For this segment of Women In Marketing, we are joined by Vittoria Gambirasi who happens to be our very first Swiss-based candidate to feature on the series! Vittoria shares her thoughts about the future work as well as the importance of workplace wellness.
LET’S GET PERSONAL
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES, VITTORIA. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORIES GROWING UP?
In Italy, in a small town between Italy and Yugoslavia (now Slovenia). I was an only child and treated as both a boy and a girl. I remember I was playing with cars and cutting and crafting woods with my father, thus I have not grown up with the ‘girl’ stereotype.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE YEARS?
A very hard worker. I had a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve and was very determined.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? THAT ONE MEAL YOU WOULD FEEL NO SHAME FOR NOT SHARING!
Pizza with mozzarella of bufala! What else!
IMAGINE WAKING UP $10 MILLION RICHER TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
Would invest in a startup. I have plenty of ideas!!!
All of them should have a purpose and help society.
WHAT IS THE ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN’T FIND ON YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE? ANY HIDDEN TALENTS PERHAPS? PREVIOUS WOMEN IN MARKETING CANDIDATE, ANASTASIA HAMEL SAYS THAT SHE CAN BREATHE FIRE!
My hidden talent is surely drawing and painting on canvas…I also did some exhibitions in Italy.
CAREER AND WORKPLACE
WHAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MARKETING? AFTER ALL, MOST OF US GREW UP WANTING TO BE DOCTORS, RIGHT?
Not at all!
I hate blood and seeing people suffering! I was more interested in understanding people. Fields such as psychology, sociology, demographics, social trends etc. appealed to me. I’m also quite visual which is why I love the arts.
I can connect the dots and thus marketing seems to be the natural place to be!
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
Not so rebellious in the morning. Typical Italian breakfast: white coffee, biscuits, brand butter and jams and at the office a good espresso coffee!!!!
THE PANDEMIC DISRUPTED OUR ROUTINES AND DAILY COMFORTS. HOW BEST DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
I believe that people with families could improve their work-life balance as we are now more flexible. I think the pandemic has forced us to break a taboo. There were still many organisations judging people based on the time spent at the office.
Well, I hope this time is gone forever!
People need to be judged only by the business objectives they can achieve!
YOU HAVE A MBA FROM THE IMD BUSINESS SCHOOL. TERTIARY EDUCATION, AS WE KNOW IT, TOOK A DRAMATIC TURN DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. HOW DO YOU FORESEE THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION CONSIDERING THE INCREASING POPULARITY OF ONLINE EDUCATIONAL SITES SUCH AS COURSERA AND GOOGLE SKILLSHOP THAT HAVE DISRUPTED THE TRADITIONAL MODEL OF LEARNING?
Yes, the model has been disrupted and will never come back as it was before. Trips will be done just when necessary, all the products and services need to be tailored to our client, there will be less and less space for the standard product to sell. And- most importantly -every organization needs not only to adapt but to drive and shape the new normal!
WORKING FROM HOME/HYBRID MODEL OF WORKING MAY SOON BECOME A REALITY FOR MOST ORGANISATIONS GLOBALLY. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON REMOTE WORK AND WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR CHALLENGES AS WELL AS WAYS YOU’VE MITIGATED THESE?
The most important thing is that you have a room for yourself, and you equip it correctly. Once you have a quiet room with all the technology needed and a good internet connection, that’s done. I’ve seen people struggling in their bedroom with kids coming in and out, with poor audio etc…
I know it is not simple for all to have a room of their own but it makes the difference. Of course, you will always need the physical meeting, mainly when different persons need to interact and where the team dynamic is key.
ACCORDING TO A REPORT COMPILED BY MCKINSEY, THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS HAD A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE. THE REPORT FURTHER ILLUSTRATES THAT WOMEN HAVE INCREASINGLY BECOME MORE EXHAUSTED AND SUFFER FROM BURNOUT AS COMPARED TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN ORGANISATIONS PROVIDE THE NECESSARY SUPPORT FOR WOMEN AS WELL AS MOTHERS?
I believe women working in an organization not negatively impacted by covid, have benefited from a better work life balance (unless they have small babies and the child care was closed because of the covid).
What is probably true is where the organizations have suffered a lot during the pandemic and had to fire many employees- as usual – the persons more hit are the most vulnerable https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20201021-why-this-recession-disproportionately-affects-women
2021 AND BEYOND
KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW TODAY AND IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Be self-confident, believe in yourself, if you do, others will believe in you as well!
ANY BUCKET LIST ITEMS?
1) Working with a purpose that has a positive impact on the society
2) Be able to transfer important values to my 2 kids for when they will become men
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR SHEROES?
We are all superhuman beings with fragility and weak spots, some can hide them better than others…
WHAT WOULD YOU COME BACK AS IN THE NEXT LIFETIME CAREER-WISE? DO YOU THINK YOU MISSED A CALLING?
I would have started working out of the country I grew up in, at a much earlier stage of my career. It gives you such an important advantage in your career and it is an eye-opener for your mindset.
WHO HAVEN’T YOU SEEN OR TALKED TO IN A LONG TIME AND HOPE THEY ARE DOING OKAY?
Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech, is a great professional and also an incredible human. He is driving his company to a huge success. I hope he is doing well also in his private life.
WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR AMAZING WOMEN IN MARKETING TO PROFILE. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE US TO GET IN TOUCH WITH?
A UNIQUE MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE MARKETING INDUSTRY
The traditional marketing career (assistant brand manager, brand manager, group product manager etc) is dead.
Think about expanding your experience in sales, innovation and digital. Today we cannot afford to have single-minded professionals, we need persons who can see the big picture, connect fast the dots and think of the company as a whole and not as separated departments.