Show cover of Femme Lead

Femme Lead

Femme Lead is a community-empowered organization with the mission to empower women to build fulfilling careers. Our vision is to close the leadership gap and provide role models for the next generation of leaders. We support our goal by sharing inspiring content, providing tools, and building a global network. Femme Lead started from a podcast project back in 2020. Alexandra Ciobotaru launched Femme Lead to spotlight women who were role models in their communities. Over the years the project expanded into a supportive community. Visit for our latest news. 


Redefining Leadership & Owning our Power with Christina Bizoumi, Senior Director of Product at Universal Robots.
Conscious & Intentional Leadership| Young Female Leader | Empowerment | Digital Experiences | IKEA | Women in Technology| Coaching | Parenthood | For this episode, we’re introducing Christina Bizoumi, a trailblazer in product innovation and leadership. As the Senior Director of Product at Universal Robots, she spearheads the Digital Experience organization, dedicated to ensuring that customers triumph in their automation endeavors.With a career steeped in the synergy of people and business, Christina is a seasoned leader who has navigated the realms of leadership and product innovation. Before her role at Universal Robots, she spent seven impactful years at IKEA, where she led teams and introduced groundbreaking products to the market, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.Beyond her professional achievements, Christina has embarked on a new journey as a coach and strategic advisor, channeling her expertise to empower individuals and businesses in crafting remarkable careers and ventures.Join us as we delve into the dynamic world of Christina, where innovation meets leadership, and success is not just achieved but orchestrated!We discuss leadership philosophies, coaching others to thrive, parenting lessons, and how to navigate being a young woman in a senior leadership position. Don’t miss this episode! Follow Christina on LinkedIn: 
68:08 4/1/24
S05 E09 How to use a solution oriented mindset to propel your career with Violeta Todorova, Chief of Staff at Monta.
Chief of Staff | Management Consultant | Start-up | Strategy | Leadership | Success Mindset | Building Relationships | Sponsorship & Mentorship | Advice | Violeta Todorova is the Chief of Staff at Monta, a platform powering the entire EV charging ecosystem. Before diving into entrepreneurship, Violeta was a Project Leader at Boston Consulting Group in Copenhagen. Previously, she spent five years at one of the largest marketing & communication companies - Publicis Groupe - working across clients such as Samsung and Heineken. After exploring education and career options across various locations such as the US, London, and Paris, Violeta is now excited to help Monta succeed and advance her career in the process.In this episode, we explore Violeta's international career and how she used a solution-oriented mindset not only to solve problems but also to build relationships and propel her career. What is the role of a chief of staff? Violeta shares a lot of relevant pieces of advice for people looking to change careers and have an impact working with senior stakeholders with a strategic focus. Join us for a chat about mentorship, what is a success mindset, and more!Follow Violeta on LinkedIn: to build your start-up career? Join our upcoming event with Monta to learn from the best: to our episode with Eylem Demir Sentürk on sponsorship here:
50:23 2/21/24
S05 E08 Oana Jinga, Dexory Co-Founder & CCO on Unveiling the Robotics Revolution.
Co-Founder | Growth | Robotics | Logistics | Leadership | Successful Career |In this episode, we dive into the world of innovation and robotics with Oana Jinga, the Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Dexory, a groundbreaking robotics and data company in Central London.🎙️ Oana's career journey, spanning from strategic partnerships at Google to innovative product development at Telefonica, has culminated in her current role at Dexory. Her passion lies in bringing robots to the logistics industry, driving significant business value and advocating for the benefits and ethics of robotics, alongside the importance of unbiased AI.🔍 Oana discusses her roles as Co-founder, CCO, and Product Officer, unveiling how she shapes and leads Dexory's vision and strategy while balancing the commercial and product aspects.Oana provides an insightful overview of Dexory's technology, showcasing its distinctions from traditional warehouse management systems. She introduces digital twin technology and shares the inspiration behind the platform's development.As a female leader in technology, Oana looks at the challenges she has faced and how she encourages diversity and inclusion within the tech industry and Dexory. She shares valuable advice for women aspiring to become entrepreneurs and discusses a must-have skill for this journey. Follow Oana on LinkedIn: more about Dexory:
43:41 2/3/24
S05 E07 Dealfront Growth Manager Jessica Cohen on Building a Successful Career in Sales.
Sales Manager | Growth | Transferrable skills | Sales leadership | Successful Career |  For this new episode, please welcome Jessica Cohen, the North America Sales Manager at Dealfront as our guest and we cannot wait to spotlight her experience!  In this episode, Jessica shares her journey from a decade as a Sales Leader in B2C to her current role as the Sales Manager at Dealfront. Dealfront, a dynamic go-to-market platform, equips sales and marketing teams with crucial data, applications, and insights to conquer leads and seal deals.Jessica emphasizes that sales revolve around one key element - human connection. Leading the North American sales team for over 2 years, Jessica strives for a personalized experience for all prospects. Beyond the products, she resonates with Dealfront's core values, particularly as a remote-first company.She delves into insights on building a thriving sales career and connecting with people to pitch new ideas. Jessica also provides tips on navigating the North American market and valuable advice for women aspiring to succeed in the field. Jessica reveals how she stays motivated and resilient in the competitive sales industry, sharing a personal experience showcasing the importance of a positive mindset. She talks about adapting the sales approach to Dealfront's global operations, specifically in the North American market, and provides insights into unique challenges and opportunities.Follow Jessica on LinkedIn: more about Dealfront: 
50:56 1/23/24
S05 E06 Oracle Red Bull Racing F1 Engineer Andra Groapa on Career Growth and Innovation at Red Bull Powertrains.
