International Women’s Day – what's the deal? Celebrated since 1911, it is a day dedicated to celebrating the amazing achievements of women from across the globe. It also stands as a call to action to truly recognise women as equals, 365 days a year. International Women’s Day acts as an annual reminder that together we – that is men, women and everyone in between – need to continue striving to become a gender-equal world free of bias and stereotypes.
To mark this important day, we're sitting down with some of our female colleagues to get to know them a bit better. Today, we're talking to Martina, our Inside Sales Manager.
Martina, tell me about yourself.
I am Italian, 29 years old. I travelled to London to learn the English language. I started my journey by attending an English school and working part-time in retail. I then enrolled at university to study Business. After graduation, I started working in marketing but after changing jobs a few times, I finally started my sales career, working within business development. In August 2022, I had the chance to work for Ancoris as its Inside Sales Manager. I’ve been building a team of business development representatives, establishing new processes, and supporting the sales of Google Cloud technology.
Why do you think it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day ?
It’s important to reflect on the progress that has been made thanks to the brave acts and determination of women throughout history. Thanks to them, more women can be empowered to stand up for their beliefs and inspire other women to do the same.
What does #EmbraceEquity mean to you?
To me, it means providing the right resources and opportunities that an individual needs to reach a result. In my opinion, to be a good manager, you need to embrace the concept of equity to make sure every person in your team will succeed even with different circumstances.
In a team, we all have the same goals, we all have all the same tools. We also all have the same one-to-one times with managers and meetings and all that. However, even if you give everyone the same resources, it still might not lead to the success of every individual. I’ve had team members in the past come to me and say things like, ‘I don't know how to organise my day because I'm overwhelmed’ and ‘I don't know how to tackle this – I need you to help me understand how to get it’. This made me realise that not everyone thinks in the same way – just because something might be easy for one person doesn’t mean it’ll be easy for someone else. So, as a manager, if I have to spend time thinking of a different way to help you understand what you need to do, I'll do it because I want you to succeed. Equity is about giving the right resources to people to help them succeed. As a manager, it's my role to give these to my team.
What do you think we can do to work towards equity for all?
In general, we should talk more about it so that we can increase awareness of it in the workplace and then we can reduce issues like the gender pay gap. Also, I think skills-based hiring models should be more widely used by companies. There are a lot of talented people out there that are not being seen because they don’t have the “right” qualifications. We should focus more on skills than qualifications. It’s not always the case that someone with a degree has better skills than someone without one. Things like Ancoris’ partnership with Generation UK and Katalyst encourage this and allow people from all sorts of backgrounds to launch careers in cloud technology.
Do you have a female role model that has inspired you in your career?
Yes – one of my former directors from a few jobs ago. This director was a very determined woman who knew what her vision was and how to get there. She not only supported women but any person who needed a bit of hope. She believed in me when I was just an assistant and saw my potential when I needed it the most at the beginning of my career. It can be hard to believe you deserve more without the right support.
What would you say are the top three things that this director did to support you?
One, she believed in me. From day one until I moved on, she was always there if I needed anything. Two, she mentored me. She supported me with job interviews and helped me to work out which industries and roles I liked, things like that. Three, she never stopped my initiatives. She always told me to let her know whatever I wanted and she would do her best to facilitate it. For example, my role was to do the admin, looking after the CRM and all that. However, I learned how to do other things beyond that including how to use Google Analytics, Photoshop and Illustrator because I said I wanted to learn more and she allowed me to go for training. She invested in me and did her best to give me the experiences I was looking for.
If you could have dinner with an inspirational woman, who would it be and why?
I have to mention two! The first is Claudette Colvin. In 1955, she, as a young black woman, was arrested at the age of 15 in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus. She kept on stating that she had paid her fare and staying seated was her constitutional right. I am a big believer in standing up for what is right even if you have to stand alone.
The second is Marilyn Monroe. She’s been stuck in my mind since the Netflix documentary. I’ve always seen her as the blonde, sexy woman but she was more than that. She was battling for gender equality in an industry centred on male dominance. She was aware that she was very good at her job and wasn’t afraid to point out that she wasn’t being paid equally to her co-stars.