my time in Banking - working on the trading floor, compliance was a core part of the business. We needed constant advice on trades we did with clients. In the banks I worked for, we had front office compliance which sat with us. They were visible, accessible, we built solid relationships, respect and trust with them. I strongly believe we need exactly the same for D&I. We need experts who are sat with and integrated into each business area, who have full visibility into individual business culture, the ability to build solid relationships, trust and more importantly, accessibility to ALL employees in that business area. When I say experts, what do I mean? I mean Inclusion Coaches. For those of you who have watched Billions, you get a snippet (albeit a distorted and slighlty warped version) into the power of coaching. Why inclusion? Well, it allows us to find best practises to capitalise on differences, coping mechanisms to deal with challenges, and a forum to vocalise our deep biases in a safe space. What is the impact of that? Better relationships at work, better ways of working, ultimately higher engagement with clients. I strongly believe in the power of inclusion and direct impact on employees, teams and therefore business performance, and ultimately profitability. 3) People are scared to speak up and I’m not surprised. If you are reading this article, I’m sure you have encountered the saying ‘let’s get comfortable with being uncomfortable’. I use this saying in my workshops, my consulting work and events I host. It’s true right? We don’t know what we don’t know. We won’t know what we don’t know if we don’t ask. Why are we scared to speak up? Is it because the chances of us being pulled up on unintentionally offending, the focus on our shortcomings and the risk of damaging our professional reputations continue to dominate the progress we might make if we do speak up? I think so.

guidance over criticism. I had a prospective client recently talking about ethnicity and he was so unsure if to call me Asian, Indian, a woman of colour or brown. It became very apparent and I told him I actually just see myself as British so whatever works personally for me (except brown!). He immediately settled having clarity on how best to be guided. I am on the similar journey myself with pronouns and how to address this with others (she/her, he/him, they/them). I have most probably addressed that wrong already. It is very new to me, as is my work with gender fluidity and I really want to learn - I had encountered some very kind people who have provided me guidance and it is helping me more than sole criticism when being incorrect. 4) Diversity is a meaningless word. It really is. I ask you to send me a visual image of the perfect picture of diversity. Is it a team, picture with 2 people of each BAME, non BAME background, of all genders, LGBT and disabilities? But what about the short man in that picture? Or the woman with ginger hair? What if you are missing the employee with the strong regional accent or different dress sense? There will ALWAYS be a minority in any group of people. A man in a room of women will be the minority. A straight woman at an LGBT event will be. So let's focus less on diversity and MORE on inclusion. Inclusion welcomes and embraces difference, and will ultimately remove barriers for anyone from difference and create the natural workplace dynamic. Despite how this article might read, I do believe change is coming. Not fully in my career lifetime but hopefully in time for my daughter's generation. We are seeing positive strides in the bid for gender balance and I must acknowledge that. Men are being involved in the challenge, media are pledging to increase representation on peak time tv (which we know deeply feeds our biases), minority networks are getting sponsored from dominant groups, and gender pay gap reporting is forcing the conversation.

For example, it is apparent many males employees advocate for change but there is a common fear around stigmatisation, being inappropriately perceived with female colleagues and afraid to ask questions and even vocalise this fear in case they offend. The ironic thing is, there tends as much criticism as there is praise for well-intentioned work to drive change. How do we change this? Promote authenticity. Create a culture which allows people to speak up and is forgiving to those who make mistakes. Provide a framework to employees in how to be open, honest whilst creating a safe space. Be constructive. When or if we are offending or making mistakes, provide

About Anju Solanki Founder at MEA Consulting Group Gender Balance | Changing Culture

Pivotal Moments Susanne Birgersdotter


Fear is crippling, we all know that.

Comfortable, constant, unexciting.

In life and in business, fears are aplenty. Every one of us has our own fears. Some of us could be afraid of heights, the others of the dark. Many are afraid of losing, and some fear the unknown. I am scared of letting people down. We have our own ways of dealing with fear. While most will evade the things that we’re afraid of, some will conquer them head-on.

But, why rock the boat when it's floating, right?

What separates the successful from the rest is their ability to conquer fear. Many of us will choose the familiarity, constancy, and security of our comfort zones over the unknown, unventured, and untraveled paths of life. We can easily avoid our fears by carefully creating a life that is devoid of them. Fear of flying? Travel by car. Afraid of spiders? Live in the city. Afraid of being turned down? Do not propose. Avoiding fear is easy. But it is also very limiting. It cuts us off from the rest of the world, from the possibilities in life, and from success. Inside our cocoon, we laze in the comforts of knowing everything. We wake up and sleep on schedule. We eat similar food, meet the same people, and watch the same TV shows. We go to work doing the same things over and over, expecting around the same pay and looking forward to retiring from the same job.

The successful will always face their fears head-on. You can expect a lot of fears in the business world. Yet, there is no room for fears in business success. Here are some of the most common fears that are stopping people from starting a business and hindering businesspeople from achieving their goals.

The fear of failure – Nobody likes failure, but some will take the risks, nonetheless. And those who do are the ones who move forward with success. What successful people know is that failure is part of success, and the only way to get to the goal is by mastering this fear. The fear of change – Going into business entails a lot of change – in lifestyle, work hours, and outlook. If one wants to be successful in business, one should be prepared and adaptable to a lot of changes. The most successful businesses are those that are innovative and welcome and embrace change. The fear of being uncomfortable – Starting your own business will get you into a lot of uncomfortable situations. You will need to talk to strangers, learn new things, double your workload, and might have to make do of a lower income. You will also have to do some things that you normally hate doing – ask for funding, ask for business, manage people, doing the books. Successful people don’t like doing most of these things too! But, they do it anyway. The fear of being wrong – What is my idea is a flub? What if nobody buys it? What if the marketing strategy is wrong? There will be a lot of decisions to make when you’re in business. Big decisions that could kill your business, make people jobless, and you going bankrupt. These are scary moves, and the weak will easily chicken out. What successful people do is to know everything they can about the concern on hand and consider all the risks, consequences, and rewards. This way, the risks are lowered, and the chances of success are increased. The fear of the unknown – The whole future is unknown. While many anticipate good things to come, some are scared of what the future has to offer. While we can’t control the future, we have a hand in shaping it as to how we want it. If we want higher sales, we can create effective campaigns. If we want successful business expansions, we do proper research and study on expanding operations and possible locations. We can never have total reassurance of success, but we can always nudge the meter of the possibilities towards our favor. The fear of letting people down – This is my biggest fear. I hate letting people down. Leading an organization entails having the confidence and drive that will make your people trust you. I don’t mind making a mistake or failing at something. But I’m scared of looking into people’s eyes and seeing their disappointment of me. I try to mitigate this fear by nurturing real relationships with the people I work with. This way, they see me as a person too, not just as the CEO.

