Giatec’s Women in Leadership

Giatec women in leadership
Giatec women in leadership

This week we are celebrating International Women’s Day and the amazing achievements of the women in Giatec’s leadership team. Since International Women’s Movement began the world has drastically changed, especially in the business world which has undergone significant transformation. These changes have allowed more females to not just enter the workforce, but to drive the progress, implement innovation, and become our leaders. Nowadays, we can see positive changes in the workforce, but there is always room for improvement.  Empowering females, providing more opportunities, breaking stereotypes, and supporting a diverse workforce is important to create an even better future for the business world.

At Giatec, we believe that diversity is key for our success. We are dedicated to promoting equal opportunities for our employees and establishing practices that will allow people with different backgrounds to grow and succeed at Giatec. Last year, we celebrated an amazing milestone – the Giatec leadership team became equally represented by females and males.  Each of our leaders brings valuable contributions, diverse perspectives, and plays a crucial role in Giatec’s success.

The women on Giatec’s leadership team have shared their stories, career paths, and advice to all females who wish to become a leader one day. By showing our amazing female leaders, we would like to encourage women from around the world to take on leadership roles.

Eugenia Kondratova, Director of Software Development

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a creative, people person that likes problem solving and is passionate about empowering others.

How did you choose your career path?

I wanted to do something that would allow me to solve real world problems and contribute to tools that bring people value on a daily basis. Technology is attractive from that perspective because it is everchanging and always relevant. My father was a Software Developer and Manager – this influenced my choice.

Tell us about your progression/path with Giatec? What is it like to be a part of Giatec?

In late 2020 I was seeking an opportunity to make a big impact in an emerging technology field and chose to join Giatec as Director of Software.  Giatec has a fast paced, customer focused culture. People are humble and open to learning and improvement.  

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Having the freedom to suggest and enact change that improves the tools and services we provide to our customers. Enabling my team to achieve their goals, grow their skills, and enjoy their work.

Can you share with us your thoughts about female leadership in the modern world?

Not everyone is convinced that a female can be an effective, strong, technical leader. However, most people do see it over time.

What advice would you give to women who are looking to become a leader one day?

Be aware that people may underestimate you or dismiss your contributions initially due to preconceptions. Follow the opportunities and challenges that you want to take on and continue to deliver your best work.  

Sarah De Carufel, Manager Engineering Solution

Sarah De Carufel

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have a Bachelors and a Masters degree in civil engineering from the University of Ottawa. My first language is French. Outside of work I am a very active person, I play soccer, bike, snowboard, and love doing outdoor activities. I also enjoy making puzzles.

How did you choose your career path?

In high school, I really enjoyed math and physics programs and I knew I was going to choose a career geared towards science.  I always looked up at these big structures and bridges and wondered how they were being built and how amazing it would be if I knew how to design and build them . Also, my dad is an engineer and always inspired me to be one. Therefore, I decided to skip the Cegep (in Quebec the step between high school and university), switch provinces, apply to engineering, and learn English. I never once doubted myself regarding this choice. I really enjoyed the civil engineering program, especially the materials and structural design classes. I was highly involved in research during my undergrad and decided to continue my education with a Masters degree, where my main area of research was the effect of high performance materials under blast load. After my masters I was eager to go on to the job market and be able to use my knowledge in a field I was passionate about. I was fortunate to get my first job at Giatec.

Tell us about your progression/path with Giatec? What is it like to be a part of Giatec?

I started with Giatec 5 years ago. It was a much smaller company at that time and I was the only person in this role. It is very impressive to see the growth over the years, as the company grew, I also grew in my role of supporting our clients. The team also got larger as the client base got bigger. I have been on the leadership team for over a year now and I am still growing as a professional.

If someone asked me what it’s like working for Giatec I would say it’s a challenge that never stops, it is not a routine job. Everyday I get the chance to speak with customers and assist my colleagues from all different departments. One last thing I can say is that this company has helped me thrive and allows me to be creative.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

One of the things I enjoy the most is that I learn something new everyday. I find myself in a very fortunate position where I can work with multiple teams and get to deepen my knowledge, not only in concrete, but also software, hardware, sales, and marketing. Also, as the manager of the engineering solutions department which provides support and expertise to our worldwide customer base, it always brings me joy to see the satisfaction from our customers and see how our technology is greatly helping them on a daily basis.

Can you share with us your thoughts about female leadership in the modern world?

My thought about female leadership in the world right now is that there is still a lot of work to be done. There is still a lot of stereotypes around different workplaces. These issues still need to be tackled head-on. Having more female leaders at Giatec in the past few years are examples that young and adult woman can get inspired by. Therefore, I truly believe we are heading in the right direction.

What advice would you give to women who are looking to become a leader one day?

To the hardworking ladies out there, don’t be afraid to encourage one another. If you make your way in a leadership position don’t be afraid to speak up and mentor your female colleagues to put their abilities to good use. Remember that you earned your position. So be confident and inspire other women to do the same.

Kimberly Stone, Vice President, Finance & Operations

kim stone

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am originally from Vancouver, BC.  Moved to Halifax to attend Dalhousie University for my Bachelor of Commerce Degree where I majored in Accounting.  I met my husband in Halifax and we eventually got married there.  After graduating from Dalhousie I joined KPMG LLP and obtained my CPA, CA.  My husband is in the military and in 2014 we were transferred to Ottawa.  In Ottawa I attended the University of Ottawa and obtained my Executive MBA.  I live in Ottawa with my husband, two sons, and our dog.  When not working my family keeps me very busy.

How did you choose your career path?

