Name: Carmen de Diego
Role: Business Development Director
Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
I personally look forward to the day when gender equality is such that it is not necessary to dedicate one day to women. The fact is that we are not there yet and we mustn’t forget the place of women in recent history and the current challenges that we face only for being women.
Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?
I have not faced any barriers that have ever stopped me, but I can say I have had to prove myself undoubtedly, more so than if I had been a man. You overcome obstacles with determination and conviction, believing in yourself and counting on your family and a good network of friends.
What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?
“Don’t care about those who judge you, be yourself and fight for what you want and what is important for you”, that was my mum’s advice. As a mum, wife, working and travelling I have been judged constantly on all my roles in life and it is really important to be above those judgements. With age, it gets easier but I wish younger women didn’t need to endure it, I hope those judgements from both men and women end with my generation.
How can we encourage more women to pursue entrepreneurship or senior leadership roles in their career?
I think they need to ask themselves if that is what they want, as this is also about priorities, if it is what they want, fight for it and do not let anyone hold you back. Keep your friends close because you will need many “therapeutical coffees” with them, and fundamentally believe in yourself.
What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
What you should be doing is not already written, you write your future, so don’t listen to anyone who puts obstacles in your way or judges what you can and can’t do.
Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
Definitely the people I work with, some because their personal background is an inspiration, others for the energy they bring and their dedication. Fortunately, I don’t need to go far to find inspiration every day.
Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?
We talk so much about teamwork, and for a team to work it is fundamental that the members complement each other. Diversity is key to success.
If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Leaving any political ideas aside, it would be interesting to spend a dinner with Margaret Thatcher, Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel. For their determination, amount of power rarely seen in women (other than royalty) and impression they made/make. They’ve made it possible to believe that women can be in the highest positions of responsibility.