What are your fears in business? What’s stopping you? Let’s discuss! If you haven’t yet, join the successful sisterhood here. Learn more of my business and life journeys from my book, Pivotal Moments, here. It is also available in Kindle. About Susanne Birgersdotter Susanne is a successful entrepreneur who started her journey in the comfort of her own home. She has had fails, challenges and success on her way and her insights into the world of entrepreneurship are valuable to entrepreneurs, women in tech and business people. In a male-dominated industry and business, Susanne offers a fresh perspective on entrepreneurship and how to juggle motherhood and business. Susanne is a respected businesswoman and was nominated for the Swedish Most Powerful Female Founder three years in a row and also most successful business woman of the year. Susanne Birgersdotter started her journey in her own kitchen when she decided to design a math app to help her daughter with school. Susanne has a passion for helping and supporting other women in the industry and wishes to empower and encourage the ones that need it. Susanne is author of the book “Pivotal Moments”. In her book Susanne shares her story on how she became a serial entrepreneur. The way to the top is never easy and contains many up’s and downs. These are the pivotal moments in our lives that shape us.


HOW DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS CHANGING THE WAY WE WORK Remember those sticky notes you had on your screen? Those to-do lists scribbled on lime and orange paper, bright enough to ensure you wouldn’t miss anything? And then you would go from one status meeting to another, because nobody else could see your sticky notes. Not a waste of time at all, right? That was my life when I first entered the workforce and sat in one of those coveted cubicles. The open office concept was not a thing yet, although our perks included what seemed like a constant supply of food - most likely leftovers from all those meetings. You know what else wasn’t a thing? Digital transformation. Unless you meant convincing your clients that it was ok for businesses to join Facebook. If none of this sounds familiar, you’re probably my niece’s age - one of those digital natives that are estimated to comprise 70% of the workforce by 2020 (that’s just a few weeks away, can you believe that)? I feel like I just aged myself, but really, this wasn’t so long ago. We had smartphones, you know… Here's the thing about digital transformation: it’s happening now and changing the way we work faster than some realize. But it IS time to realize that and adapt, because only those companies that do will be able to compete in the global market.

WHAT EXACTLY IS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION? If you want a textbook definition, here’s a good one from Techopedia: “Changes associated with digital technology application and integration into all aspects of human life and society. It is the move from the physical to digital.” In other words: sticky notes don’t cut it anymore. Not in the decade we’re about to enter, where 73% of business will have remote workers . When the workforce is increasingly global and distributed, traditional ways of working are not enough for efficient project management and team collaboration. In the modern business world, work needs to be digitized and accessible to all. And it cannot truly happen without firms investing in the right digital tools.

HOW IS OUR WORK CHANGING? While digital transformation affects all aspects of business operations, such as sales and customer engagement, perhaps the biggest change is in project management and how teams collaborate, especially distributed teams. The shift is driven not only by the emerging technology, but new trends in management, which call for more autonomy, flexibility, and dynamic collaboration. Let’s have a look.

Real-time communication Email used to be king (and in many places still is), but aren’t you tired of email overload and people hitting “reply all” just to say thanks? What about sitting in unnecessary meetings when you could be working instead? Thanks to tools such as Slack or Mattermost , communication has become asynchronous, meaning teams can exchange information and give project updates more efficiently, in real time, on mobile devices, while limiting the need for face-to-face interactions. Those still have a place in the business world, we’re social creatures after all, but now we can easily choose which meetings are essential. Flexible work management When it comes to communicating with colleagues, online chats are not enough to work as a team. You need tools that help you synchronize information and stay on top of what is happening. Solutions like Trello have become quite common to organize and manage projects in a virtual space. Tools like Kantree take it a step further, bringing the power of collaboration to businesses of all sizes. Taking inspiration from spreadsheets, Kantree allows you to manage projects and create small online databases in a truly collaborative environment with more flexibility and business-friendly features. Thanks to the emergence of these tools, team members not only can work together more efficiently, but manage their parts of the project with more autonomy. As a result, the work of a project manager is therefore shifting towards that of a facilitator. More remote teams Speaking of more autonomy... As mentioned before, remote teams are on the rise and this trend is expected to continue. While remote work has been commonplace in the tech industry, some traditionally-structured firms are starting to see the value of having a remote workforce (and not merely offering work-from-home days once or twice a month). There are a few reasons for that, in addition to digital tools. First of all, the pool of candidates has become global. If companies want to attract top talent, they have to adapt to the market, otherwise their competitors will beat them to it. Second, Millennials and Gen Z workers look for employers that offerflexibility in terms of location and work hours. And third, studies show that remote work helps increase productivity by as much as 13%, contrary to long-held beliefs. Sign me up I remember coming back to work from vacation in my first and second job and having hundreds of unread emails in my inbox. Sifting through them not only took time, but was also frustrating, once I saw how many times I was cc’d on messages for no reason. I don’t have this problem anymore. I’m writing these words from my home in Paris, during a national transportation strike. I’m not one to commute to work on an electric scooter when the metro is not running and it’s winter. Working for a remote-first company that has fully embraced digital transformation means I don’t have to deal with the commute headache that my friends are experiencing, nor is the company losing money. Digital transformation is here and I wish it had come sooner.

About Pola Henderson Pola Henderson is a communications specialist based in Paris, formerly Chicago. She currently works as the Content & Community Manager at Digicoop , a France-based cooperative startup that develops collaborative online tools for teams, including the work management platform Kantree. Pola is also a freelance writer and public speaker, previously featured on CNN, NPR, TechCrunch and more.

