Don’t Focus On Gender Differences, Focus On Your Work, Says Alexandra Pisetskaya

By root

Alexandra Pisetskaya, the Marketing Manager at Help AG, speaks to Channel Post, about how she got into the IT side of business, the challenges she faces on a day to day basis and how she overcomes them.
Please tell us something about yourself. 
I am a marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in IT and advertising. I have a real passion for my profession. I enjoy life in beautiful Dubai, I love jazz, singing, acting, film making and watching documentaries and I’ll probably beat you in chess.
What made you choose IT / IT channel industry as a career choice? 
I started my career in advertising and I have never thought I would end up in IT. I didn’t choose IT, circumstances chose it for me. I am very happy and thankful for this. I excelled very quickly in an industry totally unfamiliar to me before, which has given me a great deal of professional confidence and proved to me that I can do anything.
What sort of opportunities are present for women in the IT channel industry? 
The same opportunities that are present for men! Here in the UAE we really don’t have this extreme chauvinistic work environment where women aren’t allowed into IT. It’s true that not too many women who choose IT as their profession but I don’t see any serious obstacle if they want to pursue it. Although traditionally marketing is probably where you see most women in IT, I have personally seen women in every position in IT channel industry so far.
Is it easy or difficult working with male co-workers especially in the day-to-day trading environment? 
It is only as easy or difficult as the person I’m dealing with. Most of the time it is all very painless. What challenges do you face on a day to day basis? Not enough time, not enough money, not enough people. Getting tied up with time consuming operational processes. The latter is especially important for me because I always see my job as creative first and foremost, a marketer should always have time left to just think, research and innovate. I take this very seriously.
Who is your role model? Why? 
I get little bits from a lot of remarkable people, so this is hard to answer. Chris Gardner for example. I love him. This man is the meaning of perseverance, consistency and tenacity – qualities I admire the most. He’s an entrepreneur, investor, stockbroker… If you’ve seen “The Pursuit of Happyness” you know who I am talking about. I encourage you to read about his life. What would you term to be one of your biggest achievements in your career? My life today is my biggest achievement- doing what I like, not feeling pressured to do it, having flexibility, not being afraid to make mistakes. I could only achieve it by doing an exceptionally good job establishing Help AG as a brand from scratch. Today you see us on TV, you hear us on the radio, you see us in every major Information Security initiative, event and function; we receive multiple industry awards… This is my work. I am very proud of all of this.
How easy/difficult is it juggling family and work life?
I am single so it is very easy. My time is 100% my own and it is entirely up to me to fill it with things that interest me. My work is highly creative or rather I choose to make it such, so often times my so called personal and professional lives overlap and intermix because ideas come to me irrespective of time of the day and when they do I have to work on developing them immediately. My outside hobbies like acting, creative writing, film making feed into my profession because not only they foster creativity needed in my profession, they also provide me with quite a few skills I have successfully used during a few work projects. Lastly, the working environment at Help AG provides for a lot of flexibility making life even more manageable and well…enjoyable.
What is your advice for young female professionals? 
Don’t think you can’t do a job that a man can do and don’t focus on gender differences. When asked how one should fight racism one of my favourite actors Morgan Freeman said: “Stop talking about it”. It is the same with sexism. The faster we stop focusing on what divides men and women professionals the paler these differences will be. If you want to be successful surround yourself with successful people. You are the sum of people you spend most time with. People will take you places. Network. Value your time, it’s the only thing you have. It all can be over sooner than we think. Don’t underestimate yourself. Don’t be too shy. Workplace is not the place for that. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. What more do companies need to do in order to encourage women to take up top jobs? I think top jobs should be for those who want them, so I don’t see a need for that special “encouragement”. All that companies have to do is simply act unbiased when it comes to gender.

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