Formula 1 | Oracle Red Bull Racing | Powertrains | CFD Engineer | STEM | Career Development | Mental Health | CV Tips | Dream Job | Meet Andra Groapa, the driving force behind innovation at Red Bull Powertrains! 🚀In 2021, Red Bull Powertrains roared to life, supplying power units to Formula One giants Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri. 🏎️💨Join us as we dive into Andra's incredible journey from dreaming big in Romania to becoming a pivotal engineer at the forefront of Formula 1 technology. As a simulation expert, Andra's role in building and running models for the 2026 power unit is nothing short of revolutionary. Her simulations enable the team to predict thermal performance, giving Red Bull Racing a competitive edge!Navigating a male-dominated field, Andra stands tall, advocating passionately for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.In our episode, Andra opens up about her role, the challenges in the motorsport industry, and her strategies for tackling difficulties head-on. As an advisory board member for the Society of Women Engineers, a Mental Health First Aider, and a mentor, Andra's impact extends far beyond the racetrack. Join us for an inspiring conversation on her journey to Formula 1, the industry's challenges, and Andra's advice for those aspiring to build STEM careers in the fast lane!Follow Andra on LinkedIn: 
51:15 1/10/24
S05 E05 Ula Caroto on Financial Freedom and Finding Prosperity.
Financial Wellbeing | Financial Freedom | Wealth Management | Prosperity | Impact Consulting | Personal Transformation | Art of Kintsugi | Angel Investor | Ula Caroto is a mentor, coach, thinking partner, and a trusted welllth-being (wealth + wellbeing) advisor. She combines her extensive wealth management knowledge with powerful coaching and exquisite listening skills to help her clients find true prosperity in every area of their lives.In our interview, we discuss insights on how women approach investing and what they need to succeed in the financial realm, key strategies or advice you offer to women to boost their financial confidence and overall well-being, principles, and methods to help her clients overcome challenges, and amplify their impact, and how she helps women feel empowered with their money and in all areas of their lives. She has 16 years of experience as a wealth manager and she has been the trusted advisor to successful entrepreneurs, senior leaders, well-known families, and charities. At one stage of her career, she was responsible for nearly £1bn of clients' wealth. Unusually for the male-dominated investment world, women accounted for over 50% of her client base, giving testament to her understanding of how women approach investing and what they need to be successful. She founded UC IMPACT Coaching & Consulting - a company focused on empowering ambitious and driven people and organizations to achieve IMPACT: Inner Mastery + Personal and Collective Transformation. She helps her clients overcome challenges, accelerate growth, and amplify their impact. Ula is skilled in helping women to feel empowered with their money and across all areas of their lives. She is also a connector, Pilotlighter, angel investor, and a keen supporter of female founders. She's a passionate advocate for Sustainability Diversity and inclusion and applies her "Art of Kintsugi: Power of Imperfection" approach to help her clients turn their imperfections into superpowers and accelerate their career and life progress on the path to empowered authenticity which in turn breeds belonging, confidence and higher positive impact. Follow Ula on LinkedIn: Ula’s website: Wisdom: Book references:Hidden Potential. The Science of Achieving Great Things - Adam Grant is your superpower. How To Get What You Want Without Compromising Who You are - Zoe Chace The Disciplined Pursuit of Less - Greg McKeown A Woman's Guide to Power - Kasia Urbaniak you want to stay up to date with Femme Lead initiatives and events, subscribe here:
48:26 12/12/23
S05 E04 Eylem Demir Sentürk on Sponsoring Women to Empower Career Progression.
Women on Stage | Founder | Immigrant Stories | Sponsoring Women | Empowerement | Success Story | Eylem Demir Sentürk is the founder and CEO of 𝗪𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲, and her goal is to increase the number of female leaders within the Pharma & Life Science Industry. As a mother with 23 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry at global companies, she knows exactly which challenges women face.To overcome these challenges, she designed the «𝗦𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗪𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻» program, which increases the visibility of the female talents in business and grants them access to the next level positions with the help of powerful leaders. At the age of 12, I immigrated to Switzerland and started a life from zero. I faced discrimination at school and later bullying at work. These negative experiences shaped me positively and helped me to design and provide trainings in career coaching, female leadership, being on stage and bullying at work in English, German & Turkish. She holds an M.Sc. in applied psychology from the University of Liverpool and a leadership education from Harvard University.🔺Do you want to move up in your career?🔺Are you looking for a job that will give you development opportunities and don’t know how to start?🔺Do you believe in increasing the number of female leaders and talents in organizations?If you answer any of these questions with a yes, then this interview is for you! Follow Eylem on LinkedIn: you want to stay up to date with Femme Lead initiatives and events, subscribe here:
56:50 11/29/23
S05 E03 Chisom Udeze, Diversity Leader of the Year & Co-founder at Diversify on Dreaming Big and Owning Your Voice.
Diversity & Inclusion | Economist |  Mental Health | Belonging | Diverse Founders | Chisom is an Economist, a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Strategist, and a 3 times founder of impact-driven companies. She has over 14 years of experience working with organizations like the European Commission, The United Nations, ExxonMobil, and The Economist Group. Chisom has just been honored with the prestigious title of "Diversity Leader of the Year" at the Nordic Women in Tech Awards! 🌐👩‍💼As the founder of Diversify and Diversify Consult, Chisom and her team work with companies, institutions, governments, and civil society to develop sustainable DEIB strategies and embed measurable diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace and society. In addition, in 2022, Diversify launched the Diversify Nordics Summit, the largest conference in the Nordics that gathers cross-sectoral stakeholders to amplify DEIB in the Nordics and beyond.In 2020, she founded HerSpace, a diverse and inclusive co-creation community for all genders, with a particular focus on women and non-binary people. In 2022, HerSpace launched HerTech, a Women in Tech incubator, for women-led companies, with a focus on the inclusion of diverse founders. Chisom is a thought leader in DEIB and a passionate advocate for mental health and wellness. She writes often on these subjects and also justice-related topics, and some of her work is published on Forbes. Follow Chisom on LinkedIn:  If you want to stay up to date with Femme Lead initiatives and events, subscribe here:
44:26 11/13/23
S05 E02 Simone Gemkow, McLaren Automotive on Sustaining a Career in STEM and Advice for Future Managers.
