March marks both International Women’s Day globally, and Women’s History Month in the U.S. While we have been faced with an incredibly challenging month, it’s worth taking a pause to honor the great women in our lives, and to recognize the accomplishments of incredible female leaders around the world that paved the path for women today.
The United Nations officially started celebrating International Women’s Day in 1975, but its origins date back to the early 1900s, as men and women attended rallies to end discrimination and demand women’s right to work throughout Europe. In the U.S., Congress passed a proclamation in 1987 to establish March as Women’s History Month, thanks to the lobbying of National Women’s History Alliance.
To mark this annual celebration, we chatted with Maria Carrelli, Selligent’s global head of product marketing, to get her take on leadership and some of her best career advice.
Maria joined Selligent in 2018, to develop and execute an expanded global product marketing strategy for our solution. Fluent in five languages, Maria exemplifies a true global talent, bringing her experience from around the world at leading technology companies like Microsoft and Criteo to our team. Prior to jumping into the technology industry, Maria worked as a journalist and served as a Foreign Relations Manager for NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), the inter-governmental military alliance between North America and European countries.
Maria’s top three tips for aspiring women leaders:
Don’t limit yourself. Stay open to possibilities.
“I started out working in journalism and thought that would be my life, until I was approached by a product leader at a tech giant. I didn’t believe I would ever have a career in technology; I was wrong. That specific opportunity and the person who believed in me widened my horizon, and in fact, I was granted patents for two inventions in technology.”
Lead with tenacity and grace.
“Demonstrate consistency and results in order to build trust as a leader and empower and trust team members to become leads themselves. Treat everyone with respect.”
Ultimately, success is different for everyone.
“I wouldn’t get caught up in trying to repeat someone else’s accomplishments. For some, climbing the corporate ladder is their goal but maybe not for you, and instead, you’d rather launch a company that helps young girls learn to code. Doing what you love means also being close to your values.”
Part of what drives many successful females are the inspiring mentors who provide guidance. Here are three pieces of advice that Maria received throughout her career that helped her become the business leader that she is today:
Connect passion with purpose.
“Most of the successful women I admire align their passion with their purpose and found accomplishment in doing so. It works! You can find success in whatever you are passionate about and choose to do in life.”
Know your worth.
“Before anything else, you must know your self-worth and your professional worth. To do this, you need to clearly understand your strengths and weaknesses. You’re more likely to make decisions based on your confidence in your abilities once you know your worth.”
Inspire those around you.
“Provide your team with inspiration. It will allow people to dream and reach impossible goals, and that is what business is really about – it’s about trying to surpass ourselves.”