Read the story of Laura Bolly Barajas (Office Manager, Loyaltek Group). Read on to learn about her...
Woman of the Week - Audrey Banzadio
Read the story of Audrey Banzadio (Talent Acquisition Officer, Loyaltek Group). During our conversation, she talked with us about the benefits of going out of your comfort zone, the stories of women who inspire her, and reminded us that no matter what you do, you are valuable.
Introduce yourself! Who are you, and what's your role at the Loyaltek Group?
"I’m Audrey Banzadio, I’m 30 years old, and I’m the Talent Acquisition Officer for the Loyaltek Group. That means that I’m part of Human Resources, and my role is to find, evaluate, propose, and onboard qualified candidates to reinforce our brands’ teams."
How did you end up at Loyaltek?
“I’ve worked at a call centre for a food-delivery company, and I’ve done some administrative work. I decided I wanted to do something different. So, I tried digital marketing but that wasn’t for me, either. After a long search for a new opportunity and a new challenge, a recruitment agency contacted me about an opportunity at Loyaltek Group.. I’d never heard anything about the company before, but I accepted the interview invitation, did my research, and loved what I found about Loyaltek. It was so interesting to start this job, and to work in a field that I hadn’t worked in before. I am very happy where I am.”
What do you want to achieve in your career?
“I’d like to be able to pass on what I know and what I’ve learned. I’m not only interested in getting more responsibilities, but also to improve myself, and gain more knowledge: I’m looking forward to discovering myself. Whatever position I’ll be in in 5 years, my goal will remain the same: to support and contribute, because team work makes the dream work.”
If you could have dinner with 3 inspiring women, dead or alive: who would they be and why?
"The first one is Nujood Ali. She’s a girl from Yemen who was forced into a child marriage when she was only 9 years old. She was one of the few to file for a divorce and get it. We know that in that country’s society it’s difficult for women to express themselves. There were no other girls of her age who were getting divorced; she’d had to pretend that she was going out to buy bread and went to the courthouse instead. From that moment, many little girls followed her example. Nujlood received a Glamour Magazine prize, and her story is inspiring because in the book I read about her I saw a strong and smart girl with her own opinion. Her mind didn’t follow the norms of the society she was brought up in. I appreciate her story and the way she stayed strong.
The second woman is my grandmother. I never had the chance to meet her, but I’ve heard a lot about her. She raised 11 kids. She never went to school and only learned to read a few years before she died. But my mother always says that she was an intellectual person, as smart as anyone who had a PhD. Anytime my mother gives me a piece of advice, she always starts with “As my mother would say…”. I know that my grandmother was very wise, kind, and also disciplined. She was a loving mother, but she had a strong character. When I see how well my mother, my aunts and my uncles live, I know that they were well-raised and educated, and I can see a piece of my grandmother in every person in my family.
The next woman is Assa Traoré. She is an African French woman whose brother was killed by police violence and it still hasn’t been recognized. It is officially stated that he had a heart attack at the police station, but there is proof that the police had been violent with him. Assa has been fighting for 6 years with the French justice system, she’s faced backlash, she’s already been to prison, and she keeps on fighting. It's inspiring to see how strong she is. As an older sister myself, when I see the way she fights for her brother’s rights I’m thinking that some problems come to people who can handle them, because I don’t know what I would do. But I guess that we can only discover our strength when we have no other choice. Assa started a lot of organizations that help society. When I see that she never gave up, it amazes me. She quit her job for this fight and also got married and had kids in between. I want to know how she does it.
There are a lot of women I admire. For example, my best friend got herself out of a toxic relationship and wrote a book about it. Her name is Mya Kay and the book is called “Comment sortir d’une relation toxique”. She shares how she got out of the relationship, and that I witnessed their relationship myself because we were studying together. And still, when I read the book I discovered so many things I didn’t know. She was sharing with me, but women who are in difficult situations like hers often have a hard time opening up, they sometimes prefer to hide things. I never knew she tried to commit suicide, I was only seeing her as a joyful smiley person. But the whole time she was going through hell. Now she’s a life coach, she gives conferences, does some event planning and designing, and she’s gotten engaged to a guy that loves her the way she deserves to be loved."
Tell us about a professional experience that made you who you are today.
"It’s definitely my experience as a call centre agent at a food-delivery service company. It was my very first professional experience; I’d had some student jobs before, but this was my first official contract, my first real co-workers, and the first time I was confronted with the question “Are my rights respected?” It was also the first time I felt like I was about to experience burnout. But there were some positive things, too. For example, I was hired to work in a language that I had taught myself, Portuguese. A fun fact: I learned Brazilian Portuguese and it’s more singing and slower than the Portuguese variant of the language. But I was working at a call centre in Belgium, doing support for Portuguese restaurants. The department manager had tested my language skills and knew that my level was good, but I had to get used to the new dialect. The first time I had to pick up the phone and resolve a situation it was with a delivery person. They were angry and speaking Portuguese, while calling from Portugal! At that moment, I felt as if I had never heard the language before. But this experience helped me not only to learn all of the accents from Portugal, but it also opened my mind and led me to discover another culture. Even though I only worked there for a year and a half, I gained a lot of experience and went through many challenges."
If you could share just one piece of career advice with women in our community, what would it be?
“You are important at every level of society. Whatever your position and status may be, whether you’re a leader, an entrepreneur, or an employee, you are important. Your presence makes a difference. Your role is relevant and you are valuable. Sometimes we get frustrated when we see that someone else arrives at a higher level faster than we do. When we are not there yet, we feel frustrated. There’s a lot of pressure: you have to work hard, you need to be strong. But sometimes we are important exactly where we are. I don’t say that we have to stay there forever, but while fighting and waiting to reach the top, you should invest in yourself and get ready because it will happen."
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Audrey!
Are you ready to get onboarded at Loyaltek with Audrey?