Automotive | Engineering | McLaren | Leadership | Management Advice | Simone Gemkow is an automotive product engineer with over a decade of experience in British automotive brands. She boasts a robust academic background, including a Ph.D., and a wealth of industrial expertise, which have propelled her from an engineering professional to a proficient people manager. Currently serving as a manager, Simone leads a team of world-class engineers in the automotive engineering sector.Simone's journey to leadership involved rapid learning in areas like team management, building business relationships, positive influence, and strategic goal attainment. Her influence extends beyond her workplace, as she serves as the president of the International Association of Women London (IAW), actively fostering a community of professional women through monthly events and championing women's empowerment and gender equality.Recognizing the need for more accessible career progression and people management insights, Simone shares her knowledge and experiences through her blog, "Career with a View," to support young professionals in making their talents visible across their organizations.In the discussion with Simone, you can expect insights on her current role at McLaren, her career journey in STEM, her leadership philosophy, her commitment to promoting accomplishments, her strategies for handling difficult conversations, the mission of the International Association of Women, her thoughts on women's leadership development, and her reflections on her career journey, including what she might have done differently in hindsight.Follow Simone on LinkedIn: Simone's blog: If you want to stay up to date with Femme Lead initiatives and events, subscribe here:
48:46 11/1/23
S05 E01 His Majesty's Ambassador to Denmark Emma Kate Hopkins OBE on Building a Career: From Criminal Barrister to Diplomat and Spotlighting Women Stories.
Ambassador | Diplomat | Human Rights | Justice | Women's Rights | Career Change | Emma Kate Hopkins OBE took up her post as His Majesty’s Ambassador to Denmark in October 2020. Prior to this, she served as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Bulgaria from 2015 to 2020. Whilst in Bulgaria she was also the senior regional lead for organised crime and rule of law projects (including modern slavery) in Central and Eastern Europe.Emma was born in Bolton and studied at St. Clement Danes Comprehensive School (Chorleywood) and Cambridge University (Fitzwilliam College) where she graduated with a degree in Law. She was called to the Bar in 1995 and practiced as a criminal barrister until 2001 when she entered public service.Before her appointment in Sofia, Emma led the UK government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), a campaign to end impunity for warzone rape. She was awarded the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for services to preventing sexual violence in conflict-affected countries.Emma’s career in government has included leading legal and policy teams at a senior level. She has worked on immigration and asylum, human rights, EU justice and home affairs, international criminal law, organized crime, as well as violence against women.Between 2006 and 2008, she developed the first UK strategy on human trafficking and delivered it through a national and international campaign. For her work, in 2008, Emma received the Civil Servant of the Year Award for outstanding contribution to public service and in 2014 her team was given the Civil Service International Award for their work on the PSVI campaign.In this episode, opening the 5th season of Femme Lead, we explore Emma's journey from her beginnings in Bolton to her studies at Cambridge University, where she earned a degree in Law and later became a distinguished criminal barrister. Discover how Ambassador Emma transitioned from the legal world into public service, and how her passion for justice led her to spearhead ground-breaking initiatives!Follow Emma Hopkins on LinkedIn at: Follow Emma Hopkins on Twitter.Learn more about the Ambassador for a Day program: you want to stay up to date with Femme Lead initiatives and events, subscribe here:
51:54 10/8/23
S04 E24 Sarah Freiesleben, Digital Transformation Lead on Authenticity, Agency and Building a Career in Consulting.
Authenticity | Agency | Transformation | Activism | Leadership | Shaping Humanity | Technology | Role Model | Consulting | Curiosity | Digital Transformation |Sarah Freiesleben is a fantastic role model and an inspiration and once you hear her speak you know you have met an extraordinary person! Sarah helps purpose-driven organizations sustainably innovate by harnessing and applying human insights to technology development. With an advanced degree in linguistics and 15 years working on global, cross-functional enterprise tech projects in a wide variety of industries, she has come to believe that tech needs the humanities to develop tech for humanity. Her passion is shaping more holistic ecosystems so groups of people who want to bring change into the world can find the coherence & agency to be able to do so. She works as a consultant at Ramskov Consulting Group in Denmark and as an Industry Fellow at the Danish Technical University.  Her top 3 lessons reflection on her career path?1. The future generations are reclaiming their multiplicity. From an innovation perspective, you will find new ideas by having more perspectives. 2. If something doesn’t feel right, trust yourself. Allow yourself to leave. 3. Don’t try to predict in 10 years what you want to be. Have some direction, but there needs to be space for following and sensing what can happen and trying it out. Don't miss this engaging conversation with Sarah Freiesleben!Follow Sarah on LinkedIn: If you want to stay up to date with Femme Lead initiatives and events, subscribe here:
43:53 6/21/23
S04 E23 Petra Wille, Independent Product Leadership Coach and Author on Building Strong Product Teams.
Product Management | Product at Heart | Product Teams | Product Coach | Strong Product People | Coaching | Author | Community Building | In today's episode, we have the pleasure of hosting Petra Wille, an independent product leadership coach and author with a passion for empowering product teams. With over eight years of experience in the field, Petra has been instrumental in helping product teams enhance their skill sets and elevate their performance.In recent years, Petra's focus has been on supporting product leaders in building outcome-oriented product teams. Her dedication to sharing knowledge with the broader product community led her to publish the highly acclaimed book, "STRONG Product People: A Complete Guide to Developing Great Product Managers," in January 2021. This book has quickly become a must-read for product professionals, praised by industry experts such as Martin Eriksson for its valuable insights into coaching and empowering teams.In addition to her writing, Petra developed the #52questions coaching card set, designed to help product leaders become effective coaches. These cards offer valuable prompts and guidance for enhancing coaching skills and driving team success.Alongside her freelance work, Petra serves as the co-organizer of Product at Heart in Hamburg, Germany, where she actively contributes to fostering a vibrant product community.In this episode, Petra joins us to discuss her professional development journey and share invaluable advice for product leaders striving to excel at building products that people love. Get ready to be inspired and gain practical insights from Petra's wealth of experience and expertise.Follow Petra on LinkedIn: Check out Product at Heart: out Petra's website: Book - Strong Product People: 
44:10 6/14/23
S04 E22 Kathrine Hee Nielsen, Manager Digital Accelerator Research & Early Development at Novo Nordisk on Inclusive Leadership, Skills of the Future and Career Lessons.
