Boyum Solutions is Celebrating International Women's Day
Did you know that International Women's Day had occurred for well over a century?
The first gathering was being held in 1911, even though International Women's Day can be traced back to February 28, 1909, when the Socialist Party of America designated this day to honor the garment workers' strike in New York.
These days, women bring creativity and critical services to all society levels, from the office to the laboratory to the boardroom. Yet, even to this day, some of their achievements and contributions often go overlooked. International Women's Day is a reminder to appreciate those typically forgotten or pushed to the side.
Unfortunately, true gender equality does not yet exist in some areas of the world.
- One in three women will experience gender-based violence in their lifetimes.
- Women are still getting paid less than men for the same work, and they do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work.
- In many countries, women do not have equal access to properties, credit, economic and educational opportunities, so when disaster strikes, women often suffer the most.
In Boyum Solution, we recognize the work done by our fabulous women. We had the opportunity to interview 2 of them - Rosi Coronado, a Solution Advisor in our US office, and Ines Alves-Pacheco and Nadja Schaloske, from our marketing department in our Spanish and our German office, respectively.
What does International Women's Day mean for you in your work life?
Rosi – "This year, when I started the computer on International Women's day, someone from HR sent me a message saying, "Happy International women's day." I sat back for a minute and thought, wow, I do work for a great company, and we have many talented women in our team. It made me think how strong and hardworking women are. For me, International Women's Day means that any woman can achieve anything they want, regardless of race, nationality, or religion."
Ines – "For me, International Women's day is a celebration of women's equal opportunities conquered in the last decades. I think it's imperative to remind the fight some women fought for us to be able to live the life we do today."
Nadja – "I think it is essential to draw attention to International Women's Day, especially in the current pandemic situation. Women often have to cut back on their jobs to take on homeschooling and childcare."
Can you each tell us about your career journey so far - where your career began and the moves you've made to reach where you are today?
Rosi – "I come from a big family of 8 children, and we always had to work hard for everything. After my first baby was born, I started working for a reseller doing office work. He supported several solutions back then and took on SAP Business One when it came to the US. Since I was a daily user, I started helping clients when they called in. Luckily, my boss saw how I work with people and how willing I was to learn. He started throwing me to the wolves and wanted me to help with implementations and become a consultant. It was rough at times, but I think it the best way to learn. I did not give up and kept going. As customers are always my number one priority, I always ensured that I would find out if I did not know something."
Ines –"After graduating in Marketing and Advertising, I've started working with mobile apps. Later on, I joined Beas Group as a part-time Marketing Assistance and had freelance jobs related to social media management for a magazine and a swimwear company. By the time Boyum IT bought Beas Group, I switched to a full-time position and got acquainted with tools and opportunities that helped me evolve as a marketing professional."
Nadja – "I started my career in hotel management and, because I had kids, at some point only worked part-time. This was no longer fulfilling after a while, and I began studying business administration, focusing on marketing. Four years ago, I started working at Boyum IT. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work on many significant tasks. I was able to deepen my knowledge and learn many new skills."
What strategies can you think can help women grow within their organization? What advice would you give to young women who want to improve their career skills?
Rosi – "My tip to women is to collect as much knowledge as you can. Do not be that person that says, "This is not my job." I think wearing several hats in a company helps tremendously to move forward. You can learn so much when you can put yourself in someone else's shoes. Last year our Boyum cloud manager asked me to be on his core team because I have a good mixture. I have experience in both consulting and sales roles, meaning I can put myself in both shoes."
Ines – "I believe that the strategies that work for men should work for women. When a woman needs to apply different strategies, she does not work in the right organization and environment. Women should look for a workplace that offers equal opportunities for men and women. A transparent work environment in which a woman doesn't feel the difference and is not afraid of not achieving a healthy work and life balance. It shouldn't be harder because you're a woman and the right companies know it."
Nadja – "I think everyone should have a certain self-confidence and not let themselves be pushed into any antiquated role models. Look at companies and their culture. How are women and employees perceived in general? How interested are companies in their employees' success, further education, and health? Have open conversations and share your wishes. Only then companies have a chance to react, and you know where you stand."
