Being a Female CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
What's it like being a female CEO?
I live in Luxembourg and am married with one son. I love to travel and discover new cultures. I am part of an official Harley Davidson Group where I met my husband! I believe that if we are in a good position in life, we should support others. My father is a Hungarian immigrant who escaped during the civil war and he taught me that we need to work hard, be respectful and have a high level of integrity. During the weekends, you can find me with friends or family, on my motorbike doing a charity ride, travelling or reading. The words that would describe me best are emotional and passionate with a sense of drive that needs, at times, to be slowed down (!) hence knowing the fantastic people I’ve had the great opportunity to work with.
Job title: CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
Current employer: Victor Buck Services
Industry: IT service management company
Hours: 50+ hours per week on average but varies greatly
How long have you been practising in this field? 7 years.
What’s your job title and location?
I am the CEO for Victor Buck Services, and am based in Luxembourg with an international remit.
What's it like working in your role? What does a typical day look like?
My role is to ensure that the Company exists in 10, 20, 30 years and to bring the change, innovation, creativity needed to evolve the organisation. I am a representative of the Company and lead by example, encouraging the teams to deliver the best possible service to our customers.
There is not really a typical day, each day tends to be very different! My routine depends on the needs of the day, internal and external meetings, conferences, attending client discussions, preparing new ideas and working groups to bring value to our community.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
I love it all! I love meeting people, travelling, bringing new ideas to teams, coaching people, deal with escalated issues, problem solving, ensuring we are the best customer service provider with a real sense of client centricity.
Are there any specific qualifications you are required to have in your field?
Not qualifications per se, but qualities. Be curious, do not be afraid of change, lead by example and bring up the next person in-line to pick up challenges and bring the company forward. Share as much as possible, listening to people and think outside the box with others. Be a person with, not for whom, the teams want to work and bring value.
How did you get to where you are today?
I worked for 23 years in the Financial industry, I worked with one of the first clients of Victor Buck Services and when the two founders decided to sell the company (as I like to say after 15 years probation period!), they asked me if I wanted to join and manage the company. This is how I transitioned from the Financial Industry to IT/Customer Centric Services.
Was there anything you liked doing at school that helped you get to this career?
I enjoyed studying languages and trying to understand and solve problems. My facorite subjects were maths, languages and history.
What did you want to be as a child when you 'grew up'?
Can you remember what your parents reactions were to that aspiration?
They were always supportive.
Can you remember your parents or teachers wanting or encouraging you to go into a specific career? And was this linked to your gender?
Once, because I had failed a year in school, a teacher once told me that I would never be anything other than a secretary.
What do you think are attitudes towards and expectations of women in the in your profession?
There are more women in the financial space, whereas IT is still developing. It is how you consider those behaviours, what you do with the feedback, how you deal with erroneous assumptions/expectations that makes the difference and you can surprise those.
Are there any challenges or benefits working in your field?
We all have similar challenges; asking ourselves every day if we did the best we could for the benefit of the whole - not only the company but the people. After all, it’s place where you spend substantial time and energy. But if you believe in what you do and believe in the company, it’s really a pleasure and privilege.
What are 3 things you have to like to do your job?
Deal with difficult situations or escalations
Be able to challenge: yourself, others whether internal or external
Be available and understand your impact on others
What advice would you give to young girls who are aspiring to be in your role, or who maybe haven't even considered it as a career?
I never considered this as a career, I never thought I would be a CEO. In any job, do the best you can, learn, be curious, show interest, listen, do not be afraid of making mistakes and of challenging others.
Hours: Varies greatly
Starting salary: Varies greatly
Stats: Of the CEOs who lead the companies that make up the 2018 Fortune 500 list, just 24 are women. That number is down 25% from 2017 record-breaking 32 female CEOs, the highest share of women since the Fortune's first 500 list in 1955. CNBC.
As of June 2019, only 7% of FTSE 100 companies had a female chief executive officer at the helm of their organization. Statista
Women still account for fewer than 5% of the CEO positions in the US, UK and Europe, suggesting efforts to diversify corporate leadership may be stalling. FT