Inclusive Leadership | Leader | Career Growth | Career Perspectives | Digital, IT & Data | Novo Nordisk | Research & Development | Role Model | Future Skills |  In today's episode, we have the pleasure of hosting Kathrine Hee Nielsen, a leader in Digital, Data, and IT at Novo Nordisk. With a remarkable career spanning 11 years within the company, Kathrine has held various positions in finance, quality, and clinical development. She is currently leading software development teams as the Manager of Digital Accelerator in Research & Early Development.Kathrine thrives in the intersection between people, organizational development, and transformational technology. Her passion for fostering inclusive environments is deeply rooted in her personal experiences as she belongs to several minority groups herself. We will explore the facets of leadership and delve into the concept of being an ally. What does it mean to practice inclusive leadership? What role does Kathrine play within Novo Nordisk, and how does she envision the future of skills in her field?Before joining Novo Nordisk, Kathrine gained valuable experience as a consultant and worked within the governmental sector in Denmark. Her educational background as a political scientist, her diverse international experiences living in Denmark, Greece, Sweden, Ireland, and Vietnam, and her travels to over 50 countries bring a unique perspective to her leadership journey.Join us as we embark on a thought-provoking conversation with Kathrine, where we explore the importance of inclusive leadership, delve into the intricacies of allyship, and gain insights into her role within Novo Nordisk and the future of skills in her industry.Get ready to be inspired by Kathrine's expertise and passion for creating inclusive and transformative workplaces. Let's dive right in!Follow Kathrine on LinkedIn: Learn more about Novo Nordisk: more about Femme Lead's mission:
46:42 6/7/23
S04 E21 Ellie King, Co-Founder on Taking a Leap of Faith and Starting Equal IT.
Equal IT | Co-founder | Equality in IT | Recruitment Services | DEI Partner | Interview Preparation | Entrepreneurship | Career Lessons | Reflection | Voices of Women | Representation | Women in Tech | STEM | Ellie King, the Co-Founder of Equal IT is joining us today. Ellie and her team are on a mission to support organizations worldwide in recruiting inclusive teams and building equitable cultures through their coaching and support services.At Equal IT, diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just buzzwords - they are the foundation of everything they do. Ellie and her team have cultivated a vibrant community and have collaborated with esteemed organizations such as Nordic Women in Tech Awards, Women in Tech Sweden, PyLadies, WomenWhoCode, and HackYourFuture.Ellie's passion for sharing inspiration shines through her role as the host of Equal IT's Equal Inspired Podcast. Through this platform, she amplifies the voices of women and non-dominant groups who are doing amazing work in the tech industry, creating relatable role models because representation truly matters.In today's episode, we have the privilege of diving into Ellie's entrepreneurial journey. We'll explore her insights on recruitment practices, the pressing need for increased representation across industries, and her perspective on career progression based on Equal IT's focused initiatives.Get ready to be inspired and gain valuable insights as we delve into a conversation filled with entrepreneurial wisdom, diversity advocacy, and the importance of equal opportunities. Follow Ellie on LinkedIn: Check out the Equal Inspired podcast:
54:27 5/24/23
S04 E20 Esra Talu, Founder & CEO GoGlobal on Building a Supportive Community for Investments in Early-Stage Start-ups.
CEO | Co-Founder | Start-up | Investment | Board Member | Fundraising | Global Expansion | Partners for Growth | Social Entrepreneurship | Women Empowerment | Arya Women Investment Platform | Welcome to today's episode of Femme Lead podcast, where we have the pleasure of introducing our guest, Esra Talu. Esra is not only an extraordinary businesswoman but also a renowned writer, keynote speaker, and the Founding Partner & former CEO of Deppo, the first e-commerce company in Turkey. Serving in this role from 1999 to 2014, Esra successfully transformed Deppo into one of the leading e-commerce companies in the country.Since then, Esra has been offering her expertise in advisory services to corporate firms, individual investors, institutions, and global funds, focusing particularly on startups and early-stage investment matters. Her extensive experience and knowledge have made her a sought-after advisor, providing invaluable guidance to clients worldwide.Between 2017 and 2019, Esra held the position of Chapter President at Keiretsu Forum Turkey, which is recognized as the world's most prominent angel investors network with headquarters in San Francisco. This role allowed her to further expand her network and deepen her understanding of investment dynamics.In 2019, Esra founded GoGlobal, a Miami Beach-based next-generation tech ecosystem advisory company. With strategic partners located in the USA, UK, Israel, Türkiye, and the UAE, GoGlobal specializes in facilitating sustainable and impact-driven growth, scale, and expansion for innovative startups.As an accomplished professional, Esra also contributes to academia as a part-time Lecturer at Istanbul Bilgi University in the LITE Graduate Program. Her focus lies in the areas of Learning, Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, where she imparts her knowledge and expertise to aspiring students.Esra's influence extends beyond her various roles. She serves as a board member for numerous organizations, including Arya Women Investment Platform and leading companies in the US, Europe, and the MENA region. Her diverse involvement showcases her commitment to fostering growth and development within the business community.Follow Esra on LinkedIn: Check out GoGlobal’s mission: 
48:00 5/10/23
S04 E19 Dovilė Končak, CEO ai RAIT Group on How to not forget yourself when becoming a leader.
CEO | Leadership | Personal Reflection | Motherhood | M&A | Crisis Management | Team Leader | Business Development | Women’s Business Association | Dovilė Končak is the CEO of RAIT Group, in Lithuania, a market research company, and an active representative of key women's business associations in Lithuania. Her leadership approach is balanced and holistic, combining empathy with directness enabling businesses and teams to align and find their rhythm in a busy market place which in turn helps to achieve a competitive advantage.Her journey with the RAIT group started 12 years ago in the role of Head of Projects however she experienced many other responsibilities and roles which today have all led to the position of CEO. Currently, she ensures smooth operations and development of divisions in the Baltic and Swedish markets, as well as finding and helping to acquire new companies in existing and new markets (M&A), advising different businesses on solutions to business challenges, and both internal and external crisis management.In our interview, we discuss management lessons and how to not forget yourself in the process of becoming an organizational leader.Follow Dovilė on LinkedIn: Episode Timeline:02:25 Dovile, can you share more about the scope of your work today?04:50 What were some of the lessons you learned in this process?13:55 You mentioned empathy as the key to being a successful leader. Why?20:25 Do you believe confidence can be taught?26:50 How important it is to know yourself and how do you go about growing personally and professionally?32:00 Conflict management as a way forward - Can you share your advice and reflections?36:14 What are your thoughts on motherhood and career? How did it impact your environment and your professional aspirations?41:35 Final 5 Fire Questions.
