Meet Olga, a managing director from Zurich. Find out who inspires her and about her hip hop roots.
byOlga, Strategic Change and Incubation
24 Jan 2017
My job is not a job, it is a passion.
More insights from Olga
Can you tell us a bit about your role and your experience prior to joining UBS?
My job is not a job, it is a passion. Since I began my career I have been doing what I love, being a business development and marketing professional, specializing in strategic change. I have the chance to learn something new every day, meet fantastic people and do what I do best; structure new ideas and turn them into projects. Before joining UBS I was a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers' strategic change department, and before that I worked at Nestlé in Switzerland, Brazil and Italy.
What does diversity mean to you?
To me diversity means a corporation that actively embraces new perspectives, new opinions and new ideas to achieve better decisions and results. A company that puts time and effort into creating a balanced work environment, that embraces different genders, cultures, backgrounds, and treats everyone with respect.
How do you encourage collaboration within your team?
Through exchange, dialogue and, most importantly, collaboration towards a common goal. For example, through cross-team, cross-geography, and cross-functional projects. I give each and every one of my team members the chance and support to perform at their best, building on what they are truly excellent at. And, most importantly, by celebrating success – be it big or small.
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My grandma and my mom, both very successful women with a broad creative mindset who have always encouraged me to be independent, entrepreneurial and supported every idea and passion.
Each and every one of my bosses and mentors – so far I have been very lucky to work with the right person at the right time in my career.
Most importantly, my husband, children and friends. My husband is a software engineer and totally crazy in a good way. He gives me stability, wings and a totally different perspective. My two boys add a mix of joy, energy and the unbiased view of children. And my friends, with their creativity and ideas from totally different lines of work, industries and geographies – the honest feedback of people who love me and will not hold back if something seems like a truly bad idea.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Be confident. Be yourself. Get a mentor or someone you can truly trust with a lot more experience than yourself, and make use of their advice. Have the courage to try new things.
What will be the biggest challenge for the next generation of women?
If we are successful in addressing the known diversity challenges, the biggest challenge for the next generation of women should not be any different than the challenges for society overall. Doing all in our power to preserve our planet from total exploitation, getting to terms with the privilege to live a longer life and very practically addressing the challenge of work life balance.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?
I am a former hip-hop and aerobics teacher and a trained stylist.
What was your dream job as a child and why?
I never had a dream job. This was kind of a problem. For a long time I did not really understand what I was meant to "become," despite a lot of coaching and help from career consultants. In fact, until the age of 35, I simply did whatever my at-the-time job required and tried to do it in the best way I possibly could. It was only later that I discovered that marketing and business development in all its forms is what I am not only good at, but also most passionate about.
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