A PEOPLE CHOOSE A PEOPLE. B CHOOSE C. Some 20 years ago, my boss then and one of the most important mentors I had in life, taught me about this truism from a renowned PhD in organizacional psychology: A people hire A people, B hire C. Have in mind that this truism is not about A-types personalities. It’s about quality levels and how people relate to their own perceived quality level. Well… my boss taught me this while placing me as an “A”. For good and for bad. This lesson and teaching of his has been with me ever since. Actually I still do my best to live up to that heavy “label” he applied to me. And as time passed I have expanded this truism to way more than just the career realm as I have come to believe that this can be applied in some ways to work, love and live quality levels. Let me share it with you, this widely generalised truism of mine…


A These are outliers and the best at any realm they are invested in or that they put their minds into. High quality level performers, self-aware of their “A” status, they carry the confidence that they will perform at their best regardless or in lieu of external circumstances since they know their level of performance and delivery is dependent on what they do. They do not fear, and they actually enjoy, look for and thrive when side by side with other high-ability people or competition. “A” people in work undoubtedly choose to hire other “A” people. There is virtually no fear of competition. In fact, most of these managers understand that hiring top quality people is the key to their future success. They want to hire people who are winners just like them. In fact, most “A” performers measure the quality of their company or teams by the number of “A” people that they manage to attract and keep. “A” people in love do the same. They choose to take other “A” as partners as they know that they will thrive when paired with one another. Also in love they have no fear of competition may it be external or between the two of them. The high potential of an “A” relationship is part of the reasons why they love that person and being continuously challenged by the other is part of the value in the relationship. Most of all, “A” people take upon themselves the responsibility of coming in to the relationship with the best and happiest version of themselves that they have to give. Assuming the other will do the same, together they will be more and better than before and the potential of such couples is immense.

“A” people in life choose to be surrounded by other “A’s”. With their children and with friends, people and community that they embrace, “A” people will continuously deliver high levels of contribution, of teaching and of accountability. Always feeling and believing that they have the responsibility of giving back as much as they can and definitely always more than what they take. And they expect the same from others.

B These are the majority at any field or realm. They are the competent, trust-worthy and solid performers. They may not have achieved full potential at all realms they are in, but quite importantly is the fact that with conscientious and intentional development, they can increase their delivery and performance to a consistent high quality level.

“B” people in work can choose in a few ways. Being that only one way is harmful to companies I will start off with that: #1 Way: since some “B’s” are not fully confident in their ability to perform, especially against “A” co-workers, many “B” people will avoid competition. And the only way that some “B” managers can be certain to avoid competition from someone better, is to hire someone who is clearly not as good. Therefore, many “B” choose to hire “C”. While this typically happens at a sub-conscious level, the effect is no less real: a huge decrease in the overall performance and quality of a team or company. #2 Way: luckly amongst “B’s” there are exceptions to this pitfall. Those “B+” managers that have their eye and goal on achieving “A” level, for themselves or their teams, and in order to continue on that path they surround themselves with “A’s”. These are the Team Managers that build a team with higher hard skills than themselves have, in order to create a simbiose. They manage. The team performs. #3 Way: those “B” that are already comfortable with their status and quality level and feel confident and comfortable where they are without feeling the need to overachieve nor to pay the high price and toll that being an “A” sometimes requires. These are the happy team workers. “B” people in love have many choices as well. They can find an “A” partner and find a way to continuously make the relationship work although it is up to the “B” to run at fast pace. An “A” will inevitably be in high gears, will have a hard time understanding other’s insecurities, will constantly be engaged in something else or something new and always expecting more. Being with an “A” partner can indeed prove to be too much of a strain and effort to anyone. On a high note, we have it that relationships between “B’s” are the most common and solid trust-based relationships where they do complement each other living a happy and fruitful partnership. On a low note, it is only when a “B” has higher insecurities or dependences that they choose a “C” for a partner. “C’s” will mostly likely be insecure partners, most times negative, complaining and dependent on the “B” in more than one way. Or they may just idolise the “B” as someone so much better than them, sometimes generating a feed-loop to those “B’s” that may actually like that idolatry as it provides a sense of superiority, of control and dominance and an easy relationship. “B” in life come in many ways and forms. Too many to go over with all of them here as it all depends many variables such as individual circunstantes and context. On a high note, they are the good friend always ready to be available, to listen and to support the adventures of their “A” friends. As parents they are involved, supportive and norm complaint caregivers involved in many ways. On a low note, some “B” people can turn out to be the clingy and demanding parents that live and feel fully accomplished when living an un-lived life through their kids achievements and success, placing an unfair burden on them.

C These are also outliers but on the opposite side of the quality spectrum. They are marginally competent or accountable even at their best effort and at everything or anything they do. Their quality of delivery and performance is typically mediocre. Unfortunately, as they always put their single good ability or their best foot forward, they are not immediately easy to spot when someone comes across them. “C” level people in work, love and life… Well, we all know who these are. They are the disgruntled co-workers who will try to bring themselves up by taking others down. After a relatively short period of time on the job, they are easy to identify. They frequently attribute their lack of success to factors which are external to themselves and, therefore, outside of their control. They are the lover or partner that will bring any partner down as a system in order to feel better with themselves. They will be emotionally and financially dependent of others because they feel they are entitled. Only “C” people will feel the need to show off money, status or any little achievement in career, love and life in order to diminish others and therefore feel better and superior. They are not team players and since they live in the self-illusion of grandeur they will not feel the need to evolve, to get better or to contribute to others.

So, and while sharing my 2 cents of opinion, what should one do? If you are an A, take it easy and share more. Knowledge is only of value if shared and if put into action.Do offer chances to “B” people and do give back as much as you can.And be patient, compassionate and gentle with yourself and others.The race is long so take your time. If you are a B, then rise up and break the chain.Avoid the pitfall of choosing “C” quality people out of fear.Start choosing “A” people besides other “B’s”. Your success will come sooner and bigger.Get surrounded with “A” and “B” by creating a new group of friends if need be.Do teach and inspire your kids to be comfortable with who they are and to accept competition and difference even if it challenges them. If you are a C… hummmm… Not sure if it makes sense writing to “C” people.If you are reading this article getting this far in it, you are for sure an “A” or a “B”!Probably no “C” would read this.

About Luisa Baltazar A Senior Consultant, multi-Founder and a Mentor that everyday makes business and results happen. A happy nomad and warrior soul from Lisbon with a heart from Alentejo, Portugal and from the Bay Area, USA. A natural born communicator in search for the paths that may take her curiosity from knowledge to wisdom. A strong believer that communication is dialogue, dialogue is learning and learning is constant evolution. A mother of 2 amazing kids, that everyday is reminded that she is in no way half-done in life, she is just starting. All of these, a hand full of reasons for her to now and then, feel inspired. And to now and then, find the time to write on her PopUp Mind blog. And now and them… people read it.