45:47 4/26/23
S04 E18 Alina Engel, Business Development Manager at Meta on Trusting the process: How do you decide to close a start-up?
Entrepreneurship | Hooves | Start-up | Founder | Business Closure | Venture Architecture | Strategic Partnerships | Meta | Lessons | Business Development Manager | Role Model | In this episode of the Femme Lead Podcast, we have a special guest speaker, Alina Engel, who is not only a source of inspiration but also a close friend of the show. Alina's entrepreneurial journey started with the co-founding of Hooves, an app that revolutionized the expensive sport of horse riding and brought it into the sharing economy. Although COVID-19 forced the app to shut down, it had a massive impact with over 35,000 horses registered.Alina's strength in people-facing roles was evident early on in her career, and she constantly focused on building relationships to create commercial impact. After the closure of Hooves, Alina found herself at a crossroads, but she quickly found her footing as a venture architect at OBI Squared, where she worked on creating cutting-edge business models and startup collaborations.Currently, Alina is working at Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, where she uses her skills to build relationships with strategic partners, from investors in startups to clients and stakeholders in a corporate setting. In this episode, Alina will discuss the ups and downs of being a founder, as well as the importance of building relationships in both the startup and corporate worlds. Don't miss this fascinating conversation with Alina Engel, a true role model for anyone looking to make an impact in their careerFollow Alina on LinkedIn: Article Male and Female Entrepreneurs Get Asked Different Questions by VCs — and It Affects How Much Funding They Get: Recommendation - The Culture Map: Episode Timeline:03:55 Tell us about your entrepreneurship journey. 07:15 What happened with Hooves at the end, how was the decision made to close the company?11:53 Pitfalls of first-time founders. 12:57 How important is the relationship between the co-founders? 14:50 The importance of bringing together the right team. 15:45 What mindset do you have when approaching difficult conversations?19:00 Transparency as the key to moving forward. 23:10 The benefit of working for a start-up: the impact you can have. 24:15 What's the biggest learning from your start-up founding path? Would you do it again?25:00 What’s the main lesson from your entrepreneurial journey? 27:50 Have you noticed any difference between men and women when raising funds?35:10 Why did you decide to move to a corporate? What guided you in your career decision? 39:35 How is it to work for Meta?41:45 What do you appreciate about the start-up world vs corporate culture?48:55 Do you have advice for listeners who are unsure about their next professional career? How do you guide your decision-making for e.g. joining Meta?50:55 If you could, would you change anything looking back?53:04 The Final 5 Fire Questions.
56:58 4/12/23
S04 E17 Laura Dzurna, Pandora on building a career in brand management and the thought process involved in a career change.
Brand Management | Communication | Digital & IT Comms | Jewelry Industry | Career Change | Decision Making | Reflections | Laura Dzurna was Communications Manager at Pandora from August 2020 until September 2022, with a special focus on digital & technology. In October 2022, she took on a new role at Pandora as Brand Manager, managing one of Pandora’s collections.Her career in the jewelry industry spans a variety of roles within Brand Communications & PR and internal communication, driving various initiatives and campaigns. A recent example is setting up internal communications for Pandora’s digital & technology function and working to establish the digital & technology community with various initiatives amongother Hackathons.Laura has a master’s in Brand & Communications Management (Copenhagen Business School).  She loves sports, reads voraciously, and enjoys exploring new cultures.In this interview we discuss Laura’s career progressions, lessons learned, and the thought process behind deciding to change the department within an organization. She will share more about the importance of community building and how to tackle a career change. Follow Laura on LinkedIn: Episode Timeline:02:30 Laura, tell us more about your current work setup. 04:45 How does one start to build communities within organizations?11:30 What are the challenges you've encountered and how can one be successful? 15:45 Is community building important outside engagement inside the company? What does it help with?19:00 For those of our listeners who want to start a career in brand management and communication, what skills should they focus on building?For the leaders who listen, what is your advice on building you career in this field? How do you navigate your career progression?25:20 You shared with me that deciding on a career change was not easy, what were your main focus areas when deciding to make the switch? 28:57 What is one of the latest reflections you've had about your career?32:25 What are the 3 main leadership lessons you've learned from your professional endeavors?33:20 What is the biggest surprise of your career? What is one thing you would change if you could about your career? 38:05 The Final 5 Fire Questions.The podcast is available on all major streaming platforms. More details on
42:32 3/13/23
S04 E16 Inese Podgaiska on Bringing Your Whole Self to Work.
Coaching | Self-Awareness | Career Development | Bring Your Whole Self to Work | Career Progression | Reflection | Mindfulness | Women in STEM | Role Model | Our guest is a former Latvian diplomat with more than 21 years of experience in stakeholder management, negotiation, advocacy, and communication.Inese Podgaiska is the Secretary General of the Association of Nordic Engineers, ANE, and previously worked for the European Environment Agency. She received the 2019 Women Economic Forum Award for Women of the Decade in Science Leadership and was included in the 100 Brilliant Women in AI and Ethics list 2021.She is a mentor and certified mindful coach and advocates for engineers’ role in advancing responsible AI and achieving sustainable development goals.We’re discussing bringing your whole self to work, and how we can combine our professional aspirations with our personal development plans and not divide the two instances of our life. Follow Inese on LinkedIn: Check out Inese’s coaching practice: Episode Timeline:02:00 Inese, tell us more about your work on empowering women. 04:50 What made you decide to start a coaching practice on the side?09:25 What is your opinion on ‘bringing your whole self to work’? 15:50 What is your inspiration for hosting workshops on assertive communication? What can we learn from you? 18:48 Example of assertive communication in practice. 23:20 What were 3 important career lessons you learned in your career?27:25 What is your view on career progression?31:32 How do you tackle work-life balance?35:10 Looking back, is there anything you would change about your career?37:15 Final 5 Fire Questions. The podcast is available on all major streaming platforms. More details on
39:46 2/6/23
S04 E15 Kathy Borys Siddiqui on Building a Life Abroad and Cultural Adjustment in the Nordics.
