Ηow would you describe yourself?
Energetic, music loving 40-something workaholic.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement as a person?
I don’t really like the idea of one greatest achievement or the thought that there are no more to come. I endeavor to find joy in all accomplishments, big or small. Any time that I can make a difference in someone’s life, even if it’s just to make them smile or feel loved for a moment, is a win. I’m proud of achieving my PhD and every project I’ve delivered for work, but also of my first ski tour walking up a mountain, owning my own home, finishing each small renovation job, cooking a delicious meal, or just making it through a busy day.
Have you ever made life-changing decisions? If so was its carefully planned, or did you wake up one day and said I want to do this and you just did it (leap of faith kind of decision)? How did that turn out?
I have moved countries twice (or three times if you count studying abroad), which involved resigning from a good job and leaving the security of friends and family behind. They were predominantly leaps of faith with some limited and quick planning. They were not without a bit time and effort to find my feet, but both times turned out pretty well.
Describe a usual day in your life.
A work day: wake up, 30 minutes on the cross trainer, smoothie for breakfast, emails and online meetings, lunchtime walk followed by some soup, more emails and meetings, dinner and tv. In non-covid times, singing in a band and meeting friends in the evenings also featured.
A non-work day: slightly slower awakening, some outdoor activity like skiing or walking with friends, or doing some renovation work on our house.
Has covid19 affected your life and work?
No big impact on work since I have been working from home for the last 6 years so it’s business as usual. I did work on a short Covid-19 project which was an interesting and unexpected opportunity. The lockdowns made me value the limited time we were allowed outside so I incorporated daily walks into my routine and shared photos with family and friends, so it felt like they were with me. I look forward to more freedom to travel and spend time with family and friends enjoying the thing we can’t do for the moment like sitting on a café terrace enjoying a drink, singing in a band or taking a cable car to the top of a mountain.
Women face a double challenge when they reach a certain age: gendered ageism. How do you think people react to women over 40s? Have you seen any changes in behavior and / or business opportunities?
I think it depends on the industry. I have been fortunate to have been assessed on my qualifications and experience for the most part. Earlier in my IT career there were times when I felt I had to work twice as hard to prove that a woman was capable of working in a technical role but I am pleased to see more and more woman in such roles now. I am also lucky to work with some organisations who actively prioritise diversity and gender balance in the workforce, though there is still work to be done in many companies as this is not yet the standard.
Name three things that make you smile and three things that make you angry.
Beautiful scenery – mountains, forests, lakes and beaches
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Do as many different things as you can, experience everything in life, seize opportunities when they come and make your own luck.
With a background in Computer Science, primarily focused on user experience, Zoe has worked in a variety of software development and test roles for small companies, as well as a large financial institution. For the last 12 years, she worked as a project manager on public sector projects and she is particularly interested in leading initiatives that can make a positive influence on everyday life.