Women in communication: interview with Valeria Mazzon of Adform
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.
Valeria Mazzon, Country Manager for Adform, answered 5 significant questions for us, telling us how the main problem of women in the world of work is the lack of confidence in their abilities, and how it is necessary to educate every working woman to believe in herself and have ambitions.
1. What is "being a woman" like in the world of work?
Being a woman in the world of work is very challenging, but also a source of equal satisfaction. To be completely happy as a woman in the workplace I would like one day to be a journalist and ask the same question to a man: "What is it like to be a man in the world of work?" How do you reconcile your role as a worker with your family and children? "This is because if we ask ourselves the question in female terms, it means that there is still a long way to go. On the other hand, I am absolutely aware that a lot of progress has already been made: today we are no longer surprised by certain work, professional, cultural or environmental situations because we perceive them as normal, while if we think about the condition of women in the field working twenty or thirty years ago a revolution actually took place. At the same time, despite being happy with my position in the world of work, I realize that we are very "spoiled" by the Milanese reality: in Milan there are many job opportunities for a woman, while perhaps there are far fewer in the rest of Italy.
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2. What was "women empowerment" for you at 18?
I have always been in favor of women's emancipation; I remember that my elementary school teacher, a former partisan and convinced feminist, has always urged us children to be independent, to study and find a job, so I made this triad the motto of my life. I was supported by my family and the surrounding environment, which is fundamental: in a reality characterized by the economic fabric of Northern Italy and the Milanese area and by an environment where you have the opportunity to see and do many things. If you have a family in able to feed your mind and teach you that studying, traveling, discovering new things, having new experiences, meeting new people are what will make you different from others, you will have an edge. For this reason at 18 I was absolutely convinced that only studying and working I could have conquered my independence. My ideal position as a new adult was not "home-children-husband", because the school, the family and the environment taught me an alternative model, which unfortunately does not happen to all the girls.
3. Three words you associate today with "women empowerment"
They are the same as when I was 18, that is, being independent, studying and working. As I became an adult I added respect, tenacity and irony, because with everything that can happen during the day, knowing how to face everyday life with irony and not taking oneself too seriously are extremely helpful factors.
4. What would you recommend to the 18-year-old you?
I would advise the 18-year-old me to listen more to the advice of parents, teachers and, in general, the adult world, without being too influenced by it: to seek one's independence, but also to know how to listen. At 18 you are necessarily rebellious, you always want to be in contrast with the "major interlocutor, that is the parent, but I believe that knowing how to listen more is useful to grow, to know how to evaluate more opportunities or see the same situation from points of view. Instead, at 18 one is still very much influenced by the environment, by friends, by the company, by the teachers themselves. In any case, I believe that the growth path is built on responsibility and errors, which translated into practice means being independent in one's choices, but after having listened to more voices and not just those that one wants to hear at that given moment.
5. How much need is there to talk about women empowerment today and what should be done?
There is a lot to do, but the right approach has not yet been found to talk to women and younger generations entering the university or working world. Personally I talk a lot with my children and their friends: having two sons I am trying to pass on to them a different culture from the past one; I believe that in this way the new generations will be able to benefit from a different type of culture.
My friends see me as an example because I hold a job position, despite the difficulties that life places in front of us. The weak link in the professional fulfillment of women, in my opinion, is the fact of never feeling up to it, of not having confidence in themselves. My attempt is to convey to the women around me self-esteem, confidence in their abilities, the desire to reach a goal that is always a little higher, which does not necessarily have to coincide with a career in the world of work. You have to learn and remember that the worst thing that can happen is simply to make a mistake and after a mistake you start all over again. When I ask a woman what she would like to become in the future, no one gives me an answer in line with a work ambition, because she underestimates herself; it is true that the working conditions are not the best and that there are many difficulties and objective limits, but the main obstacle is not being in a male-dominated environment, but a lack of confidence in one's abilities. Women are very emotional compared to men and lack lightness, but it is objectively difficult to be light while working or traveling for work with a mind full of a thousand thoughts and concerns related to the family sphere. I believe that a man in this historical moment has fewer problems of this kind than a woman; fortunately the new generations have grown and are growing with another model of reference. In fact, I find that enormous progress has been made and that today's young people have a very different attitude, since they are used to working women and an equality of treatment and choices that was not contemplated until a few years ago. .