Cultural Adjustment | Living Abroad | Culture Shock | Consultant | Integration | Well-Being Specialist | Intercultural Awareness | Founder |  Role Model | Trainer | Our guest is Kathy Borys Siddiqui the founder of Active Action, an organization supporting International companies as well as internationals and their families in the intercultural transition when moving abroad. Active Action focuses on raising awareness and bringing solutions to challenges that internationals, their families, and employers are faced with, in order to create thriving and positive environments. Kathy lived in 4 countries and on 2 continents and holds MA’s in Cultural Studies and in American Studies. A firm believer that "if you are lacking something - create it."  She has been able to combine her passion and profession as an Intercultural Trainer, and owner of Active Action, with public speaking and branding initiatives, and describes herself as a well-being specialist. We discuss cultural adjustment and the notion of identity when moving abroad and we deep dive into the stages of cultural adjustment to a new country, culture, and environment.Follow Kathy on LinkedIn: Episode Timeline:01:58 Kathy, can you share more about the focus of your work?05:50 What does it mean to help companies with intercultural awareness?12:00 The definition of subtext. 13:25 What are the phases of cultural adjustment? 22:10 What are the Nordic cultural adjustments differences you’ve noticed compared to other places?30:35 What does it mean to feel at home once you move abroad? What about your career prospects?38:30 What are the 3 important lessons you learned in your career?43:30 Final 5 Fire Questions. 
48:26 1/23/23
S04 E14 Sonja Lakner on Taking a Career Break. Reflections and Goals from a Managing Director.
Career Break | Career Development | Digital Innovation | Digital Agency | People Leader | Goals | Reflections | Learnings | Career Progression | Pause | Our guest today is Sonja Lakner. Originally from Austria, Sonja studied communications and media and after a few years of working in digital agencies in London, she has worked in leadership positions in Sweden for the past 15 years. Sonja is passionate about people and helping them develop their full potential in the work environment and loves to work with people from different cultures.Her latest position was Managing Director for the Swedish office of the digital consultancy Futurice. She is on a career break since the end of November 2022 and she’s joining us to talk about what it means to take a career break and how can it help your career development. Taking a career break can be scary for most people, and in this episode, we explore the steps Sonja took to ensure that her career break will benefit her current career setup. Sonja worked for the past 4 years at the same company and is now taking the time to reflect on what is next while sharing how she plans her future career. Connect with Sonja on LinkedIn: Episode Timeline:02:45 Sonja, tell us a bit about your current career gap.06:20 Weren’t you worried to take a career break? 08:15 What is your career motto?Share with us more about the importance of taking a break and what are you experiencing now.10:15 How do you start planning your next career step? 22:25 How to decide that a career break is for you?27:10 What is the setup of working in a digital agency? Who inspires you in your professional life?31:11 Did you change the way you look at work-life balance?36:30 What inspired you to document your journey on LinkedIn? 39:10 What is one thing you would change if you could about your career?  41:20 Final 5 Fire Questions.
43:53 1/9/23
S04 E13 A year in review: The breakthroughs of 2022 with Alexandra Ciobotaru.
In this episode, we review all the career breakthroughs that 2022 brought along, including hosting our first career conference and planning new community events in Denmark. Join our next event in Copenhagen on January 25th, 2023 with AWS: Stay up to date with all of our events via email: Follow Femme Lead online for more inspiring content:Instagram:  LinkedIn: Share the news with your friends! 
30:46 12/29/22
S04 E12 Sophie Jelstrup, Chief Dealer & Functional Lead at Nordea Markets on Navigating a Finance Career.
Finance | Trading | Chief Dealer | Capital Markets | Nordea | Career | Progression | Leadership | Graduate Program | Role Model | Women in Finance |  Sophie Jelstrup is the Chief Dealer & Functional Lead - Global Trading at Nordea Markets. Sophie is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, studied economics and has a double master's degree in Finance from the University of Copenhagen and Imperial College London. She worked within the financial industry since I started at a pension fund as a student worker while studying and continued since then through the graduate program at NORDEA Markets. She is also the co-founder of BlueTomorrow - the Large Corporates & Institutions’ shadow board that connects top management with employees' voices. Nordea Markets is the leading capital markets partner in the Nordics.  Nordea Markets takes part in the Nordea Graduate Programme. The Nordea Graduate Programme is an extensive program that covers a variety of business areas whether that is in markets, IT, business, or compliance – all in which you will be able to accelerate your career and evolve both professionally and personally.Connect with Sophie on LinkedIn: Sign up for the Nordea LC&I and Markets Graduate Open House (Oct 26th, 2022): Apply to the Nordea Graduate Program 2023 (deadline Oct 31st, 2022): Episode Timeline:03:55 What does it mean to be a dealer at Nordea Markets?08:11 How did you start your career in the finance sector?10:41 What do you think are the 3 most important skills to consider to pursue this career path?14:43 How would you describe your career path?20:32 What advice can you share for professionals looking to enter the financial sector?25:00 Networking and the transition to a full-time role. 28:05 What is financial freedom? 33:20 How do you manage challenges at work? 37:20 What is the culture like within the financial sector?38:28 What does it mean to build a showdown board like Blue Tomorrow?41:30 What was the impact of the graduate program when you started?49:00 Final 5 Fire Questions.
53:54 10/20/22
S04 E11 Nada Ahmed on The Great Resignation, Pivoting Your Career and the Reputation Dilemma.
