IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge: Marcela Niemeyer

Author Brad Law
March 24, 2021

Disclaimer: Please note that all commentary and opinions provided in this interview are those of the individual and not the organisation/company they are employed by. 

What does “choose to challenge” mean to you? 

For me, choose to challenge is about celebrating women’s accomplishments to advance a more inclusive world. We can all challenge gender bias and inequality and be there for other women. If you are a woman, take time to support and acknowledge other women, instead of competing with them. There are opportunities for everyone, and we want to create that together! If you are a man or an ally, be present, ask questions, actively listen and give women your support while opening opportunities for them and allowing them to excel. You will be surprised about how much you will learn from them. There are different ways to challenge. Simply increasing the percentage of women in the workforce is not enough anymore. Much like other minorities, women need to be heard, seen, empowered and included. They need to be integrated, not only at meetings, but with a seat at the table to make important decisions. Include us and we will add a lot of value while bringing other perspectives. By finding female talent and motivation and helping women thrive, we will be able to achieve a lot together and deliver outstanding results. This might seem like minor progress towards a more inclusive world, however, if everyone takes a series of small actions, we will be able to improve gender bias and inequality. 

What is one thing women don’t talk about enough? 

As a Human Resources professional, I spent a lot of time interviewing candidates, advising internal clients as their HR Business Partner, and mentoring professional males and females. In the last decade, working with women and men from different cultures and nationalities, I have noticed that women don’t talk about how good they are at what they do. This means many women to remain silent about their needs, especially when it comes to promotions, salary increases, and other career opportunities. I believe there are two main reasons for that, and I’m not considering the culture of the country and company, which would be an additional variable. The first reason is: a pressure some women feel to always be better than men to have access to the same opportunities. In my opinion, this leads some women to think that they are not enough, diminishing their selfesteem and, in some instances, not even applying for a job or being vocal about their career needs. I have met women who didn’t pursue a job opportunity, internally or externally, because they didn’t have 100% of the required skills and experience. On the other hand, men in a similar situation were confident they could get the work done and presented themselves as great candidates for the roles, without having all the requirements.The second reason is: when women believe they have the skills to rise to more senior roles but don’t verbalise it. They are concerned about not being perceived as arrogant or too confident about their work. On the other hand, men have no issues with it and many do this naturally. As a society, we have not yet overcome gender bias and inequality to create a truly inclusive world. However, I have seen and experienced positive steps in terms of gender equality and believe that women should talk more about their strengths and accomplishments, raise their voices to express their needs, and don’t be afraid to ask other women for support. 

What are you really, really good at? 

Because many women don’t talk enough about what they are good at, I decided to do it. My intent here is to empower, engage and support other women. I have been using social media as a tool that allows me to voice my opinion to positively inspire and influence others. I do so by sharing my experience, thoughts, reflections and insights. I am really good at delivering the results as an achiever, enabling others to accomplish more while learning and rising. I am passionate about supporting leaders and teams in their own growth and development so they can be the best version of themselves and perform at their best. This is the mindset I bring when I work with clients, teams, mentees and direct reports. I lead with influence, taking charge, speaking up and making sure others are included. I enjoy finding what motivates people and helping them succeed. This enables us to achieve a lot together delivering outstanding results.

Click below to read the full edition of IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge: Female Leaders Across The Globe.https://indd.adobe.com/embed/bb2678fd-fafb-4e5f-b57b-bbe97612e7cf?startpage=1&allowFullscreen=true