“To close the gender leadership gap, we need to bring men to the discussion table.” Aylin Bumin Interviews for the Rise & Lead Inspiring Women Leaders Series
Rise & Lead Women is proud to launch the Inspiring Women Leaders Series. With this initiative, we interviewed female leaders who are at the top of their field in their respective industries to share their experience, advice and insights that can help women all over the world unleash their full potential.
Our inaugural episode features four established leaders including, Aylin Bumin. Aylin currently works as the Marketing Director of Manpower.
In this episode, Aylin shares her personal story, leadership style, mentorship value, and how we can close the gender leadership gap.
Watch this insightful and compelling interview in the video below.
You can also read the part of the transcript underneath.
How do you manage your work-life integration?
Good planning is very important, and having the right balance for everything. So besides my work, I am also a mother. And I learned a lot after becoming a mother to balance everything. With good planning and a good structure in your life and prioritizing everything, you will have time for everything.
Yes. I agree with you. But tell me, in your career, what has been the most vulnerable moment for you?
There have been many moments. I think it’s not like all these nights are very nice and shiny – though sometimes it might look like it – there have been some challenging and difficult moments. The first one that changed me was the relocation – really going out of my comfort zone or from my home country and moving to a new country and being exposed to a new culture and adapting. And also trying to get rid of all of my biases that I brought with me,
So this was one of the first challenges I faced. And the second was becoming a mother. Shortly after I moved to Italy, I got pregnant, and I had my son over there, and it was a big change in my life because before, it was my personal life and then work life, and work was a priority in my life.
But afterwards, I had my son, that needed me. So it was hard at the beginning to find the right balance and with all those responsibilities is and requirements of motherhood. So this was also kind of a challenging moment in my life to manage.
And the third I would say is relocating with a child. Because when I moved here, I realized that my relocation to Italy was nothing compared to the one here because when you also move with a child, it’s an entirely different story. You’ll have to take care of yourself, but you also need to take care of your family, your child, and his well-being.
And one of the other challenges that I can say is working in a multicultural context. So as I said earlier, I work with eight countries. So eight countries mean a lot of diversity and diversity in doing things differently, achieving results differently, understanding the demands differently. My day-to-day challenge is to understand all these dynamics and bring everybody to the same level to drive our organization’s services.
Aylin. I usually tell the Rise and Lead women that they need to become self-aware, know about their strengths, and want to be perceived in building their leadership. What would you say is your leadership style?
In leadership, openness is very important. When you share and open yourself and show your vulnerabilities, sometimes I feel that we leaders want to be the perfect model – perfect on everything, look perfect, and make the right decision.
Also, leaders go through various stages in life, and that might be some difficult moments, or you might even have some challenges to make the decision or whatever. But I think it is important to share all these things and all these phases with your team openly and show that you are not perfect. It is important because it’s like a mirror – when you are open and vulnerable to your team, your team also reflects on you and then develops a trust relationship.
Also, to be successful as a team, the trust component is very important because when your team trusts you, they follow you, and you can be surprised about what they can achieve when you have a motivated team. And also, it’s very important to give voice to your team and make the decision collaboratively and not be the leader that dictates, ‘okay, this is my way’, but try to find your way as a team.
Tell me, you know; we have so many reports and data proving that there is very little representation of women on top leadership levels. What do you think is stopping women from getting to those top leadership positions, and how can women take matters into their hands and fix the situation?
I think it’s important that we also engage men and discuss these problems together. And if you go to the micro-level and the individual level, I believe it’s important to know where you want to go. Because when you have a dream and when you know where you want to go, I think you will make the path towards that dream. And it’s important to find what is that target point for yourself. And I believe that when you know this, then you – maybe you go slowly, maybe it’s one step further one step back – but at the end, you find a way to reach there. And I think that it’s important also to find some inspiration to get there. I think it’s both working on the micro level at the individual level and the macro level. So synchronization all the efforts of different organizations and the companies together to get there.
You can listen to the full episode here:
Ebere Akadiri is an accomplished entrepreneur and an advocate for women in leadership. Her passion to inspire others to achieve their goals drove her to found Rise and Lead Women along with her co-founder, Poonam Barua. Their mission is to inspire women to take the lead in closing the gender gap in workplaces and in business.