Innovation | CEO | Venture Capital | Board Member | Agile Leadership | Energy & Maritime Industry | Top 50 Women in Technology | Braving Innovation | Nada Ahmed is a public speaker, writer, and innovation and tech advisor with over 15 years of corporate leadership experience in the Energy and Maritime industry. She is the CEO and founder of Agile Leadership- an innovation consulting company helping startups validate their products and scale. Previously she served as Vice President of Innovation and Transformation at a leading engineering firm in the Nordics. Nada is passionate about Innovation, particularly in tech, and loves to help companies think creatively to develop breakthrough solutions. She is also an angel investor in tech startups. Nada strongly advocates diversity and inclusion, particularly in tech and investment communities. She has her podcast: Braving Innovation, in which she interviews leaders and shares her own thoughts on topics related to Innovation, entrepreneurship, and venture capital. Follow Nada on LinkedIn: Follow Nada on Instagram: @thisisnadaahmedCheck Nada’s work: Recommendation: Episode Timeline: 04:45 What is your professional focus right now?08:35 What made you leave corporate for entrepreneurship?12:30 Stepping into entrepreneurship to follow her passion. 15:45 Inspiring others to build a career path. 19:00 How do you build a brand? 25:50 What advice do you have for women who fear the negative interactions at work will follow their career?32:45 We need to build up women’s support systems through collaboration. 36:08 What is your view on the diversity & inclusion topic in the investment world?41:56 Where can people follow communities around investment and impact?43:43 Final 5 Fire Questions. 
49:52 9/19/22
S04 E10 Work as a Force for Good with Tamilla Mahkamova Leadership Coach, Educator & Global Change Director.
Company Culture | Organizational Development | Global Transformation | Coaching | Education | Transition at Work | Role Model | Emotional Intelligence at Work |Summing up all aspects of her work Tamilla Mahkamova is a psychologist, HR, Organizational Development and Transformation expert, coach, and educator.Over the last 15 years, she has worked in HR, OD, and Transformation roles in a corporate and non-profit environment through East and West. Currently, as Global Change Director at GrandVision, she leads change management in large-scale business and IT programs.In addition, within her Coaching & Education practice, she works with senior leaders going through a personal change and transition at work or leaders aiming to implement complex change in their organizations. Whenever she has a chance, she facilitates conversations and teachings around working with young adults' social and emotional aspects. Whatever the role or assignment, she intends to serve as a vehicle for building connected, creative and effective workplaces.In our interview, we discuss work as a force for good, how to retain talent in an organization and how to attract new talent. We focus on the workplace as a place of fulfillment and how we can increase our chances of building a culture that helps employees flourish. Follow Tamilla on LinkedIn: Check Tamilla's coaching business: nowwhat.globalInstagram account: @nowwhatwithtamillaCompanies with an excellent company culture statement based on Tamilla's notes: Book recommendations: Episode Timeline:02:20 What does the role of the global transformation change director mean?04:38 How should we understand the term 'company culture?10:30 What should companies look to do outside providing remunerations to retain new talent?13:35 How should we mention our activism or projects outside work? 15:02 How should we retain current talent in the workplace?20:52 How can we build a culture that helps employees flourish?29:17 How do you plan your career progression based on your passion?36:50 How do you incorporate self-knowledge in your coaching practice? 42:-3 Final 5 Fire Questions.
47:05 9/5/22
S04 E09 Career Mentorship with Alexandra Lung, CPO at Uptime: A comprehensive guide to apply, negotiate, and take your next career step.
Chief Product Officer | Mentor | International Speaker | Top Women in Product | Career Advice | Contract Negotiation | Non-Negotiables at Work | Corporate Advisor | Digital Transformation | Femme Lead welcomes Alexandra Lung, an internationally recognized product leader, C-suite executive, public speaker, corporate advisor, and leadership mentor. Her experience spans international roles in large companies and high-growth tech scale-ups.She started her career working as a consultant in strategy. She also held positions in marketing, communication, product strategy, and consulting in digital transformation. She is listed among the top women in Product in Europe 2018, the Elite business women to follow in 2019, and the Top 25 PLG influencers in 2021. Alexandra is passionate about building great products that positively impact and drive exponential growth for the business. She is always looking for ways to grow and empower the people around her. Today we will discuss career development and how to navigate your career path. Alexandra prepared valuable advice, giving us her step-by-step process to find your next professional adventure by putting yourself first. Follow Alexandra on LinkedIn: Episode Timeline:03:05 Tell us, what are your non-negotiables? And please let our audience know what does it mean to have non-negotiables?05:45 Where do you mention your non-negotiables in the interview process?07:15 Do you have a strategy for the interview questions?09:30: Do you advise the audience to look for subtle cues on their next career step?14:30 Did you ever feel that your career path was in jeopardy?16:50 What can you share with women unsure about their family plans?22:18 Why do you want to reassure women their career paths will be ok?24:40 How can you navigate a career path successfully?29:05 Applying for roles that seem out of reach.34:05 How do you advise people to set up for a new role?39:45 Stakeholder management when starting a new role. 45:55 Remember to think about what can happen right.48:30 Final 5 Fire Questions.
52:46 8/22/22
S04 E08 Olimpia Mesa on How People Learn. Turning passion into business. How to build your subject matter expertise?
How People Learn | Subject Matter Expert | Learning & Development | Passion | Entrepreneur | Learning | Book to Courses | Learning Design | Instructional Design | Thought Leader | Olimpia Mesa is a leading expert and consultant on brain-based learning design. President of Instructional Design Ltd., a company behind hundreds of successful corporate and educational programs, both online and in-person, delivered in various languages. Olimpia designs and consults with organizations on learning projects for leadership development, transformational change management, coaching, and the development and implementation of learning strategies. Olimpia’s broad industry experience includes banking, insurance, retail, real estate, technology, and manufacturing.In addition to consulting Fortune 500 organizations on learning projects, she is the founder of Book to Courses™ Online School, whose primary goal is to consult authors on how to transform a nonfictional book into online academies or apps.In our interview, we discuss the career path of an instructional designer, what it means to teach people how to learn and what a successful career looks like. Olimpia opens up about her challenges in starting a company and shares the learnings that helped her turn her passion into a business.  She is the author of "How People Learn" book: Follow Olimpia on LinkedIn: more about Olimpia's mission: Timeline:00:30 Thank you note from the Femme Lead team.02:40 What does it mean to work with learning and instructional design systems?06:10 How did you start working with instructional design?10:30 What is the focus of the ‘hoe people learn’ concept?13:55 How can we best integrate learning experiences?20:45 Are there ways to learn faster?25:40 How can people build subject matter expertise?29:55 What are the steps to ensure the learning efforts work? 33:11 Changes when starting a business: the entrepreneurship life. 37:38 One key piece of advice.42:40 Final 5 Fire Questions.
