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Inspiring Women: Estefanía Calderón

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Trained at the Universidad Abierta Interamericana and the Universidad de San Andrés, today we conducted an interview with Stephanie Calderon, an outstanding profile in the field of personnel management. A leader who, despite her youth, has a long professional career behind her.

We are delighted that you wanted to collaborate with us in these interviews that seek to highlight the role of women in leadership positions. If you want to know her better, do not hesitate to visit her LinkedIn profile, but first, discover what his experience has been like until he became People & Culture Director at Media.Monks.

Some characteristics that stand out of female leadership are: greater sociability, orientation towards cooperation, innovative mentality and more empathy. How do you think these characteristics influence the development of companies? 

While I find it very comforting to find these qualities in my female colleagues, I must say that they are characteristics that I have also found in men. Honestly, what I truly consider to be a distinguished aspect in women and what I really see as an impact on the development of companies is the strength of my female colleagues, dedication, drive and passion for their professional careers. 

Women have a lot of resilience, I have rarely seen women give up (and I have been very sorry when I have seen it). That tenacity, that ability to move mountains not only turns the impossible into a goal, but also inspire others and others to follow. Without a doubt, I think that is a great value for a company.

What has the journey of being a female leader been like up to the present day? – another question from the interview with Estefanía Calderón

I am flattered by this question. But I must say with great humility that It was not easyIn any case, each experience made me grow and be who I am today, with my character and path traveled. 

If I had to say, how was the road? I would say a lot of patience, a lot of effort to earn every role I had, effort to be taken into account and to stand out in my field with my work.

What has been the most difficult thing about being a female leader?

Something that was always very difficult for me, but I considered it something very strategic, was not put myself in a place of vulnerability in front of others. And watch out! That it is very easy for others to locate a young woman in a fragile and vulnerable place. 

I think that this was always a position towards life that It helped me grow as a professional in the world of work.. I am a woman, young, and I still have a lot to learn, but that does not mean that I am below anyone, much less gives anyone the right to treat me unequally or undermine my self-esteem. 

I would love to see more women proud of their abilities, with high self-esteem and believing in themselves and in everything they are capable of doing and achieving. Freed from all stereotypes.

What advice would you give to women who have the dream of creating their own company or of being company leaders?

I would tell them to get professional training in what they want to do and then, let them cheer up! Let them believe in their abilities. They trust their intelligence. All the people who are leaders also started at the bottom or, at least, they were more junior than they are today. But they dared to take a leap and took the risk. My tip is never stop looking for opportunities to grow in your professional careers.

Do you think that there are still barriers for women to bet on management positions? – another question to Estefanía Calderón

Yes, and it hurts me that it is so. Although the trend is fortunately changing, still There are companies that do not come out of a macho model in which the management team is full of men. I welcome and congratulate companies that bet on women in management roles, diversity at the small table is a great advantage.

Based on your experience, how can companies promote female leadership within their organizations?

On the one hand, it is key that from the hiring policies there are already Metrics and objectives that allow you to understand from the beginning how you are hiring. If your hiring policies are designed with the objective of being a company with gender diversity, the possibilities of promoting women internally are much greater. 

On the other hand, have policies that accompany women in maternity is another important point. When a woman goes through maternity in a company without policies that truly allow her to reconcile this new lifestyle, her professional career becomes very difficult to sustain. Time flexibility is a factor that helps, as is the support network within the work team, but above all, the confidence that this woman is given about the importance of her place in that company (the latter is priceless). That they make you feel that your place is still for you, that everything you gave these years has been worth it because now it is your employer who is going to contain you.

Finally, a lot of training in leadership with a gender perspective to promote psychologically safe work environments that allow the sustainability of the diversity that challenges us today. It is necessary to generate awareness, to help people who are part of the leadership to broaden their minds towards a mental model more in line with the reality that surrounds us today. A lot of focus on equality policies, respect in the way we treat each other, micro-machismo and micro-aggressions must be demolished, that's no more!

What do you think is the characteristic that has defined your career? Because?

What a beautiful question! I would encourage you to say: versatility, flexibility and courage. Because I have worked on a thousand things before finding my place in the world of work. I had jobs that have nothing to do with what I do today, but each experience helped me to be the professional that I am today. And I say it with all the pride in the world, hahaha! 💟 I never limited myself to experiencing a job that I did not know how to do, I always sought to learn "by doing" in practice. But I also studied and I consider that today in Argentina training professionally is super important. 

What do you think has been the most important benefit that you have brought to your company as a female leader? – another question from the interview with Estefanía Calderón

I would love to ask this question to the leaders I had in my working life, but I think my greatest contribution was and is not be afraid to take on complex challenges. Those organizational challenges that are a problem and that only give you a headache, I love them, because I think they are the ones that teach you the most to understand the business of the company, get involved in the core, are the challenges that make you grow the most (besides giving you a headache, ha!).

How is Argentina in terms of female leadership? What has been your experience?

I think there is everything. Young companies that want to do things differently because they really consider gender equality to be something that is no longer up for discussion, but unfortunately it is also true that there are companies in which gender equality is still a struggle and women do not have opportunities , or are not treated accordingly. If you ask me what happens in one scenario and in another... I would tell you that It is the minds that run these companies that create a work model that favors, to a greater or lesser extent, one work environment or another. 

In hirint we are committed to diversity and inclusion for this reason we want in the month of women to give voice to women leaders and so inspire to others. We have conducted an interview with Estefanía Calderón, but we have more. You can learn more about Hirint here

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