Iliada Kothra Coronavirus and working from home: A new challenge for ambitious women in order to prove their productivity

Automatic Summary

Embracing Ambition in the New Working Environment

Speaking at the esteemed Women Tech Network, Ia Kra discussed her perspective on ambition, domestic violence, and on adapting to the novel working environment influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. She shed light on her consolidated efforts as a business consultant, owner, and founder of notable digital storytelling campaigns and projects.

Ambition: The Unsung Quality

Ambition, according to Kra, aligns with determination and drive. However, it's a double-edged sword, gaining a negative connotation over time, especially for women. "Why are people so afraid of ambition?", she asks. A question Kra, being a hugely ambitious individual herself, has tried to find an answer to for several years.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes

Kra reflects on societal norms that dictate the acceptance of ambition in men, while the same power in women often remains unsung. She believes that breaking down these stereotypes, not just in movies but also in our routine life, is fundamental.

Covid-19 and The New Work Environment

Kra breaks down her speech into two significant parts: the perception of ambition and the impact of COVID-19 on handling ambitions in the new work milieu. She believes the pandemic brought a considerable change in our work attitudes, inflating work flexibility and trust among teams.

Challenges Faced by Women

Despite offering an opportunity to spend more time with families, the new environment also eliminates the ease of proving dedication to work. The bustling office spaces turned into less than perfect home offices. This shift became challenging, especially for women with kids, stating, "working from home with kids sometimes feel unsustainable."

Practical Tips for Balancing Work from Home

Set Clear Boundaries

To balance personal life and work, setting boundaries is crucial. Being responsive plays a vital role in proving your commitment. However, there's need to over-communicate to prove dedication.

Be Present and Punctual

During virtual meetings, show active participation by asking questions, exchanging ideas and always be punctual. Remember not to take on extensive tasks, but focus on delivering specific projects.

Lastly, allow yourself grace, after all, no one is Wonder Woman. Embrace ambition, but extend patience to yourself in the process.

In Conclusion

In the time of uncertainty, it's essential to embrace ambitions, value freedom, love, and success. Kra emphasizes her narrative on personal goals post-COVID with three hashtags: #stayhealthy, #staycreative, and #stayambitious reminding us that we don't know what tomorrow might bring, so it's pivotal to live our ambitions today.

To connect with Ia Kra, refer to her LinkedIn Profile as she signs off on a note of unity; "Women United, always win".

Video Transcription

Uh First of all, I want to send a very big thank you to Women Tech Network and uh to Anna Glovsky for giving me this amazing opportunity to be here with you today and uh and share my own uh message.Uh My name just a few things about me. My name is Ia Kra. I am a business consultant. I am a digital storyteller and uh I am the owner, the founder of a campaign that fights domestic violence, violence against women. I'm also the founder of a very big project we have created eight years ago. It's called Three W Living and has to do with um the new brands. It's a supportive actual project that supports Greek brands during the financial crisis in Greece. So uh during the lockdown, I had a lot in my mind. And uh first of all, there's something that kept going on for me for many, many years. I want to talk first of all about ambition. My speech has two parts, first is about ambition and the second part is about how uh we have to deal with our own ambitions during the challenges that COVID-19 brought in uh the new working environment uh for all of us. So uh I have to say, first of all, to think what is ambition. So ambition by definition is uh is aligned with determination and drive. But somewhere along the way, this word gained a very negative connotation.

And since I am a very ambitious woman myself, I was always trying to understand why I was always trying to understand uh why people are so afraid of ambition. So I guess uh who have all get used. Uh Vasja, I'm so um we're so used to see a very dynamic uh girl, a very dynamic woman that she's in a conservative way of dress. Uh She's very modest, but it's not very usual to see a woman covered with cash and this is one of the biggest uh taboo we have uh to, to fix like women if you are a man and you are very ambitious, that means you are very, you know, um you are bold, you are impressive, you're dynamic if you want to challenge your own such vote.

But if you are a woman, it's not very easy to accept that you are very ambitious. And for no way you can see a lot of women even for fun to be covered with money, be covered with all those cash. Uh When I was a kid, I remember that I had a nice notebook and I was writing my goals. I was writing uh what I wanna be my, my own life path. And when I needed, when I had to share the need to share all those, um, ambition with other people. Usually they were saying to me, mm. You are ambitious, huh? That's not very nice for you. No one never told me. You are ambitious. Ok. That's good for you. Go on, make your dreams come true. And, uh, it was something that, for all these years it was in my mind. Then I remembered that even in the movies, there were a lot of stereotypes, for example, uh one of my favorite movies is The Devil Wears Prada with Meryl Streep. Mary Streep is a very dynamic, very ambitious woman. But in the end, we have the impression that she has paid a lot that there was always a price for being such an ambitious woman. In the other hand, there is another movie I like a lot.

It's the Wolf of Wall Street with my favorite Leonardo Dicaprio and he's very bold. He's very, you know, he does everything in order to get the job done. Uh and he's a model, he's a role model just because he is a man. And I guess that the biggest bet is to, to learn how to get rid of all those sex stereotypes, not only in the movies, but even in our lives. The first time I saw this, uh I thought it was an exotic flower. Unfortunately, it's the deadly COVID-19. So COVID besides all the bad things he brought uh he brought a huge change in the way that we work. Leaders and managers start to uh see that their employees, their colleagues, they can work from home. We all that we can have to trust each other if we work from home. And our job has uh a lot of flexibility. Of course, if you are a woman, you have a child, a baby. Uh it's, it's, it's great because as one of my colleagues said, Ida, it's amazing. I don't have to wait to go home and hug my kid. All I have to do is just close my laptop, go to the other room and play with him. So uh COVID-19 brought a lot of changes. We're close to our families.

