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Future of work from the rooftop perspective of the world tech giant

Svetlana Tešić, AFA Board Member, talked with Marija Živanović-Smith about several things starting from discussing how she experienced growth within the tech industry, what the challenges she faced along the way were and what advice she could give to other women about what it takes to become a leader.

Marija pointed out the importance of setting yourself apart and how she managed to do that by accepting projects that others perceived as mission impossible.

She also stressed the importance of having the ability to be a team player and a change agent within your company. One of the main aspects of building her professional career has been her ability to establish new practices, something she also points out as a necessity in being a leader for your team.

Since Marija comes from one of the largest tech giants in the world, we wanted to hear her perspective on what necessary skills women would need in order to establish themselves in the workforce.

Since seven years ago, Marija has no longer been hiring people who are only able to write a press release; her hiring practices have shifted drastically to people who have two key words in their resumes: digital and data. She also deconstructed how the process of climbing a career ladder looked like for her and what the necessary elements were. First of all, women need resiliency (the moment you fail is the first moment when you learn resilience); secondly, business acumen (women who do not understand profit and loss account and how stakeholders measure the success, cannot climb the ladder in the corporate world); and finally, ability to listen and listen with compassion (you cannot be a leader without good listening skills and without compassion, which is lacking nowadays).

She pointed out some of the risks for women in context of the current situation involving the pandemic: on top of women leaving the workforce due to COVID, the biggest risk is not being aware of the change and not being open to it; believing that something that worked for you so far is going to work for you in the following years would be a huge mistake. Women need to constantly learn new skills and find time to do that.

To conclude, Marija shared what future meant for her personal and professional development and how it would mainly focus on building sustainable and inclusive business models and understanding fully the body of knowledge withing these frames.


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