“People choose their own limitations, and this blocker divides the work into «female” and “male,” says Olena Kozlova, Chief Operating Officer at Ostware Services. She adds that although the Ukrainian society is full of stereotypes, every family has the opportunity to share responsibilities and overcome gender biases. Lviv IT Cluster talked with Olena about how to get out of the comfort zone and universal success recipes.
“It does not really matter what others think since the main thing is about the limits you chose for yourself. This blocker in people’s heads tells us to go or not go, to do or not to do, to achieve or not to achieve,» says Olena. According to her, people decide which professions to consider male, and which female. Based on these conclusions and the social stereotypes, the people determine their own profession.
“Undoubtedly, the environment can either help, or interfere,» adds Olena. However, this is only one aspect. In reality, the career success depends on the individual. “If you are a true professional who is in the right place and knows how to build an effective communication, the gender does not matter. Or its impact is minimal,” she says.
According to Olena, Ukrainian society still has more stereotypes than, say, our European neighbors. We have many prejudices concerning the division of functions or educating the children in the family. However, much depends on how each individual shares the responsibilities within the family because there, it is possible to go beyond stereotypes. “Maybe, the women themselves do not want to leave their comfort zones or perceive the family life as their main purpose? This is a conscious (or unconscious) choice of every woman, and stereotypes and the society play a secondary role in this case,” convinces Olena.
The expert believes that the success recipe is universal for each individual, and it does not depend on gender. Olena advises to love what one does, so it is possible to find the time and inspiration. She also recommends never stop to develop. “We need to know exactly what we want, set ambitious goals and achieve them. Each risk or change brings new opportunities, and we should be able to recognize them,” adds she.
Olena advises surrounding oneself with smart and interesting professionals as well as joining the expert community. “It is important to remember: the successful person is not the one who never falls, but the one who quickly gets up,” she concludes.