If you do not already know me, I am Jayde, an 18 year old who is known for building a massive audience of 1.2 million followers on TikTok. I am using what I have learned along my journey to give back to the people so you too can grow a successful TikTok channel. I hope that this is very helpful and informative to you. First part: A - ALGORITHM - How does the TikTok algorithm work, and how you can use it in your favor to help grow your TikTok account! B - BIO - Learn how to set your TikTok Bio, and why it is so important. Clickable bio links coming soon to TikTok! C - CHALLENGE - If you are a business or have a personal brand that you want to get out on TikTok then a challenge is what you need to do! D - DUET - Find ways to add the duet feature in your TikTok videos more often. It is a great way to engage with other creators and have fun! E - ENJOY - Having fun and really enjoying what you are doing is critical to your success. F - FOR YOU PAGE - Learn how to Navigate on TikTok from the For You page. #fyp G - GO FOR IT - Be the person who decided to GO FOR IT! H - HASHTAGS - Hashtags are the heart of TikTok, and what drive the platforms most engagement. I - INSIGHTS - How to view your TikTok insights/analytics! J - JOKE - When it comes to TikTok you have to have fun. It is OK to make a Joke out of things and make it real and relatable. K - KINDNESS - Remain kind to your followers along your journey! L - LIVE - How to go LIVE on TikTok and How to Monetize It! M - MORE - Find MORE time in your life to Have Fun, Laugh, Smile, and to Be You!

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LINKEDIN AND MY TOP 5 ADVICE TO GENERATE BUSINESS... WHY LINKEDIN? 610 million professionals use LinkedIn ⅘ LinkedIn members drive business decisions 2X the buying power of average web audiences #1 platform for B2B lead generation

HOW IT WORKS Business networking: allows you to search, connect and develop business relationships in real time with anyone around the world. Personal branding: allows you to develop and build a strong personal branding as an expert in your field. Joint venture: legal term for collaboration between two businesses. Marketing: You can have the best product or service but if no one knows about it then you don’t really have a business. Last but not least... LinkedIn Marketing Passive and Active Marketing. 1. Passive: LI search and recommendations + Introductions + testimonials . 2. Active: Optimize profile + post regularly + comment people posts + participate in groups + invite people to connect (add a personal note) + articles + business page *LinkedIn paid advertising and LinkedIn premium (membership).

MY 5 TOP ADVICE Business Networking See your LinkedIn as a real networking event. Some people will not be a match for you. And it is not a problem actually is good, you know exactly who you want to talk to. How you find this people? Job titles, industry, hashtags, 2nd connections, LI recommendations, groups, import your business contacts, cities, people that comment in your posts, etc. Personal Branding Here take into consideration 3 points: Optimize your profile - your custom URL, professional photo, summary section filled with industry SEO, add media, cover photo, headline industry related (i help…), etcPost, videos and articles. Joint Venture A collaboration or partnership. It won’t work without a relationship where both are comfortable and trusting in each other. Marketing You can have the best product or service but if no one knows about it then you don’t really have a business.Post thinking about your branding, target clients, products or services and all benefits, etcLinkedin doesn't like images or outside links - so I suggest do not post using those tricks because it could work in a negative way (no engagement). LinkedIn Marketing Passive: LI search and recommendations + Introductions + testimonials. Active: Optimize profile + post regularly + comment people posts + participate in groups + invite people to connect (add a personal note) + articles + business page. Follow us for more advice in Digital Marketing and Social Media.

About Candyce Costa Candyce Costa drives, educates and motivates businesses on how to create effective strategies applying Digital Marketing Tools and Social Media Channels in a comprehensive way. She is a Digital Marketing Consultant helping B2B companies to focus on exploring new and modern ways to grow - how an app or a sales funnel would increase their sales rates or brand awareness or which channels would work better for their company in a B2B environment. Most of the times, her diverse background in Economics, Sales and International Events is a real plus on managing data and statistics, negotiating and managing budgets, as well, an understanding of complex projects and engaging with customers of all industries. She is also the founder of DIGITAL BUSINESS WOMEN - a digital magazine focused on Women in Tech and Digital businesses offering interviews, articles, recommendations and adverts and is building a strong community of ambitious and tech savvy women. She also runs Digital Marketing Workshops for startups and consultants as well as being a Marketing and Gender Diversity Speaker."

6 REASONS WHY AI ETHICS IN CORPORATIONS IS ALL TALK AND NO ACTION Artificial Intelligence (AI) has permeated every industry ranging from financeto automotive and even fashion. The fear of terrifying human-like sentient machines perpetuated by Hollywood combined with dire warnings from experts has led to a flurry of well-deserved buzz around the ethics of AI. The corporate world has responded with a slow trickle of announcements touting their brand-new AI ethical codes and guidelines. But a recent interview with Neil Raden, the founder of Hired Brains, highlighted that having AI ethics on the discussion agenda is a good start but getting companies to adopt them in any meaningful way continues to be a challenge. So let’s take a closer look at why concrete action on AI ethics still lags far behind all the talk.

6 REASONS AI ETHICS IN CORPORATIONS IS (MOSTLY) ALL TALK & NO ACTION 1) Ethics is not sexy. Let’s get real. In the corporate world, new bright shiny objects and initiatives with a direct link to revenue generation are more likely to get visibility and funding. Ethics is neither glamorous or sexy. No one gets an award or promotion because they saved the company (and possibly the human race) from a potential ethical crisis many decades into the future. AI ethics discussions are typically relegated to some “expert committee” that meets semi-regularly. It’s anyone’s guess as to how much of their input and feedback is considered for implementation. 2) Speed to market is everything. As a newbie employee at a leading tech company, the first piece of advice I received from a top leader was to “Run as fast as you can.” The corporate world is very darwinian and there are no consolation prizes for slowing down or being fastidious in a highly competitive market. Unless ethics are integrated into the company’s processes or are required, most employees will choose the path of least resistance and skip right past them. 3) AI may be forever but most CEOs are not. According to a recent study, CEO turnover has risen over the past years and their median tenure at large-cap companies is 5yrs. In this short time period, CEOs are typically focused on keeping Wall Street happy, which makes it challenging to get their attention for issues that don’t contribute to the bottom-line. Also, any questionable practices that may cause issues for their successor in the future is not likely to get prioritized because of this short-term focus. 4) Oversimplification vs. paranoia.When it comes to AI, there seem to be two extreme schools of thought. On one side, we have those who believe all AI issues can be solved by well-intentioned technologists. On the other side, we have over-hyping of risks to such an extent that no solution is good enough. The challenge is convincing companies to take a more balanced approach that considers all benefits and risks, while keeping humans at the center of this very important discussion.

