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Woman of the Week - Giorgia dello Russo

Featured image blog Paynovate Giorgia

Read the story of Giorgia dello Russo (Remote Helpdesk Agent, Giftify). Read on to learn about her international academic experience and why she abandoned that career path, the example her mom gave her, and how she learned what she wanted from life.

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Giorgia dello Russo

Introduce yourself! Who are you, and what's your role at the Loyaltek Group?

"I’m Giorgia, I’m 38 years old. I’ve been studying and living across southern Europe. My story starts in Italy because I was born there. And until the first part of my academic career, I studied in Italy too. Then, I went to Spain, because I joined a PhD program. It was bilingual, Italian and Spanish. Then, from Spain, I went to Portugal, and started a new journey. I’m a Remote Helpdesk Agent at Giftify and I take care of the Italian and English markets. When I can, or when it’s needed, I also handle the Spanish and Portuguese markets. My sister and I also work with Product, Legal, and Marketing on communications translations and check the websites or the FAQs sections for the company in all the languages that we know."

How did you end up at Loyaltek?

“I was working for other companies here in Portugal, but I wasn’t happy, mainly because I wasn’t able to move around and work wherever I wanted. So, I’ve been searching for a freelance and remote job and I found it at Giftify [at Loyaltek].”

What do you want to achieve in your career?

First of all, work-life balance. This is my main goal and with Loyaltek I have it. In the future I can also see myself with my own business. This job allows me to have everything: working from anywhere and to start thinking about my personal projects that can run contemporaneously.

If you could have dinner with 3 inspiring women, dead or alive: who would they be and why?

"Rita Levi Montalcini because of her intellectual and emotional independence, and definitely my mom: she has always been really resilient. She taught me to be autonomous as much as possible. She told me: “Study, work, stand on your own legs. And then if you get a husband, it’s good, if you want him. But it’s not necessary. Be yourself and rely on your own resources''."

Tell us about a professional experience that made you who you are today.

"During the PhD  I learned that academia wasn’t really as dreamy as I thought before starting. At that time I truly believed that being a researcher could have been my path, but…then, during the following three or four years, I realised that I actually didn’t like that environment, for several reasons. Mainly because I don’t really like the “publish or perish” mentality: I honestly was not so eager to put my name on every work, every publication needed to reach the next career level. My ego was not big enough to show up in conferences whenever I had the chance, it was just not for me. I really loved the teaching experience, the students were amazing: but nobody lets you be a professor in a faculty without being deeply focused on publishing, and I actually didn’t want this life or this pressure on myself. Furthermore, at least at some specific latitudes, university life is not an easy one for women in general. You need to demonstrate the value of your work twice, since you can easily be labeled with “that one” who’s not there because of your intelligence, but because of some kind of “favouritism”. I realised that I needed to be on my own and that I needed to do an introspection on me, in order to really understand what I wanted. So, today, I’m someone who knows what she wants much better. And even if many people say: “After completing a PhD you abandoned an academic career, a path in university, that was so important”. I say: “Yes, but I don’t want something important. I want something small, simple. Mine and just mine.”

If you could share just one piece of career advice with women in our community, what would it be?

Please, girls, don’t pay attention to social pressure. Society expects us to be everything. To be mothers, to be wives, to also think about supporting, economically speaking, our families. But they don’t think about what we want and what we feel. Even if one day you don’t feel that you are a woman anymore, that you’ve never been a woman, actually, and you want to change your appearance, your sex, your career, your goals, everything… If you want to change, do it no matter what they say. Go for what you want and for what makes you happy when you wake up in the morning. "

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Giorgia!

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