I sort of fell into my career path.  When I enrolled at Dalhousie as a mature student, I had worked in banking for a few years and assumed I would get my degree and go back to banking but discovered a new skill in accounting.  I have not followed a traditional accounting career path as I also love leadership and business operations.  I obtained my Executive MBA a few years ago as a way of diversifying my skillset in order to take on higher level leadership and broader roles.  Through my Executive MBA I was exposed to technology and start-up / scaling business.  I have found this to be my niche as I love the fast pace and entrepreneurial mind-set (I’ve always been a “just get it done” kind of person).

Tell us about your progression/path with Giatec? What is it like to be a part of Giatec?

I joined Giatec in 2019 as the Director of Finance.  When I joined there was some ambiguity as to what the role would entail as it was newly created.  Leveraging my skills and past experience, I’ve been able to shape it into a role that perfectly fits me.  I was promoted to VP, Finance & Operations in September 2020.  I was thrilled to take on this role and am grateful for the experience I continue to gain as Giatec evolves.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

The people I work with and the ability to make a difference in the organization.

Can you share with us your thoughts about female leadership in the modern world?

I think female leadership is changing rapidly in the modern world.  If we look back 10 or 20 years, the unique strengths that women bring to the table were not even recognized.  Now, at least in North America, the unique skills that women bring are more recognized and female leadership is becoming more a norm, as opposed to a rarity.  I am pleased to see workplaces and families evolving in such a way that supports continued progress of women’s leadership.  In my case, Canadian public policy that allows my husband to take parental leave, allows me to participate in business as a female leader as opposed to being sidelined by motherhood.  I think we need to keep opening our minds to create opportunities for both men and women to excel in both leadership and in family life to continue allowing women to take on leadership.

What advice would you give to women who are looking to become a leader one day?

Specifically for women, I would encourage them to speak up.  I have given more than one aspiring female leader a copy of Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”.  There is data that supports that women are less likely than men to believe they are competent, speak up in a group setting, apply for a job or ask for a promotion or raise.  I would encourage women to put themselves out there because they won’t know if they don’t try or ask. 

Dobrila Rancic Moogk, Vice President, Marketing

Dobrila Moogk

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

In short, I started my career as an electrical engineer, moved to Canada a few years later, transitioned to the business side about mid career, and from there to marketing. I am passionate about my work, making the world a better place, female leadership in high-tech, and yoga. 

How did you choose your career path?

While I had diverse interests in high-school, becoming an engineer was a result of a wish and a plan to find a good job and become independent as soon as I graduate. After enjoying my R&D work for several years, moving to management presented me with new business challenges that I wanted to learn more about and help solve. Marketing especially brings me joy as it allows me to combine my analytical, storytelling, and soft skills.

Tell us about your progression/path with Giatec? What is it like to be a part of Giatec?

I started with Giatec about a year ago, as VP, Marketing. Being part of Giatec is like riding a swelling wave as the company rapidly grows. It requires a lot of skill, and it’s thrilling and rewarding at the same time. 

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I love my job because of the people, both in the Marketing team, but also the other Giatec team members I work closely with. Everyone is passionate and brings their best selves to work every day to move Giatec forward. Also, because Giatec is revolutionizing the concrete industry, with its cutting-edge technology, its state-of-the-art marketing, and its leadership where we have gender parity! 

Can you share with us your thoughts about female leadership in the modern world?

The future progress in female leadership will build on the advancement that has been made so far, based on the female economic empowerment that has its foundation in education. With the increase in the number of female university graduates, and especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) we will see an increase in the number of female leaders, but the road leading into the future success is not straight, rather like a labyrinth, to quote Alice H. Eagly.  

What advice would you give to women who are looking to become a leader one day?

Discover how to navigate the labyrinth: to quote the legend, use your yarn of wool. Build confidence, to become fearless. You can do it!

Reference: Carli, L.L., and Eagly, A.H. (2016). Women face a labyrinth: An examination of metaphors for women leaders. Gender in Management: An International Journal, 31(8), 514-527. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-02-2015-0007

Sarah McGuire, Senior Director, Enterprise Sales

Sarah McGuire

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a passionate and resilient woman. Outside of work I am an adrenaline junkie and travel enthusiast. I am always seeking my next adventure and love going on off-the-path excursions with my cell phone turned off surrounded by nature. I have studied in France, Hong Kong, and Canada, and I enjoy getting to know new people and cultures. I have been a musician starting with the violin at the age of 4 and most recently I purchased a drum set to keep me busy during quarantine.

How did you choose your career path?

It wasn’t the career path I chose but the company with a great vision. I joined Giatec during it’s early stages, before we had the breakthrough technology we do today. I was fascinated by the concrete industry and the amount of opportunity for innovation it allowed for. I have excelled at communicating with people of varying backgrounds and I enjoy solving problems. Working as the sales leader of a company with fantastic technology was never my plan but now, I cannot imagine doing anything else.

Tell us about your progression/path with Giatec? What is it like to be a part of Giatec?

Giatec took a chance on me 6 years ago with no experience in sales or the industry. I was provided a lot of opportunity to pursue growth for the company. I began by expanding Giatec’s international partners to over 40 countries, most of whom we are still doing business with today. I moved into managing the sales team as a whole while executing sales as we explored to new channels. As the company grew, I grew with it and I’m grateful for the opportunities this company has continued to provide me.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I get true joy working with our clients who are excited about what we’re doing. When that lightbulb goes off for them as they realize how simple we’re about to make their project, it’s extremely satisfying. I also love the people we work with; everyone is dedicated to working towards the same mission together.

What advice would you give to women who are looking to become a leader one day?

Find yourself a mentor that is female as well. I have been extremely fortunate to have incredible mentors in my life. However, most have been male and are not able to offer advice on everything I may experience. Seek out the right support and offer it when you can.

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