5) Carrots or sticks. To convince human beings (CEOs included) to change behavior, there needs to be an incentive or consequence. Today, the primary incentive to drive adoption of AI ethics is the warm, fuzzy feeling of doing the right thing. Government/regulatory agencies can be effective in “nudging” companies to adopt ethical policies and some like the U.K. have stepped up. However, in the current political climate, ethics have become a matter of opinion and vary wildly based on political affiliation so any meaningful regulation is unlikely to garner bipartisan support. 6) Talk is easy, action is hard. In a global executive survey on AI adoption, Rumman Chowdhury, lead for Responsible AI at Accenture, shared that AI ethics codes in many companies “are more directional than prescriptive.” Even in companies with the right leadership, there is a huge gap in skills and expertise to fully understand all the risks of AI, let alone figuring out how to address them.

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT? Keeping the hand-wringing and navel-gazing aside, let’s look at some ways that can effectively increase the adoption of AI ethics in corporate world. Influence at the top. A recent SAS survey shows that majority of companies with successful AI implementations have an AI Ethics training program in place. Organizations with an enlightened leadership that believes in the importance of AI ethics are already set up for success. For others, an executive level briefing is a good way to get the management familiar with risks/implications of AI. New doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel. Companies don’t need to start from scratch or create their principles for AI in a vacuum. Existing values and mission statement are a great starting point for any AI ethics code/principles as long as they include these 3 core areas at the minimum — Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency. Start at the beginning. Irina Raicu, Director of Internet Ethics at Markkula Center for Applied Ethicsrecommends including training on AI ethics in your new employee on-boarding process. Early indoctrination will help set the right tone for employees and ensure ethics are tightly integrated into the company culture. Integrate checks and balances. Regular training and feedback loops are essential so that ethics don’t become an afterthought. A leading financial institution has adopted protocols such that testing/checking of AI algorithms is done by a different team than the one building them. This allows the organization to eliminate any unconscious bias introduced into the algorithms by the developers. Include diverse perspectives. AI has traditionally been the realm of technologists but it requires a more collaborative and inclusive approach. Ethicists, philosophers, privacy advocates and end users should be included in any AI Ethics discussion to make sure solutions/outcomes are human-centric and not purely technology-centric. Support the good cause. Last but not the least, Here is a list of top 12+ noteworthy organizationsdedicated to tackling the dark side of AI and who are actively shaping the future of responsible AI. Learn from them, support their work and implement their expert recommendations, wherever possible.

About Mia Dand Mia Dand is the CEO of, a Strategic Research & Advisory firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mia is an experienced marketing leader who helps F5000 companies innovate at scale with digital and emerging technologies. She has built and led new emerging technology programs for global brands including Google, Symantec, HP, eBay and others. Mia is a strong champion for diversity & inclusion in tech. You can reach her on Twitter @MiaD




Steph Korey Away CEO is stepping down due to the toxic culture at the NYC startup after the Verge's report exposing the abusive work environment. Former workers accused Korey of mistreating the team via Slack messages, called an employee brain dead, that workers won't be allowed paid time off, etc Korey has apologized for her behaviour and posted a similar statement on Twitter. Stuart Haselden, COO at Lululemon, will take her position on 10th Jan.uary, 2020. Korey will remain on board as executive chairman

Sydney-based design tool Canva announced that it has raised an $85 million funding round and with that, Canva is valuated to $ 3.2 Billion. They also are launching Canva for Enterprise and with this new product, organizations will have access nor only for a brand kit, but also templates workflows and design library. According to the company, they have more than 20 million users in 190 countries, with 85% of Fortune 500 companies using the product. Canva’s CEO and cofounder is 32year-old Melanie Perkins.




Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping down at the parent company Alphabet, leaving Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, to manage both Alphabet and Google under one role. They are leaving their respective roles as Alphabet's chief executive officer and president but remain on the board.

As part of a competition run by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to encourage young people to consider careers in technology, five kids have won the AWS competition by designing an app which transcribes school lessons for people who are deaf or who have hearing loss. They are year 8 pupils from the prep school of Bishop’s Stortford College and have developed the app during the boot camp. We wish all the best for this wonderful idea!


30 WOMEN IN TECH YOU SHOULD KNOW THEIR WORK IF YOU’RE NOT FOLLOWING THESE AMAZING WOMEN IN TECH, YOU’RE MISSING OUT! The following 30 women are leaders in their fields (and I am so proud to know and call some of them, friends!). They are a bunch of knowledgeable and very passionate women who are masters in their industries causing a strong impact wherever they are - follow their work to learn from them and to be inspired. So without further ado, I want to introduce to you some of my favorite women to follow and the reason to why follow them will inspire you (in alphabetical order).

Aceil Halaby Who is she? Co-Founder and COO, BloomerHealthTech Why should I follow her? Bloomer Tech is integrating advanced fabrics technology and machine learning to turn everyday clothes, such as a women's bra into lifestyle medical and healthcare devices..

Amali de Alwis Who is she? Managing Director, Microsoft for Startups UK at Microsoft. (she was the CEO of Code First: Girls). Why should I follow her? Amali is one of the biggest advocate and supporter of women in to the tech industry. She is also a mentor and advisory board member of several organizations.

Angela Yu Who is she? NHS doctor; founder and managing director, London App Brewery. Why should I follow her? Angela finds time to be a doctor at NHS and manage London App Brewery with a mission of eeaching 250,000 students how to code.

Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon Who is she? CEO, Stemettes. Why should I follow her? Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE is a British computing, mathematics and language child prodigy. She is one of the youngest to pass two GCSEs in two different subjects while in primary school. Imafidon founded and became CEO of Stemettes in 2013, a social enterprise promoting women in STEM careers

Bethany Koby Who is she? CEO and co-founder, Technology Will Save Us. Why should I follow her? Her company educates and enables people to make and experiment creatively with technology.

Charlotte Robertson Who is she? MD and co-founder, Digital Awareness UK. Why should I follow her? Digital Awareness UK is a leading online safety events and content company, with an innovative approach to tackling the most critical online safety issues impacting young people today, from sexting to social media addition to grooming.

Dr. Christyl Johnson Who is she? Deputy Center Director for Technology and Research Investments at Goddard Space Flight Center. Why should I follow her? Dr. Johnson works for Nasa and it has been responsible for the R&D portfolio for Goddard Space Flight Center. Oversee Engineering, technology development, strategic science objectives and new business opportunities

Fei-Fei Li Who is she? Director, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab. Why should I follow her? Li is one of the top minds in Artificial Intelligence. She co-create ImageNet, a visual object recognition database which presage the beginning of the deep learning revolution. She also cofounder AI4ALL, a nonprofit dedicated boosting diversity and inclusion in AI education, research, development and policy.

