IWD – Zuzana Hampel, Business Development Manager

International Women's Day Interview

Zuzana Hampel, Business Development Manager

1. Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

I love that we can live in a century where women have a voice and I love to see women become more and more independent. We have to celebrate women because if a woman decides to do something and put her mind to it, she can do anything. For example giving birth, having a career, being a wife, being a woman, we can do anything!

International Women's Day - Zuzana Hampel

2. Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?

I’m very lucky to work in a business where women have positions and don’t have to prove that they deserve them. However working in a mainly male industry, I started working here a long time ago, anytime I went on a business trip and met all those men, I constantly had to prove that even as a woman I understood the business. They wouldn’t take me seriously, for example, some of them I had to really show my knowledge and I wouldn’t have dared to wear  ‘provocative’ clothes otherwise they could just make stupid jokes. So my advice is to overcome those silly comments with great funny jokes and perfect knowledge.

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

Challenge is good, you always grow if you get out of your comfort zone and if you don’t ask you don’t get. The most important thing is to be yourself, shine and don’t try to be anyone else to fit in somewhere, you were born original so be original.

4. How can we encourage more women to pursue entrepreneurship or senior leadership roles in their career?

Just believe in yourself, believe you can have it ALL and things will happen. Don’t settle for less because you are being told by others you should be this or that. Follow your heart, work hard as it’s important, be consistent, have discipline and life will reward you.

5. What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Don’t be scared to have a family thinking you will lose your career, don’t be scared to speak your mind, and don’t be scared of authorities. You are very lucky you were born into this world where women are valued. Thinking what my grandmother and even my mother had to go through, value those women who did it for you/us and make all of them proud. Be proud to be a woman, be proud to say I have a great career and I deserve it.

6. Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?

Yes, I was very lucky to meet someone who taught me business, who was my inspiration, who helped me to grow as a person, and who I actually take as an example in life, even as a mother. But I’m working with many inspirational women so not sure I can just pick one of them!

7. Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?

Diversity helps us to see things from all points of view, and to have our eyes and hearts open, I believe it makes you a better person.

8. If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Elizabeth II the Queen –  What an inspiration and I would have loved her humour.

Anne Frank – Her bravery, her life and what she has given to the world even when dying so young.

Ellen DeGeneres – Her personality, again her bravery and I love her talk shows.

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