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Inspiring Women: Natalia Lidijover

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Today we do an interview with Natalia Lidijover. As you can check if you take a look at his LinkedIn profile, it is human capital development manager of SOFOFA Corporation

Natalia is a sociologist and senior ontological coach. He has extensive experience in the area of human resources in productive, service and education companies. Since 2015, he has led OTIC SOFOFA and from this institution he promotes various initiatives, programs and tools that contribute value to the development of people, companies and the country (Chile).

Some of these projects are the Labor Observatories, today internalized by Sence in all regions of the country. Or the Digital Talent, Relink, Abra Aprendizaje and ICreo Organizaciones programs, all of them highly relevant and innovative in the job training.

With such an interesting professional profile, we couldn't stay without learning a little more about his experience. Luckily, she wanted to collaborate with us in this campaign whose objective is none other than to inspire women to continue fighting for their professional goals. 

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

I am curious about the various ways of identifying the characteristics of female leadership. But what is indisputable is that the company has been a place that has been led by men for a long time - a well-defined profile of them. As the women enter, a stream of new air. Women, who have been focused on tasks of reproduction, care and domestic administration, have honed some essential skills for it.

The characteristics that you name are key levers for the permanent transformation that the company has to undergo in times of uncertainty. Leadership must be the first thing to change to allow organizations to learn, so that they are flexible and innovate, while making obsolete, themselves, what no longer makes sense.  

In conclusion, I believe that the incorporation of women and all the possibilities that appear under their leadership is essential for the development of organizations and the world that we want to build.

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

The idea of a leadership path that you ask me about forces me to look back and try to identify it.

I have been working since I was a girl, when I was a teenager I started working to save for travel. I exposed myself to the challenges of the world of work and assumed responsibilities, being really very young, many years before I had to do my professional practice. I suppose that in those experiences I was developing the ability to inspire, motivate and persuade, rather than instruct. Collaborating with everyone, to earn my place, I was learning to build collaboration.

In general, I have moved in various industries, having the luxury of reaching unknown and surprising places. On the other hand, I've been the only woman at a table too many times.

I think my path has been marked by having a different look at the teams I came to and a deep respect for the knowledge that I discovered in each place. Focus on building relationships of trust. Learn from experiences and capitalize on them for the next.

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

I think that more than difficult is complex, because humans are complex. And leading is a part of the complexity in which we live.

On the one hand, what many women have in common is the difficult art of play a variety of roles, among which the challenge of raising and caring for children stands out. And I think that it is good news that these roles are increasingly shared in the couple, but, undoubtedly, it is a challenge that is especially demanding for us.  

There is a space of me that always keeps the focus fixed on my children. There was a moment, when I was younger, that I fought with that. That I was trying to be a professional woman with full focus on work or, at least, that the results were always excellent, and of course, it did not get it.

By the time I could say, “My children are what matters most to me, being a mother is the most relevant job”, and place my career as part of my priorities, pBut understanding that motherhood is not suspended during office hours, everything became virtuous. 

I try that this is the work experience that all parents can live in the places that I lead.

I have also had unkind experiences, not many, but I have had to surprise myself with labor relations where I felt there was no room to develop. Prejudices, biases, organizational stories (rumors) did not allow me to feel seen. Unfortunately, I think many women have had to deal with these things. 

What advice would you give to women who have the dream of creating their own company or of being company leaders? – another question from the interview with Natalia Lidijover

That there is no right moment or exact conditions to dare. Entrepreneurship or leadership require a certain leap into the void, a bet that does not always offer all the guarantees, like almost all worthwhile things in life.

That's why I think we should dare to develop our wisdom, that we are able to challenge ourselves, learn or walk unknown paths. Only an attitude of permanent learning, conscious and oriented towards transformation, allows us to adapt to an increasingly liquid reality that offers less certainty. I believe that courage, curiosity and openness to learning are more necessary than ever today.

Do you think there are still barriers for women to bet on management positions?

By the way, it still persists in many organizations, as well as a climate of distrust towards female leadership. We are still talking about equity and inclusion in companies as challenges for the future, without considering that they are today's needs.

However, we are making little by little progress. For example, the first issue of the IMAD Ranking -Index of Women in Senior Management- in 2017, showed a 9% presence of women on boards and a 13% in front-line executive positions. Last year, in its sixth version, the index showed 23% of women in management and front-line positions.

We need to move faster, since a low presence of female leaders diminishes possibilities and wealth in a productive world that faces enormous challenges and that needs all the available talent.

Today I see inspiring women taking on big challenges, opening paths for others, that is happening and it is permeating all organizations of all sizes and fields. But we need to push it harder, so that this is a meaningful and purposeful change, a transforming change, and not just a cosmetic obligation of the times.

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

I think that the first thing is to bet on building work environments where trust is at the center. Generating trust in an organization implies, above all, establishing fair conditions in the most basic areas of operation; have teams that accommodate diversity and welcome those who compose them. From there it does not matter if the leader is a woman or a man, if he is a millennial or X, where he studied or how many children he has. What matters are the contributions you can make, the conversations you can open, the culture of appreciation you can establish, the innovative vision you can bring.

And this is not only a challenge to encourage female leadership. It is a need to adapt to changes in the market, society and people. A company that does not advance in this challenge is an organization with fewer tools to face the future.

What do you think is the characteristic that has defined your career? Because? – another question from the interview with Natalia Lidijover

During my working life I have had to develop various skills that have served me at different times and in the face of different challenges. Perhaps that has been what has marked my career the most, the ability to learn and adapt that experience to meet different needs. That, together with need to work with others, to make a team and contribute in an effort, with a joint purpose, that makes sense to me and that is a contribution to others, are the central elements in my work experience.

What do you think has been the most important benefit that you have brought to your company as a female leader?

again the learning, trust, the search for meaning and the ability to work in a team These are elements that I would highlight, since they are elements that I believe are essential to face the world of work and the challenges it imposes. Generating environments marked by trust and putting people at the center of all concern, I believe, are the foundations for any successful job development, not only in achieving commercial or company objectives, but also to develop projects that contribute to the world, that open possibilities and deliver new possibilities.

I have seen that you talk a lot about the future of work. How do you think female leadership will be integrated into that future? – another question from the interview with Natalia Lidijover

It is impossible for me to think of viable responses to the challenges posed by the future of work without diversity and equity. The future of work imposes needs that it is not possible to solve from the recipes or the forms that we use until now. In a liquid world of constant innovation, with astonishing realities such as artificial intelligence or the metaverse, it is necessary to have all the talent and capabilities available, and in this challenge, female participation is an essential necessity. Women have a tremendous role in the work of the future, but most importantly, we are building it today.  

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. For this reason, we have conducted this interview with Natalia Lidijover. You can learn more about Hirint here

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