Jacky Wright Who is she? Chief digital and information officer, HMRC and Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Microsoft. Why should I follow her? Jackie is a great leader, champion and, advocate of women in technology.

Jasmine Anteunis Who is she? VP Product and Cofounder, Recast.AI. Why should I follow her? She founded the artificially intelligent chatbot company Recast.AI in 2015. It was this year acquired by software giant SAP. Recast.AI serves more than 20 high-profile customers including telecoms company SFR, construction group Bouygues and French rail firm SNCF.

Dr. Jess Wade Who is she? Physicist at Imperial College London. Why should I follow her? She's a physicist at Imperial College London studying organic light emitting diodes and has authored at least 400 pages on Wikipedia and, in late 2018, raised more than ÂŁ20,000 to get a copy of "Inferior," a book about how women are ignored by science, into every UK state school.

Joy Buolamwini Who is she? Founder, Algorithmic Justice League. Why should I follow her? Joy is a Ghanaian-American computer scientist and digital activist based at the MIT Media Lab. She founded the Algorithmic Justice League, an organisation that looks to challenge bias in decision making software.

June Angelides Who is she? Founder, Mums in Technology; investor, Samos Investments; founding ambassador, Fifty Fifty Pledge. Why should I follow her? She is the founder of Mums in Technology, which she set up in 2015 while in maternity leave from Silicon valley Bank. Mums in Technology encourages new mothers to take their children to school with them while they learn to code.

Kriti Sharma Who is she? Founder, AI for Good. Why should I follow her? She is an AI technologist and the Founder of AI for Good, an organization that builds technical solutions for social good.

Lisa Falzone Who is she? CEO & Co-Founder, Athena Security. Why should I follow her? Lisa create Athena Security, a threat detection platform to help prevent crime. Their mission is to save lives, and that includes all children.

Marita Cheng Who is she? Founder & CEO, 2Mar Robotics Why should I follow her? She founded Aubot, a telepresence robot designed for kids with cancer to virtually attend school, and people with a disability to attend work. Cheng also cofounded Airpoly, an app that recognizes and relays objects in real-time for the visually impaired and Robogals, an international student-run organization for young women pursuing education and careers in engineering which has taught over 70,000 robotics workshops around the world.

Marta Krupinska Who is she? Head of Google for Startups UK, Google; founder, Astarte Ventures. Why should I follow her? Co-founder of Azimo, global FinTech leader, working with entrepreneurs in technology and sustainability and fostering opportunities in GovTech.

Martha Lane Fox Who is she? Founder and Executive Chair, Why should I follow her? She is the founder of one Think tank championining responsible technology for a fairer future.

Melanie Perkins Who is she? CEO and co-founder, Canva. Why should I follow her? She is one of the youngest female CEO to be leading a tech startup valued at over a billion dollars. At 32, she is one of the world's youngest female founder of an unicorn.

Mursal Hedayat Who is she? Co-founder and CEO, Chatterbox. Why should I follow her? She is one of the founders of Chatterbox, language learning service employing refugees to teach their skills to people who want to learn.

Priya Lakhani Who is she? Founder and CEO, Century Tech. Why should I follow her? She is the founderof Century Tech, a company working with artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain in education, learning and development..

Roberta (Beta) Lucca Who is she? Co-founder, chief brand officer and board director, Bossa Studios and creative director and host, Beta Lucca YouTube Channel. Why should I follow her? Check her YouTube channel! (BAFTAwinning Super Indie Games developer and publisher).

Samantha Payne Who is she? Co-founder and COO, Open Bionics. Why should I follow her? Co-Founder of Open Bionics; an award-winning startup developing low-cost bionic hands that look and feel good, for amputees or those born without a hand. Now part of the Disney Accelerator, powered by Techstars!

Sheree Atcheson Who is she? Global ambassador, Women Who Code; consulting inclusion lead, Deloitte UK. Why should I follow her? She is a global Diversity & Inclusion leader and a passionate advocate for gaining/retaining women in the tech industry, she launched & led the award-winning U.K. expansion of Women Who Code since 2013.

Rana el Kaliouby Who is she? CEO and cofounder, Affectiva Why should I follow her? She cofounded Affectiva, a facial and vocal recognition software that spun out of MIT Media Lab. El Kaliouby lends her expertise as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a co-host of PBS NOVA Wonders series.

Prof Sue Black Who is she? Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist, UK Government Strategic Advisor, Women’s Equality Party candidate for London Mayor 2020. Why should I follow her? She is the founder of Techmums, a charity which empowers mothers in tech basis, is a government advisor and mentor at Google. .

Suki Fuller Who is she? Founder, Miribure and Venture Capital and FiftyFiftyPledge Why should I follow her? She is the founder of Miribure a strategic & competitive Intelligence company that tells the story of data by taking you on the journey from data gathering, organizing and analyzing to a point of understanding your next potential chapter..

Tabitha Goldstaub Who is she? Co Founder, CognitionX & Chair of the UK Government's AI Council. Why should I follow her? CognitionX’s mission is to bring clarity to, and accelerate adoption of, AI across all organisations from global enterprises to startups, and help ensure a safe and responsible transition to an AI-driven society.

Tania Boler Who is she? Founder and CEO, Elive.. Why should I follow her? She is the founder of Elvie, a pioneering female-first innnovation in tech to improve the lives of women around the world.

Wendy Tan White Who is she? VP of X – Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory; board trustee, Alan Turing Institute; member, Digital Economy Council. Why should I follow her? She is a technology innovator, entrepreneur and investor. She is Vice President at X, Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory. X is a diverse group of inventors and entrepreneurs who build and launch technologies and companies that aim to improve the lives of billions of people. It’s goal to 10x impact on the world’s most intractable problems.


Time to say Thank you!


Please tell us a bit about yourself. My name is Nuno Matos Cabral, I'm Portuguese and I live in Lisbon. I'm an Interior and Product Designer and my studio, Nuno Matos Cabral Design Studio, works with clients around the world. It is becoming easier and easier to be based in Lisbon working on a project, for example in Paris or Dubai. One of my favorite hobbies is traveling but also important for my job because it works as an inspiration for all of my projects. I've already been in unforgettable places that I'll never forget, like Japan, Mozambique, South Africa and Venezuela. Another thing very important for me, it's my family and my friends with who I love to spend time together.

