Read the story of Chiara Paladino (Project and Operations Manager: Giftify).
Woman of the Week - Elaine Engels
Read the story of Elaine Engles (Customer Support Officer, Giftify). Read on to learn about her path to Project Management, lessons learned from her Mom, and setting healthy workplace boundaries.
Introduce yourself! Who are you, and what's your role at the Loyaltek Group?
"I’m Elaine Engels, I’m 48 years old and I work at Giftify Customer Support."
How did you end up at Loyaltek?
“Last year, I was looking for a third job, I got lucky enough to get accepted, and I got hired on. It was really amazing.”
What do you want to achieve in your career?
“I already achieved it! I am a professor of English; I work at the European Institutions: Parliament, Council and the Commission. This is what I wanted to be, and this is what I am. So, I’ve actually already achieved what I wanted to do in my career. It took a while. And now, I just want to be happy. I am 48 years old, I want to live my life, do my things, continue to teach, continue to work here at Loyaltek, and do what I do because I really do love my job. I’m pretty happy, so my further aspirations would be to just to keep doing what I’m doing.”
If you could have dinner with 3 inspiring women, dead or alive: who would they be and why?
"I’d go with Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Unfortunately, she passed away. I’d really love to speak with her about what she did for women’s rights.
I haven’t seen my mom for a while… I’d really like to have dinner with my mom because I live 6000 kms away from her and that’d be great. Actually, can I combine my mom and my grandmother in one sitting? I miss them terribly and I think they are the most inspiring for me.
I’d also love to sit down with Maya Angelou and talk to her because she is amazing."
Tell us about a professional experience that made you who you are today.
"I think… The first couple years of University and following that, Law school, I was told that I would never be successful if I didn’t tone down what I was doing and fit in line. Being told that you would never be successful unless ”you change who you are and what you look like.” Things have changed over time, but some things also changed with every step of my education. For me, education took away the ability for employers to write me off, not just as a woman but also as someone who goes against the standard ‘norms'. It is the biggest thing that made me who I am today. I take great pride in the fact that I can look the way I look and express my vision of beauty with tattoos, dreads, piercings, and through my clothing style and be who I am while still being seen as successful. It’s a great thing… The lynchpin was definitely going into interviews with the company that put me in the European institution, and they said, ‘we don’t care what you look like, ‘we don’t care who you are, we’re gonna put you there’. That was amazing for me."
If you could share just one piece of career advice with women in our community, what would it be?
“Education. I think education is power. It’s very difficult as a woman, especially if you’re a mother. Because I am a single mother, and when you have children you lack time and all of these things needed like money or resources. So the last thing we do is get educated, more so if you come from a place that tells you a woman’s role is to get married and have a family.. We don’t always have the support that we would like to get educated. I think making education available for us and telling us that it’s necessary is incredibly important."
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Elaine!
Are you ready to get onboarded at Loyaltek with Elaine?