International Women's Day 2022: Inspirational LINKers share insights, challenges, and offer advice to help other women crush career goals

This International Women's Day, LINK celebrates the achievements of women. And by “women,” we mean all who identify with that term.

This International Women's Day, we're celebrating women who break boundaries, break the glass ceiling, and break the bias within the LINK Mobility footprint.

From regional Managing Directors to rising stars, let these diverse profiles serve as inspiration and empower you to help accelerate a gender equal world. 

Maja Wisniewska Interview

“If you want to run for Prime Minister, you can. If you don’t, that’s wonderful, too. Shave your armpits, don’t shave them, wear flats one day, heels the next. These things are so irrelevant and surface to what it is all really about, and I wish people wouldn’t get caught up in that. We want to empower women to do exactly what they want, to be true to themselves, to have the opportunities to develop.” - Emma Watson

1. How long have you worked for LINK Mobility (SMSAPI)? 

5.5 years

2. In your view, would you say being a woman has been an obstacle or an advantage in the evolution of your career?

I have never felt that being a woman has been an obstacle in my career. I would rather say that LINK gives career opportunities to people based on their qualities and expertise, not gender. I believe being a woman in a tech world requires persistence and prowess - that's what LINK women represent!

3. What does March 8th mean for you? How do you think International Women’s Day can be woven into daily working life?

For me, this is a day to raise a toast to the efforts of women across fields and industries in shaping the world and everyday life. It's about equality and fair chances. However, it shouldn't be just a single day. Women's kindness, sensitivity, and courage must be woven into every day!

4. Who do you consider a role model and pioneer in helping #Breakthebias (IWD 2022 theme)? How has this individual influenced you? 

For me, it's UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson - an actress who has been involved in promoting girls’ education, empowerment, and equal rights. She inspires women worldwide to stand up for themselves and is a real role model for me too.

5. How do your LINK Mobility colleagues support women in the workplace? And how do you celebrate women on your team?

International Women's Day in Poland is widely celebrated. Each year our Polish colleagues make us feel appreciated, we receive small gifts and flowers. But it's not just a single day! Our colleagues say that the company would never be the same without us!

6. What advice or words of wisdom would you give young women who would like to learn from your career and follow in your footsteps?

I would say: never doubt yourself! You are strong, intelligent, and good enough to make your own decisions and become fully independent. Do not take shortcuts, learn from smarter ones and use your empathy while making business and life decisions. You can do anything you want, just take one step forward today.

 

Karishma Insight Interview

“I believe feminism is grounded in supporting the choices of women even if we wouldn’t make certain choices for ourselves.” - Roxane Gay

1. How long have you worked for LINK Mobility?

1 month

2. In your view, would you say being a woman has been an obstacle or an advantage in the evolution of your career?

Being a woman has never been an obstacle for me in the evolution for my career, at least not that I'm aware of. I'm also probably lucky to find myself in a domain where there are a lot of women and in addition a lot of women in management roles (ex. Sustainability Director). However, I have faced issues related to salary inequities and I have had a fair share of sexist comments in professional environments. Even though this wasn't a direct obstacle to my evolution, it had a very negative impact on my mental health at work.

3. What does March 8th mean for you? How do you think International Women’s Day can be woven into daily working life?

I think gender equality should be a part of everyday life. For me, its not one particular day but every day that counts. Little actions and changes every day are what will amount to a dramatic change in the future.

4. Who do you consider a role model and pioneer in helping #Breakthebias (IWD 2022 theme)? How has this individual influenced you?

I don't have one role model but women who inspire me are the ones who are a part of my daily life. For example, my colleagues. In my one month at LINK Mobility, I have met some amazingly talented women from whom I could learn a lot. I read books written by women (currently reading Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay) which inspire me as well. Women, often my friends, who manage to have great careers and a family life inspire and influence me a lot. These are the true role models for me.

5. How do your LINK Mobility colleagues support women in the workplace? And how do you celebrate women on your team?

During my one month at LINK, everyone has been very welcoming. I love working with women and I'm lucky to find myself interacting with a lot of women at work. I see my colleagues supporting each other everyday through little actions. My onboarding has been so great because I have some wonderful women helping me begin my journey with LINK Mobility.

6. What advice or words of wisdom would you give young women who would like to learn from your career and follow in your footsteps?

There is so much for me to learn but a few things that I have learned through my mistakes and observing other women at work: don't let anyone tell you you're not capable because you're a women, ask for what you deserve, don't let anyone at a workplace treat you like you are inferior to them, learn to put boundaries and say no, and don't be afraid to put forth your ideas.

Silvia Morresi Interview

"Be yourself, be determined, always bring out the best version of you. Don't be afraid to shine and fight to achieve your goals." - Silvia Morresi

1. How long have you worked for LINK Mobility?

10 months

2. In your view, would you say being a woman has been an obstacle or an advantage in the evolution of your career?

In my personal experience, being a woman has been neither a barrier nor an advantage. I've been lucky to find managers who have always helped me grow professionally. 

