Women in communication: interview with Giovanna Loi of GroupM
Coming of age is certainly an important milestone, both for a person and for a brand and, in this very particular case, for ours.
As the female turns 18, we have decided to start a Women Empowerment project that focuses on women who work in the field of communication.
Giovanna Loi, Chief Digital Officer in GroupM, answered 5 significant questions for us, explaining the importance of a world of work in which there are no gender distinctions in favor of meritocracy.
1. What is "being a woman" like in the world of work?
I see many aspects of "being a woman in the world of work, both positive and negative. Among the positive aspects there is the fact of having a different vision than men, which teaches us to recognize and appreciate the differences between the two sexes." The negative aspects are found when a woman has to balance the various aspects of her life more than a man, which happens due to the composition of Italian society and the lack of adequate services and which often forces us to choose what it is. more in line with our wishes and expectations; in this sense, the difficulty in combining a satisfying professional life and a fulfilling family life is evident.
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2. What was "women empowerment" for you at 18?
At 18 for me, women empowerment was the very fact of being eighteen, having a driving license and house keys, in short, greater autonomy: having grown up in a fairly traditional family, with the age of majority I have gained much more freedom, they did it to protect us, but my brother - second born and male - had much more freedom, that's undeniable. Subsequently, the transition from classical high school to university in engineering was of great impact for me: in a class of 150 students, of which only five were female, I had to work twice as hard as my male colleagues to demonstrate my skills, because it was almost taken for granted that Electronic Engineering was a male faculty.
3. Three words you associate today with "women empowerment"
Determination, absolutely necessary in order to be a fulfilled woman from a personal or professional point of view, then everyone chooses his inclination. Anticipation: in being multitasking many things must be anticipated, it is necessary to "make them happen"; imagining them first to keep all possible scenarios open. Pragmatism, because it represents the ability of women to find common sense solutions.
4. What would you recommend to the 18-year-old you?
To the 18-year-old me I would recommend to live more lightly. To be able to establish yourself as a woman in the professional world you have to work harder, be better, always be a notch above the average. The setting comes to you from your personal journey, at 18 I was very reassured by the methodical study, if I apply myself I know and if I know I go on, while in reality what I have learned about my work is a knowledge derived from experience, from things that you cannot foresee and you have to manage in the race by adapting to the context that you do not know a priori. And maybe fewer hours on books and an extra concert would have helped the eighteen-year-old me too!
5. How much need is there today to talk about women empowerment and what should be done?
We need to talk about it because it is not a foregone conclusion and because there are many realities where, to this day, there are still career blocks due to sex. On the other hand, it must not even be an excuse for career advancement, because meritocracy must act at 360 degrees, it must be genderless. From the point of view of the balance of forces it is important to recognize what individuals are truly capable of doing; seeing that there is still a pay raise gap is not acceptable, and this must be corrected. In this sense, many companies are addressing and supporting these issues, including the WPP holding itself (of which GroupM is a part) through the Winspire project, which marries the themes of diversity and gender equality with the aim of supporting, growing and preparing our next generation of leaders in professional and career development. Personal growth and meritocracy must act without constraints: a person must be able to grow based on his abilities and in the context that most allows him to develop them.
"The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do."