Be ambitious and goal-oriented, “Kapitals”
Riga, Latvia – The women who make our world better today include successful entrepreneurs who set up new companies, develop new products and services. They are managers who can lead and inspire their teams. They are high-level executives, who have often achieved success after starting their careers from the very bottom.
How do you take a risk and set up your own company? How do you find a balance between your work and personal life? How do you get enough energy for everything? “Kapitals” magazine talked to Evita Lune, Partner and Country Manager for Latvia for Executive Search firm Pedersen & Partners and asked her five questions about setting up a business, and how easy it is to maintain one’s womanhood in the hardcore world of business.
Are there equal opportunities for men and women to succeed?
I believe that in a democratic country, there are completely equal opportunities for men and women to succeed. The question is, how is the housework at home split between family members? How much of her career must a woman sacrifice to childbirth, breastfeeding, raising children and staying at home when they get ill? It’s more about gender roles and stereotypes than opportunities for women in society.
In your opinion, what are the most important differences between businessmen and businesswomen?
There are some well-known stereotypes – women are more emotional, more careful, with a more developed sense of empathy, and at the same time more timid, less ambitious and with lower self-esteem than men. If we analyse this data based on statistics, we would most likely reach similar conclusions regarding the differences between women and men in business. However, in my experience, there are some really shining exceptions. Although these types of businesswomen and female managers are not the majority, there are still some stars who are far morally and intellectually stronger than most men, who pay equal attention to achievements and money, and who are not afraid to lose their popularity in order to reach their goals.
How do you succeed in cooperating with your male colleagues? Is a businesswoman considered to be an equal business and cooperation partner?
I’ve never had any problems with my colleagues in Latvia, or globally, or with any of my clients. The term “glass ceiling” is used when a woman doesn’t get promoted, for reasons that are not directly revealed. I have been highly valued (appreciated) in all my workplaces, so I’ve never experienced the glass ceiling due to being a woman.
Is there a specific business management style for women?
If women are the representatives of their shareholders or corporations, then they must do business as their shareholders want them to. Every entrepreneur, regardless of sex, has a big personality, so my answer to this question is “no.”
What would be your suggestions to women who want to build their careers?
My most important suggestion is to marry the right man – a man who is self-sufficient and will allow his wife to develop. For a woman, family support is really important, as well as an appraisal of her social life. I would also suggest being ambitious and goal-oriented – don’t be afraid to take responsibility and well-considered risks, and don’t hesitate to appreciate yourself highly enough.
Evita Lune joined Pedersen & Partners in 2005; she is Partner, the Country Manager for Latvia and Head of the Retail Practice Group. As Partner Ms. Lune also takes on regional oversight, and through completing numerous senior level assignments Ms. Lune has established strong cooperation with clients in Poland, the Baltics, Scandinavia, Russia and CIS across such sectors as: Consumer Goods, Retail, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing and the Professional Services sectors. Her previous experience includes three years with the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga as the Executive MBA Program Director and six years with Shell in international regional marketing management functions in Riga, Budapest and Brussels.
Pedersen & Partners is a leading international Executive Search firm. We operate 56 wholly owned offices in 52 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia & the Americas. Our values Trust, Relationship and Professionalism apply to our interaction with clients as well as executives. More information about Pedersen & Partners is available at www.pedersenandpartners.com
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