At StartUp Terminal, we believe our diversity is our strength. As International Woman’s Day grows near, we celebrate the achievements of women around the world.
To kick off our celebration, we’ve asked Dubai-based Mareva Koulamallah, Head of Marketing and Communication MEA at Acronis, a few questions on her experience achieving success in the field of Marketing and Communications, and what advice she has for women entering the workforce today.
ST: Please tell us briefly about you.
Mareva: I head up Marketing and Communication for the Middle East and Africa region for Acronis, a global leader in cyber protection. Before that, at Acronis, I led the PR and Communication for Europe, Middle East and Africa for two years. I was born in Africa but I grew up in France. I studied between France and the United States. I worked in Dubai, New York City and London. I am multilingual; I am passionate about travel and meeting people from different cultures. I entered the tech industry five years ago from the hardware side, also worked for a gaming peripherals’ brand, and I am now working in the software segment.
ST: Who is a woman that inspires you the most and why?
Mareva: There is not one specific woman, besides of course my wonderful and exceptional mother. I would say all the women that manage to succeed against all odds, the women who do not give up on their dreams even if their presence is not welcome, and definitely the women who balance family life with professional careers.
ST: How are you celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day?
Mareva: Our company is celebrating two ways, externally and internally. First, for our employees, we are hosting an internal event whose goal is to give a voice to the many wonderful women of Acronis. Discussions between women and men (and this part is important) will take place. Testimonies will be shared, and new ways to continue to embrace diversity hopefully found. Externally, we are also taking this opportunity to announce our new joint programme named #CyberDiversity. Indeed, we are working on a unique project between three companies of our CEO, Serguei Beloussov: Acronis, Schaffhausen Institute of Technology (SIT) and Runa Capital. Three companies in three different fields, sciences, technology and legal counsel. The goal is to mentor, coach and help grow individuals at these companies from minority groups including women.
ST: What is the most important message you want to send out to all the women around the world on this occasion?
Mareva: Today or any day, we should remember that we have the same capabilities and rights. To trust our technical skills, and support each other more.
ST: What according to you is ‘women empowerment’?
Mareva: It is the ability of women who have a voice to help others speak-up. I also like to elevate this topic to inclusion and diversity in general. It is never about women versus men, but everyone together. It is about bringing fairness to the game and ensuring society’s representation is accurate in the work world too.
ST: What would you say are the main challenges facing women at present globally?
Mareva: There are still many challenges across industries, across roles, and countries. Within inequalities, not everyone is “equal”. The pandemic certainly has not helped, especially in certain regions or the world. It has also brought new challenges for women with kids. Finding the right balance to maintain or advance a career is key; and financially or logistically not always possible for many women.
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