At the occasion of the International Women's Day (March 8), our ESSEC team had the opportunity to interview amazing female leaders who fought to break the glass ceiling, challenge themselves and explore an ocean of opportunities by pursuing an Executive MBA program at ESSEC.
Can you tell us about yourself in few lines?
Ania DIAZ ESPINOSA: I’m a Cuban, Automation Engineer, extremely curious and perseverant, a dreamer… 22 years of professional experience, 14 of them working on Information Systems for Supply Chain and Logistics domain.
What did you dream of doing when you were a little girl?
A.D.S : Police agent ;-) Later, I wanted to be a scientist or an engineer, as I was inspired by my brother, who is older than me and was studying at an engineering school.
What do you do now?
A.D.S : Currently working as Head of Logistics & Transport domain at the Information Systems Direction of Louis Vuitton.
What does women’s day represent to you?
A.D.S : International Women's Day is a good time to reflect on the progress made, call for more changes, and celebrate the courage and determination of women who have played a key role in the history of their countries and communities.
Do you think there are challenges specific to women, while pursuing an EMBA?
A.D.S : I think the main challenge is to defend our project, convince our employer and/or our family that this is a vital step for us, and make them understand why we want to invest time and energy in it. It is important to show them that our project is viable and legitimate. For women with children, managing work, family and studies can be a huge challenge too.
Are there any advantages of being a woman, while pursuing an EMBA?
A.D.S : Pursuing an EMBA can mean a significant improvement within the career horizon of a professional woman, developing our knowledge, providing valuable tools and contact networks that can open doors both in our home country and abroad.
Which powerful woman do you admire the most? Why?
A.D.S : Michele Obama, because she comes from a modest family and knows the real problems of our society. Her career and successes are the results of hard work, and her work actions are dedicated to inspiring and uplifting younger generations.
Do you think there is a stereotype attached to female leaders?
A.D.S : Of course! Unfortunately, the perception of female leadership is very often skewed. Female leaders are expected to show more empathy and benevolence than men. If they show strength, determination and/or ambition, they will be perceived as "heartless". We still have a long way to go to change the mindset and evaluate leaders (men or women) on their qualities and real results.
What advice would you give women considering an EMBA program?
A.D.S : Believe in yourself, talk about your motivations and what you are learning, people will admire your efforts and encourage you. Having confidence, along with the support of others, can be of great help in the challenge of pursuing an EMBA.
On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to women thinking about their careers?
A.D.S : Dare, dare and dare!!! You are the only one able to build your own future.
#INNOVATIVEWOMEN #INSPIRINGWOMEN #WOMENEMLEADERSHIP
From the International Women's day interview series, don't miss:
- Olga SEMENENKO, Entrepreneur, Consultant, Author, ESSEC Executive MBA Alumna, class of 2020
- Helene SOUILLAR, Business Lawyer, ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA Alumna, class of 2020
- Raquel NAVALON DE LA ROSA, Business Consultant, Manager, ESSEC Executive MBA Alumna, class of 2021
Register to our upcoming event, with a special focus on women: