Incredible Women
Aug 4, 2023

Incredible Women: Take Your Seat at the Table

Lillee Tissot
Senior Destination Manager

The Incredible Women group recently held its second open networking event, inviting colleagues and external peers to hear guest speakers’ personal experience of taking charge of their professional growth, and ensuring their voices are heard. 

GetYourGuide’s Incredible Women group continues to grow in numbers and impact. In June, more than 100 guests from inside and outside the company came together for an inspiring evening of guest talks and networking, all centered around the theme of ‘Take Your Seat at The Table.’ For the Incredible Women group, a grassroots community focused on helping women grow in their careers, that means taking control of professional growth, making sure our voices are heard, and building influence. 

Since 2021, the group has been hosting regular workshops, networking activities, and presentations, all aimed at facilitating connections, sparking discussions, and generating new ideas. Take Your Seat at the Table marked the second time the Incredible Women group has held an event for both internal colleagues and external peers, and in doing so, help cultivate a supportive, and educational community in Berlin and beyond. 

The evening saw two guest speakers share their personal experiences of how they took control of their careers: our very own Iva Ðaković, Team Lead Accounting Services, and Christine Wang, Managing Director at the Lufthansa Innovation Hub. Rounding out the evening, participants enjoyed a networking activity with a difference: inviting groups to build on their individual strengths, the product-based challenge inspired impressive results! 

Cultivating Strengths

Guest speaker Christine Wang. Managing Director at the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, shared how her own international experience has taught her valuable lessons that are similarly applicable to her personal and professional development. Prior to joining Lufthansa, Christine was the China CEO of an AI start-up in Shanghai and did global strategy at Alibaba in Hangzhou. She also built mobility and consumer start-ups for corporations around the globe as a project leader at BCG Digital Ventures. 

Christine shared the three fundamental steps that led to her claiming her own seat at the table. 

  1. Accept Who You Are

Christine stressed that the best way to grow in confidence is by knowing and accepting who we are. In other words: love yourself, and everything else will follow! Christine learned this valuable lesson through one of her first work experiences in Portugal, where she initially focused her energy on assimilating by putting significant effort into learning the language. Over time she realized it was actually more effective to accept who she was and what she brought to the table as her true self.

  1. Build on Your Strength

Christine advises leaning into our strengths and the things that make us unique. For her, that is a profound understanding of both German and Chinese culture. Prior to joining Lufthansa, Christine levied that advantage to position herself in strategic bridge-building roles between East and West, and the markedly different business worlds they represent. 

  1. Find a Support Network

Although Christine credits her impressive career to a lot of hard work, she also recognizes the role fantastic mentors have played in her professional development. She recommends developing a network and cultivating relationships with those around you. Not only will it keep you front of mind for new opportunities, the simple fact of having people like you as a person means those individuals will naturally be rooting for your success. Quite simply, peer support goes a long way! 

Embracing Change 

Also sharing her career path was Iva Ðaković, Team Lead Accounting Services at GetYourGuide. A qualified lawyer in her native Serbia, a relocation to Poland saw her pivot to a career in finance. A position in a global IT consulting company followed, and soon after, a move with her young family to Berlin where she joined GetYourGuide in 2022. 

Iva explained how adaptability and a willingness to embrace change have seen her achieve both personal and professional growth. 

  1. Be Open to Change

Iva credits a radical change in career direction, as well as two international moves, to her openness and flexibility in the face of change. For example, after moving to Poland, local qualification requirements effectively hit pause on her legal career. Added to the fact that she was now a new mom, and the first few months of life in Poland were decidedly up and down. Nevertheless, Iva was keen to return to work and pivoted to become a finance professional in a global company.

  1. Seek out New Skills

Iva explained how she has acquired new skills at every step of her varied career. For example, working as a lawyer lent her a close attention to detail; and experience in an international environment honed her communication skills. Having lived in three different countries, she is now fluent in four languages, while being a mom has taught her new levels of patience! Iva explained that all of these life experiences have enabled her to take her seat at the table. 

Take Your Seat!

After listening to Iva and Christine’s personal experience of taking control of their respective careers, attendees put their insights to the test in a networking game with a difference! Groups were challenged to devise a new product or service that played to their unique strengths, and share how these defining qualities earn them a seat at the table. 

“What I found interesting was that when we were asked to think about our strengths, everyone came up with hobbies rather than professions. This prompted an interesting discussion, and review of what our real strengths were. Learning how to say ‘I’m good at this’ out loud was surprisingly difficult at first.’’

Asena Yazdic, Training Manager, Care Team

Final Thoughts

The Incredible Women group’s second external event was a resounding success, and a fantastic opportunity to foster a supportive community of women and supporters of women in Berlin. It was great to see so many attendees grow their own networks.

A huge thank you to Christine, Iva, and everyone involved in the planning of the event. To hear about future Incredible Women meet ups, be sure to follow GetYourGuide on LinkedIn.

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