50:31 8/8/22
S04 E07 Ramaa Mosley, Film Director & Founder at Adolescent Content. Gen Z & the new generation of content creators.
Director | Career Path | Media Industry | Gen z | Adolescent Content | Advertising Agency | Promoting Talent | Entrepreneur | Diversity & Inclusion | Content Creators | New Generation | Ramaa Mosley is a commercial director, filmmaker, and advocate. Ramaa came across her passion for content creation and advertising at the young age of five when she directed her first documentary, screened at the United Nations, by the time she was 15. Not long after that, she began directing commercials and music videos and now has hundreds of commercials, feature films, and numerous documentaries under her belt. Today you’ll find Ramaa as the founder of Adolescent Content, a Black - and female-founded Gen Z media company with an advertising agency, content studio, digital platform, app, and global network of over 4,000 GenZ, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ creators in 20 countries. She found her inspiration beyond the agency, not only because of her extensive experience but also because she wanted to bridge the gap between agencies and Gen Z creators by starting an agency to help support them to thrive in creating branded content they care about. In this interview, we discuss a filmmaker's career path in the creative realm, entrepreneurship lessons, and how Ramaa plans to inspire the new generation of leaders to be more inclusive through her work.Follow Ramaa on LinkedIn: Follow Ramaa on Instagram: Check out Adolescent Content: Episode timeline: 02:15 What is Adolescent Content and how did you decide to start the business?05:10 What are some key differences when you look at the consumer behavior of GenZ? 07:50 How should we promote more women & people of color in the audio-visual space? 13:00 What feedback do you receive from Adolescent Content clients? Tell us more about the impact GenZ creators have?16:47 What traits do you see in an entrepreneur to succeed in the media industry?20:25 When it comes to difficult moments, how do you handle situations when things don’t work your way? 25:10 You started your career as a director: What inspired you to pursue this career path?31:10 How do you see the field changes since you started your career? 33:07 Final 5 Fire Questions.
36:20 6/27/22
S05 E06 Poorvi Shrivastav, GM & VP, Products at HubSpot on the pillars to promote more women in leadership. Forbes Technology Council.
Women in Leadership | Product Leader | Executive Team | Professional Advice | Career Progression | Role Model | People, Product & Process | Healthy Company Culture |  Poorvi Shrivastav is the GM and VP of Products at HubSpot. She has more than a decade of experience leading global customer, product, and engineering teams. She has launched products, built high-performing teams across enterprise SaaS companies, and is known for scaling emerging businesses. Poorvi Shrivastav is passionate about education, technology, and culture and is an investor and advisor for multiple educational and software organizations. She holds a Bachelor's in computer science engineering from India and an MBA in strategic management from The Wharton School.In our interview, we discuss Poorvi's career progression and pillars for success. We also look at building healthy company cultures and the highlights that can make a difference in a company's progress. Poorvi shares: I am looking at Femme lead as a platform for connecting with more women by highlighting my story, talking about female mentors and managers who paved the path to my success, how we invest in female leadership at HubSpot, and highlighting the importance of investing in people, process and product to grow strong leaders for tomorrow. I'd also like to bring in how we [at HubSpot] build teams and cultures that resonate with equality and efficiency, empathy and outcomes, humility and confidence. Follow Poorvi on LinkedIn: Timeline:02:15 Poorvi, what do you consider makes a career successful?04:20 When could you identify the pillars for success in your career progression?09:24 How to balance empathy with the skills you need to succeed in your role?12:48 What are some insights for women in leadership? 14:30 What is the advice for listeners at the beginning of their careers?15:24 How to approach mentorship in our career path?18:05 How can we support more women in leadership?20:15 How do you advise we approach difficult conversations? 23:14 How do you see us investing in the leaders of tomorrow?25:27 What is your stance on building a healthy culture? 28:08 Looking back, would you have done anything differently?29:52 Final 5 Fire Questions.
32:47 6/13/22
S04 E05 Phaedria Marie St. Hilaire on how to transform your career path. Life science business leader & DEIB advocate.
Career Transformation | Career Growth | Pivot | Life Sciences | Life in Denmark | Inclusive Leadership | Diversity & Inclusion | Women of Color | Mentorship | Role Model | ProWoc | Life Science | Researcher |  Phaedria Marie St. Hilaire is a Dominican-born Science Business Leader with over 20 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries with a passion for people development and making a difference. She has a proven track record of inspiring and driving cross-functional, multicultural teams to deliver results from her leadership positions at global companies like Carlsberg, and Novo Nordisk; and from her non-profit organization, Professional Women of Color Denmark.In addition to a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Phaedria has over 45 publications and patent applications in Chemistry and Biochemistry. She is passionate about diversity, inclusion, and belonging and changing the gender and race narrative. Phaedria believes in empowering self and others, continuous learning, self-reflection, and reinvention. She is a Mentor and Executive Coach. She enjoys pushing mental and physical boundaries and being out of her comfort zone.In our interview, Phaedria shares how she managed to transform her career multiple times. Transformational journeys are inspiring because these are the moments when you must get out of your comfort zone more than ever and trust that things will turn out OK. This is the central message of our interview: things will turn out OK. Phaedria also shares thoughts on her inclusive leadership work, advice for other leaders, and advice for young women looking to join for the first time a managerial role. We also discuss ProWoc Denmark (Professional Women of Color Denmark) and its mission.Follow Phaedria on LinkedIn: Phaedria on Instagram: @thesainteddoc Check our ProWoc's mission: ProWoc on Instagram: @prowocdk  Episode Timeline:03:15 What makes a career successful?06:50 When did you realize a career path is not about the outcome?14:40 How do you connect your identity with your new path?18:00 Did you have a safety plan for your career path? 23:38 How do you advise others to take the first step towards their career transformation28:15 Your career path is going to turn out OK.29:30 What is inclusive leadership?33:28 What is the mission of Professional Women of Color Denmark?41:39 Final 5 Fire Questions.
45:38 6/5/22