To the new generation of women who aspire to rise to the top echelon positions in the areas of research, technology and science, to women who want to join management boards and seek to hold positions of responsibility in businesses and decision-making centres, our Group’s Senior Director of Corporate Transformation Maria Germanou dedicates International Women’s Day, March 8.
Maria Germanou, Senior Director of Corporate Transformation of the Group, speaks to Economy Today, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Although the participation of women in the labour market has increased, the debate on Gender Equality in the workplace is still open and the glass ceiling effect still exists. As a modern woman and employee, what is your experience and your views on this?
Personally, I have been lucky in my career since I am part of a strong Group whose culture promotes gender equality, and which gives equal opportunities to women and men, making use of everyone’s skills and talent, regardless of their gender identity. I realize this is not the norm and the glass ceiling effect still exists in many cases, although in recent decades, women have gone a long way. They succeeded in closing the academic gender gap, they successfully tried their hand at occupations considered by society to be “masculine”, they struggled and are still struggling to achieve balance between career and family, and they proved that they can meet the responsibilities and roles in leadership positions with exceptional results. Although significant strides have been made, we are still in the early stages of change. Women will need to be even more persistent in order to break down stereotypes that have been cultivated for so many years.
International Women’s Day serves as a reminder to honour the struggles that women have faced throughout history for their rights. Which woman/women would you dedicate this day to and why?
I dedicate this day to all the women who fought and succeeded in paving the way before us for us. To all those women who were not afraid, did not give up but, on the contrary, were persevered and successfully managed to give us the right to discuss today for equal opportunities, equal pay and equal representation in the decision-making process. I dedicate this day to the new generation of women who aspire to rise to the top echelon positions in the areas of research, technology and science, to women who want to join management boards and seek to hold positions of responsibility in organizations and decision-making centres.
We have a long way to go before we are able to overcome the invisible barrier blocking the women’s path towards complete gender equality. However, the path has been set and we are the ones who hold the baton in their hand and do whatever it takes to create a more hopeful future.
What message would you like to send to the new Government regarding Equality, the fight against discrimination and the defense of women’s rights?
Particular emphasis will need to be placed on policies promoting gender equality. In this context, it is necessary to create the conditions for the deconstruction of gender stereotypes and prejudice in all areas. Women need to be given a voice in the decision-making centres, that is where the battle is fought. If this path opens up, then it will be easier for other paths to open up too, always through the participation of all of us, citizens and the state.
Woman in a word
Maria Germanou is the Senior Director of Corporate Transformation of the C.A.Papaellinas Group, who holds a leading position in the retail trade in the areas of Cosmetics, Health, and Wellness in Cyprus.
With more than 13 years of strategic and operational experience, she has a strong track record of successes in relation to all aspects of Operations, Sales, Marketing, People & Organisational Structure and Development of the company. She leads the organisational change management and business transformation of the Group, as well as all digital transformation and change management efforts in all systems and procedures. She is focusing on the design, development and utilisation of innovative and sustainable digital solutions that support all business procedures, operations and initiatives of the Group.
- Bachelor in Turkish Studies – History & Politics (BA)
- Master in Human Resource Management & Organisational Behaviour (MSc)
- Master in Business Administration (MBA)