Tell us about your journey to today. After 7 years working in Lisbon, in 2009, I decided to enhance my studies and did a Master in Interior Design at Milan Polytechnic. In Milan, I've created the interiors for an exhibition at the Design Museum and due to the succces, I continued to do various projects in Lisbon and Paris. In 2013, I have created my blog, Primeira Casa da Rua, where sustanability is one of the themes. It has your own shop: and is one of the most valuable section of our Studio, Nuno Matos Cabral Design Studio.


In your opinion, what are the Big Challenges in Sustanability nowadays? I think that nowadays we have challenges in different areas. Environmental, social, economics and cultural, so there is lot of work to do. But I do think that the biggest challege is to change mentalities, and for that, each one of us has to start at home. For example the biggest companies in the world should starting informing and preparing their collaborators and their families with workshops. So the collaborators will spread what they have learned to other members of the family, it will work like a net.

You designed the Women in Tech Award - can you explain your inspiration behind the piece? I was inspired by all women who work with tech. In the center of the piece you can find a face of an anonymous woman, a regular woman that you can meet in our street, in our cities, in our companies, making no distinction, regardless of her color, culture or creed, a woman who dedicates her life to technology this is represented by the circuits that fill the piece, the net. The 5 circuits printed on the woman's profile represent the 5 senses. Women use the 5 senses for the benefit of technology and the development of their projects, always focused on the common good. It was an enormous pleasure to work with Vista Alegre and to work with Women in Tech. Thank you all.

What do you think we should be doing more of to encourage more people to consider a career in tech in Portugal? I think that the most important is to let know Portugal and our people. It's a country where it's good to work and to leave. We are in the center between Europe, America and Africa. We have Web Summit in Lisbon and lot's of important companies, like Google or Farfetch (Portuguese Unicorn) working in Portugal. I think that Portugal nowadays it's one of the most friendly tech internacional market to work, so everybody is invited to explore more about Portugal and about tech companies.

To what you attribute your success? One of the most important things is that I don't have afraid to fail. My persistence, I never give up when I have a No as an answer, and of course that all the wonderful people around me, my family and friends who support me in all my tasks and challenges are essentials. Without them it was so much harder.

In your opinion, how could the tech industry be more inclusive? Again, I think that the issue are the mentalities. The parents at home and the teachers at school should be more inclusives. Why a girl should have a doll and a boy a computer? Why not a computer for both? Why should a girl be a nurse and the boy an IT engineer? Those are some questions that everyone should think about it. If we change the mentalities during the childehood everything becames easier. For this children, it won't be strange to have more women than man working in the tech industry.

What advise you can give to someone who is looking to follow your path? To be herself/ himself, to believe in their instincts and never give up, even though no one believes in you or in your job, and finally, just speak about your projects after they are finished.

EUROPEAN STARTUP FESTIVAL MALMO - SWEDEN European Startup Festival was hold in Malmö, Sweden this year and we were there as media partners - thank you Christine Michaelis and Adriano Travaglia for hosting and partnering with us. The 2 days event started with an amazing Keynote speech –" Companies with a Purpose - Which Company One should Start" by Hampus Jakobsson and it was truly inspiring to see that as an investor he's looking for making changes and leave a better place for our kids. He mentioned Greta Thunberg and the Amazonia rain forest devastation - a pretty close cause to me because I grown up in Amazonas Brazil and had the privilege to see the forest and it's animals in first hand.

We started the festival with the keynote speech "Companies with a purpose – which company one should start" by Hampus Jakobsson - You can see it here: Following it was time for " What Makes an Innovative Start-up Ecosystem" discussion on what kind of innovation is really necessary for all startups to grab the right attention from investor and the ecosystem. We heard Andreas Spechtler (Austria) Katarina Scott (Sweden) Bill Barber (usa) and Kajsa Bengtson (Sweden).

And the next keynote speaker – Susanne Birgersdotter and "How to Marketing your start-up". What a women! Powerful story and a lot of lessons to be learned about losing everything, compose yourself while being kind, finding your own power and able to get 2 million to fund your company when you though all was lost.

Then, I met Katarina Scott at the Innovation Future Platform of Lund after her talk "What makes an innovative start-up ecosystem" for an interview where Katarina mentioned that she left the tech sector earlier in her career because of the aggressive and not so family friendly environment and she pursued a career in education and creative sector. Now she is working at Future by Lund, one of the six Swedish Innovation Platforms, creating a memorandum in how work change when we have purpose focusing on the challenges for the future of cities and their citizens. Katarine said: "Future by Lund aims to create an innovative and fun environment to test and evaluate smart sustainable innovations, such as the investment and construction projects. We create testbeds, playgrounds, concepts, learnings and new cooperations together with our partners including the municipality." Katarina and I also talked about Mental Growth, and in her opinion " our perception of value" is what set a position one, and that "We need to join forces to have the change we need and to find people that are willing to make this changes happen in the world."

Following, I also met David Bell, who is passionate about helping others succeed and driving businesses forward to achieve their full potential. David started his entrepreneurial journey back in 1995 and co-founded APC Solutions (recognised as a leading provider of wireless communications solutions) and in recent years, Simboc - a company to help with all tech that is not working correctly including process and system in place. In 2014, he decided to do something differentand became a STEM ambassador working with students to spot opportunities and give them tools to create startups. He has being working as a Business mentor for STEM universities while being a business owner and tech expert.

I also met Yasena Zasheva who works as an Investment Manager for Dynax Invest. At her first job back in Bulgaria, Yasena joined the oldest local financial institution and had worked in an open and friendly environment, that gave her all the confidence to grow professionally. Afterwards she joined a German scale-up company and this experience got her interested in the start-up and tech sector. Nowadays, she helps startups with funding, nurturing, developing and supporting their founders. Yasena said "All startups have great ideas, but they need guidance to develop - soft skills here are very much important as the tech ones".

And finally, I met Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit, he is the founder & CEO at MarsBased, Barcelona Director at Startup Grind, investor and international speaker. Alex have been working at Barcelona Tech scene and organized tech conferences for startups and tech sector and I was curious about how the sector embrace women nowadays. His reply "Similar like Lisbon. Five years ago, they did not know any CEO woman or founder and now, it is much better. Barcelona has developed a lot of meetups and groups focused on women like Devs Bootcamps and wirth this, the ecosystem has changed." He add that "In Spain is need less legislation in the incentives and less burocracy to make the hub better and bigger."













Always dress like you're going to see your worst enemy.





Always dress like you're going to see your worst enemy.