3. What does March 8th mean for you? How do you think International Women’s Day can be woven into daily working life?

International Women's Day reminds us of how far we've come in achieving gender equality in the workplace and community, but also how far we still have to go. Gender inequality is still often all too apparent, and we need to work to ensure that we no longer need to celebrate a day on a calendar to remember the value of women. It would be desirable to get to a point where the concept of gender is no longer characteristic of a person's actual capabilities, especially at work.

4. Who do you consider a role model and pioneer in helping #Breakthebias (IWD 2022 theme)? How has this individual influenced you?

When I was a child, my father told me about Katherine Johnson, an African American mathematician, computer scientist, and physicist who has inspired me a lot. A prodigy in the mathematical field since childhood, she pursued a career in science despite it being a discriminatory path for African American women at the time. At the age of 35, she joined NASA. Initially relegated to doing only mathematical calculations she soon became an important figure in the teams responsible for flying spacecraft into space (e.g. the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon in 1969). She inspired me because she was a strong woman who pursued her passion despite all the obstacles imposed by the society of the time. She never gave up in the face of difficulties and proved to her white male colleagues that she had ability and merit, so much so that she was considered indispensable for some jobs. I have been much luckier than her in my life, having found people who have always supported me and pushed me to grow professionally, however I have always admired her dedication and passion for work, which I have tried to pursue in my daily work.

5. How do your LINK Mobility colleagues support women in the workplace? And how do you celebrate women on your team?

I have been working in LINK Mobility for a short time. When I became a LINKer I had great support from all of my colleagues who helped me fit into the company and get into the processes. In a short time, with the support of good results, I had the opportunity to grow professionally and it was a recognition that pushes me every day to want to do better. The best way to celebrate women is to treat them as equals to men, recognizing their merits and abilities without making distinctions based on gender. In my team we work in this spirit.

6. What advice or words of wisdom would you give young women who would like to learn from your career and follow in your footsteps?

The advice I can give is not to be afraid and not to be crushed by macho opinions designed to undermine self-confidence, to get support from mentors to take inspiration from, and to follow your passions with commitment and determination. With this mindset the rewards will surely come.

Frida Finnström Interview

"Boobs are bigger than balls!" - Tina Thörner

1. How long have you worked for LINK Mobility?

3.5 years

2. In your view, would you say being a woman has been an obstacle or an advantage in the evolution of your career?

Both, I know that sometimes people have just assumed that a male colleague is a CEO when we enter the meeting room together, but that has also strengthened my position and my persona. I've gotten the chance to highlight and challenge the stereotypes that so many people have. Of course it can sometimes be interesting to think of the fact that I might have had to prove myself consistently during my career, whereas a man might not have had to do the same, just because of gender.

3. What does March 8th mean for you? How do you think International Women’s Day can be woven into daily working life?

Its an important day! Filled with respect and admiration for the women before us and a reminder that we are not done yet! We consistently need to make an active choice to not stop fighting for equality and equal rights. To achieve equality, we need to acknowledge not only the obvious differences between gender but also pay attention to the small things like an unfriendly comment in the lunchroom or the unanswered question during the meeting. Based on the fact that we create awareness, we can also change. Everyone needs to open their eyes and ears for this and see the positive effects diversity work can have on both the world and our businesses when we succeed!

4. Who do you consider a role model and pioneer in helping #Breakthebias (IWD 2022 theme)? How has this individual influenced you? 

I look up to a lot of women for different qualities. I don’t think we should focus on finding the perfect woman (or person) that has it all, because that's impossible. But to mention someone I find really cool and inspiring is Tina Thörner, the rally co-driver. Tina was shaped to become a results-oriented and determined girl with a creative mind to solve the challenges she faces in life. Among her main merits is a second and third place in the famous Dakar Rally. Motorsport has not always been easy for her, there have been high peaks and deep valleys. But it has definitely given her an eventful life!

For me, the quote underneath my photo (above) is a flirt with the bias we have when it comes to women vs. men's capabilities. I dont have to ´grow a pair of balls´ to take risks and make difficult decisions to be a successful and respected leader. I care, I trust, I listen, and then I take conscious risks and decision - I'm not less because I'm not a man, I'm more because I'm a woman."

How do your LINK Mobility colleagues support women in the workplace? And how do you celebrate women on your team?

I have a gender equal team and we all work united and on the same terms (Leader W60%- M40% and whole group W40% - M60%). However, I know that women around me still get in situations in and outside work where they have to prove themselves against different biases. I’m trying to lead by example, talk a lot about this important topic, and raise awareness. I hope and believe this gives them strength to stand up against comments or unfairness, and I hope I provide them with a sense of hope and safety. We are all in on this together.

What advice or words of wisdom would you give young women who would like to learn from your career and follow in your footsteps?

Focus on what you want to do and what makes you happy, create your own moments! And don’t worry about what other people think!

For information on IWD’s history,