But in the other hand, we don't have uh the ability to be in our offices as women and prove that we're still working and we're committed to our goals because before 19, COVID-19, our offices were something like this. They were noisy, they had a lot of energy, they were crowded and after the lockdown, uh our offices were something like this and let's accept it. Not all houses as something like, you know, from a Pinterest image or house from Instagram. Some houses are very small. You have to take care of other people too. Uh you have kids and let's face it. Working from home with kids sometimes feel unsustainable. Also one of my uh colleague said during, in one of her zoom uh morning calls, her daughter dumped an entire bag of sugar on the floor and all over her. So during the quarantine, I thought that, wow, a lot of women in the future must work from home. Uh And they have to find the balance between proving that they are still productive. They are still ambitious but they have kids to be taken, taken care of. So I came with some tips. I hope that those tips are helpful for me. Even if I don't have kids, they were helpful a lot. So I guess that uh we all have to put boundaries between our job and our personal life in order to stay successful, be reliable, be responsive.

This is very, very important because when you are working from home, no one can see that you're working. Ok. So if you're a woman, it's very easy for someone to say, well, maybe she's washing her dishes, maybe she's breastfeeding. So in order to prove that you are still a successful person that you have the ambition to do a lot of things in the brand that you're working in your job. You have to follow this rule. Be reliable, be responsive. You have to respond to your phone, you have to respond to your messages, you have to respond very quickly to your emails. It's just a simple response, but we all have to respond in order to say I'm here I watch you. I'm here in my project. I follow my project. The second rule for me is keep your updates to a minimum wealth. Um, a lot of women have the guilt to prove all the time that they are. You know, they're perfect in everything they do. So, if you're from home and you have to work from home, there is no need to go overboard to the communication for. You don't have to send a lot of mail in, in, in a very deeper need to say I work, I work, I'm here. I work. Remember that if you have given the, the, the green light to work from home, that means that someone has trusted you to do this. So just stay on the line, stay on your own working boundaries and do whatever you have to do.

Uh without um the guilt to prove that you are actually doing this. Well, be present when you face time with your colleagues, you have a zoom meeting a slack whatever. Let's face it when we work from home. Communication is not so easy as we were in our own offices. So it's very important to be there, ask questions, ask for answers, exchange ideas, communicate your own ideas. OK. And arrive early. This is also very important because uh if you're not arrive early, all the other people, especially your boss, your manager, we think, wow, she's doing something else right now. Ok. And we don't want to give these impressions because we are really working. So arrive early is very basic.

We don't have to pick extra tasks. OK. Uh We have been given some projects to work. So we have to stay working on this specific projects because if we take a lot of tasks, two things can happen. First of all, if we get the job done, uh maybe it's not uh our best work. And even if we don't get everything done, we gave our boss our manager, our colleagues the ability to question how can we actually see projects through. So it's very important to have some specific tasks and work upon them. You don't have to uh to, to have you to have in your mind everything because this is impossible. OK? And it's something that you don't have really have to do this. First of all, stay focused. Remember that proving your productivity is not easy when your boss, your colleague, your manager is not near you. You have to be focused on deliverables. You have to make yourself present. You have to build the relationships with your copartners, with your managers. But uh you have to be easy on yourself. None of us are wonder woman, especially when there's Children in the other room. Uh You, we're not wonder woman. OK? We can still be ambitious. We can still be successful, but we're not a wonder woman. And you know what? You don't have to prove this to anyone you already know it. Uh This is one of my favorite photos. It's from a Greek island called Milos in this is my favorite beach. I found this uh photo three months ago during the lockdown.

And it made me realize every time I look at this picture is that I don't have a lot of time. That means I have to embrace my ambitions. I have to do whatever I have to do. It reminded me that time is more appreciated than ever. We cannot take something for granted. COVID-19 proved this in the highest way he could ever, no one proves about it. So we have to learn the value of freedom, of love, of success and we have to embrace our own ambitions. This is very, very important. We don't have time, time has not uh is not uh you know, there are limits so we have to do. Now, all the things we have in mind to do, we have to embrace our ambitions, we have to travel, we have to gain money, we have to go and uh follow our own dreams because we never know what will happen in the next day. Uh My methods and this is my personal methods after COVID-19. After lockdown for me, there are three hashtags and these, these are my personal hashtags I'm trying to, to be, you know, I'm trying to follow them 100%. I'm trying to stay healthy. I'm trying to stay creative and I'm trying to stay still ambitious because I never know what the next day will bring. So this is very important for me.

And uh I guess all women must, must stay embraced their own ambitious because we have one life and we have to leave it. Well, that's all for me. I I am ready. Thank you, Sarma. Thank you, Ana. Thank you, Joe. Thank you. Uh I will send you just my um my linkedin profile again in order if somebody wants to be connected and thank you again, I'm a thank you women work and as I always say, Women United, always win. So thank you very much.