INVISIBLE WOMEN: EXPOSING DATA BIAS IN A WORLD DESIGNED FOR MEN by Caroline Criado Perez Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women's lives.From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, Invisible Women reveals the biased data that excludes women.Award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the impact this has on their health and well-being. In making the case for change, this powerful and provocative book will make you see the world anew. Winner of the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2019/ Winner of the Readers' Choice Books Are My Bag Award 2019 /Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2019 / Blackwell’ s NonFiction Book of the Year 2019 / The Times Current Affairs Book of the Year 2019


Rachel Hollis, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Girl, Wash Your Face and host of the top-rated Rise podcast, urges women to stop apologizing for their desires, hopes, and dreams and instead to go after them with passion and confidence. Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women being afraid of their own goals. They're afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough. But the biggest fear of all is of being judged for having ambition at all. Having been taught to define themselves in light of other people-whether as wife, mother, daughter, friend, or team member-many women have forgotten who they are and what they were meant to be. In Girl, Stop Apologizing, entrepreneur and online personality ( Rachel Hollis encourages women to own their hopes, desires, and goals and reminds them they don't need permission to want more. With a call to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and the biggest possible version of their lives.


ALPHA GIRLS: THE WOMEN UPSTARTS WHO TOOK ON SILICON VALLEY'S MALE CULTURE AND MADE THE DEALS OF A LIFETIME by Julian Guthrie Silicon Valley has long been at the forefront of innovation, but it is renowned for its archaic sexist culture. Alpha Girls is the unforgettable story how a group of talented women achieved success in a tech world run by 'bro-grammers' through sheer grit and determination. Despite the instrumental role they played in building some of the foremost companies of our time, these women have been written out of history - until now. In Alpha Girls, award-winning writer Julian Guthrie reveals their untold stories. The addictive stories of four incredible women who did things their own way and rewrote the code of a whole industry' Emerald StreetDescribed as 'the book that the world needs right now' (Adam Fisher, author of Valley of Genius), Alpha Girls is perfect for fans of Hidden Figures, Lean In and The Social Network. A Financial Times Summer Book of 2019.

THE MOMENT OF LIFT: HOW EMPOWERING WOMEN CHANGES THE WORLD by Melinda Gates 'How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.'Forthe last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares the stories of the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world and the lessons she’s learned from them. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book – to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live.”Melinda’s unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention – from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world – and ourselves.Writing with emotion, candour, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.


THE MAKING OF A MANAGER: WHAT TO DO WHEN EVERYONE LOOKS TO YOU by Julie Zhuo Top tech executive Julie Zhuo remembers the moment when she was asked to lead a team. She felt like she’d won the golden ticket, until reality came crashing in. Shewas just 25 and had barely any experience being managed, let alone managing others. Her co-workers became her employees overnight, and she faced a series of anxiety-inducing firsts, including agonising over whether to hire an interviewee; seeking the respect of reports who were cleverer than her; and having to fire someone she liked. Like most first-time managers, she wasn’t given any formal training, and had no resources to turn to for help. It took her years to find her way, but now she’s offering you the short-cut to success.This is the book she wishes she had on day one. Here, she offers practical, accessible advice like:· Don’t hide thorny problems from your own manager; you’r e better off seeking help quickly and honestly· Before you fire someone for failure to collaborate, figure out if the problem is temperamental or just a lack of training or coaching · Don’t offer critical feedback in a ‘compliment sandwich’ – there’s a better way!

BE FEARLESS: 5 PRINCIPLES FOR A LIFE OF BREAKTHROUGHS AND PURPOSE by Jean Case Jean Case set out to investigate the core qualities of great change makers, past and present, from inventors to revolutionaries, she found five surprising traits all had in common. They weren't wealth, privilege, or even genius. It was that all of these exceptional men and women chose to make a "big bet," take bold risks, learn from their failures, reach beyond their bubbles, and let urgency conquer fear. Throughout Be Fearless, Jean vividly illustrates these principles through storytelling--from her own transformational life experiences, to Jane Goodall's remarkable breakthroughs in understanding and protecting chimpanzees, to celebrity chef José Andrés' decision to be a "first responder" and take his kitchen to the sites of devastating hurricanes to feed the hungry, to Bryan Stevenson's ambitious efforts to end incarceration inequities, and more. She shares new insights to stories you might think you know--like AirBnB's tale of starting from scratch to transform the hospitality industry, to John F. Kennedy's history-making moonshot--and gems from changemakers you've never heard of. Weaving together storytelling, practical tips and inspiration, Be Fearless will teach you how to put the five fearless principles to work so that they too can spark the sorts of remarkable breakthroughs that change the world.

BOOK CLUB AN ECONOMIST WALKS INTO A BROTHEL by Allison Schrager Is it worth swimming in shark-infested waters to surf a 50-foot, career-record wave? Is it riskier to make an action movie or a horror movie? Should sex workers forfeit 50 percent of their income for added security or take a chance and keep the extra money? Most people wouldn't expect an economist to have an answer to these questions - or to other questions of daily life, such as who to date or how early to leave for the airport. But those people haven't met Allison Schrager, an economist and award-winning journalist who has spent her career examining how people manage risk in their lives and careers. Whether we realise it or not, we all take risks large and small every day. Even the most cautious among us cannot opt out - the question is always which risks to take, not whether to take them at all. What most of us don't know is how to measure those risks and maximise the chances of getting what we want out of life. In An Economist Walks into a Brothel, Schrager equips readers with five principles for dealing with risk, principles used by some of the world's most interesting risk takers. For instance, she interviews a professional poker player about how to stay rational when the stakes are high, a paparazzo in Manhattan about how to spot different kinds of risk, horse breeders in Kentucky about how to diversify risk and minimise losses, and a war general who led troops in Iraq about how to prepare for what we don't see coming. When you start to look at risky decisions through Schrager's new framework, you can increase the upside to any situation and better mitigate the downsides.


Why are some people and organizations more inventive, pioneering and successful than others? And why are they able to repeat their success again and again?Because in business it doesn't matter what you do, it matters why you do it.Steve Jobs, the Wright brothers and Martin Luther King have one thing in common: they STARTED WITH WHY.This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others, or to be inspired. Based on the most-watched TED Talk of all time. 'One of the most useful and powerful books I have read in years' William Ury, coauthor of Getting to Yes'This book is so impactful, I consider it required reading' Tony Robbins, bestselling author of Awaken The Giant Within

COLABORATIONS we are looking to collaborate with all digital and tech organizations focused in women, diversity and equality.

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