What is one piece of advice to all women who are juggling between home and work?
Rosi - "That is a tough job. Stay calm. I have 3 grown-up children, and I know how it is to have little ones at home. You do 2 jobs, wearing 2 very demanding hats. If your children are at home, I would say get a routine going. Schedule calls at certain times, and have a plan for yourself, put down what you want to accomplish. And do not worry if you take 30 minutes or so to go outside to clear your head and make your kids happy. It is vital for everybody's well-being. So I would say a routine will help you a lot."
Ines – "Go 50/50 with your partner or family. "
Nadja – "If you live in a partnership, I would say that you can find a good and fair division here. However, this is certainly a difficult topic and can only be considered individually. I think we should try out different ways and then see what fits best for us or the partnership/family."
What advice would you give women struggling in a male-dominated industry?
Rosi – "Ha, I have an advantage on that one because I am tall, but it can be very hard sometimes. I remember walking into rooms with only men, and when they see a woman, they looked a bit different. All I can say, stand up straight and be prepared and if they try to test you out, kill them with kindness. That always works and will make them think about it. There are so many women now in the business world, so that should not be an issue, but as you know, there are still men out there who can't handle strong women - that's their problem."
Ines - In Boyum IT, although we know the IT industry is dominated by men, you don't feel it, as you shouldn't in any company. It is good to be valued for your skills and efforts. When you don't feel like you have the same opportunities to get the role and take on the activities you aim for because of your gender, that's never a good sign."
Nadja – "Trust in your capabilities and your skills, educate yourself, and don't let yourself be suppressed. When in doubt, ask yourself if this is the company you want to work for. At Boyum IT, I work with both women and men and experience the same respectful interaction at all times. We have open dialogues, share ideas, inspire and support each other as a team - and that's how it should be for everyone."
Have you ever encountered any barriers in your career to being a woman? What do you think are some of the barriers to women's leadership?
Rosi - "Not really. I always kind of achieved what I wanted, but I also do not ask for much. I always tell my girls to have a vision. Every day, think about what you want to do and where you want to be in a few years. It is all about positive thinking. You know the saying "be careful what you wish for" because it works. It sure did for me. "
Ines - "Not yet, which gives me the hope I wish can inspire more women around me. However, I do believe a culture shift is needed in some companies. I am grateful for Boyum IT's company culture being all about combining excellence at work with an outstanding balance between professional and personal life. For example, family is significant to all of us, managers included."
Nadja – "Before working at Boyum IT, I certainly encountered barriers because I have children. I think that's another difference between men and women - you're not only a woman but also a mother. The most significant barrier is the outdated role model that many families still see as "normal." The mother stays at home with the child, and the father brings the money home. This makes it extremely difficult to achieve equality between women and men in leadership positions. At Boyum IT, this was never a problem, quite the opposite. We believe in a healthy work-life balance that allows us to work and still have enough time for our family. "
Who is your women role model, and why?
Rosi - "I really do not have one. There are so many strong women out there, and each one has a different strength. As a woman, you can definitely learn lots of stuff. Still, you can't learn personality, which will take you a long way."
Ines - "I feel like women, in general, are all role models to me. Most of us are all about problem-solving, very practical, and committed. At least that's my experience in this all-women marketing department."
Nadja – "I see many of my colleagues as role models and not just the women who, like me, are juggling between work and family or women who are part of my team. I also have male role models here. All of them are colleagues who live an open culture, where teamwork and a respectful relationship are a priority. "
Do you feel that you have achieved what you wanted to?
Rosi - "As I said earlier, I do not ask for much, and I feel content with where I am and with my role. I love my co-workers and my boss and enjoy going to work. What a great feeling that is. I hope the world will open up soon again to travel and see everybody face to face. We need our social life back.
Ines - "I think we should always do what we need to make sure we're on the right path. But it's a never-ending process. We should work on having a better life and being the best version of ourselves - it's a journey, not an objective goal.
Nadja – "I have already achieved a lot, and I am very proud of it. But the good thing about Boyum IT is that you never stop learning, and you can constantly grow. You can learn new things, work creatively and share your ideas. I am happy to be part of this community, and I'm sure we can achieve a lot more."