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Meet the women and men of Worldline – Michaela Marai

Meet the women and men of Worldline Michaela Marai

Michaela Marai

GLOBAL ISSUING PRODUCT MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT MANAGER AT EQUENSWORLDLINE

What is your line of work? Why did you join the technology business in the first place? What motivated you?

I’m the Head of the Global Product Management in the Issuing division at equensWorldline. As stated in the title, we are managing products in terms of roadmaps and innovation. We thus have to look to the market in order to find new opportunities, new businesses, and new products. It can also be considered as a pre-sales activity as we support sales services with the customers by providing help to prepare the offers. Our goal is to keep the products aligned and profitable. There is therefore a strong focus in the profit and loss of a product.

I’ve joined the technology industry a long time ago, when I made the decision to have a degree in computer science. Apart from the innovative aspect of the industry, which is really interesting, I really like the capability to link technology to business, to customers’ needs. For me, what is really important is to see what can be the future and the possible solutions to solve problems.

I really appreciate meeting customers and listening to their ideas and challenges and trying to find the right perfect solution together. As a manager, helping my team to find success in the company and having a good atmosphere within the team are also factors of motivation. In my opinion, it is equally important to have success as a company and to have good relationships within and across teams. 

 

What do you find more challenging in your profession?

In the last few months, the biggest challenge has been to be able to stay in budget. This is always challenging. To achieve this objective, it is crucial that all departments look into optimization opportunities and work closely with the Sales team.

Also, like a coach with her/his team, being able to motivate all the people to work in the right direction and join forces to meet the goals is not always easy. Indeed, we have to work across teams and divisions. This is why it is important for me to manage the communication among the different teams involved in the product management efficiently. For example, we organize virtual events once a month and a half. I believe sharing information and working together are really important.

 

What are you most proud of in your work?

More than my individual achievements, I’m really proud of my team. If we have a success story, we win a deal, have a good presentation. Having good success stories together is what makes me proud.

 

Being a woman in a technology company which is a business sector where women are less represented in average than in banking or media and communication for example, what would you say to young women thinking about their future professional orientations?

When I decided to study computer science, I was one of the few women at the university. And when I joined my first company, I was the only woman in the development area. I was young with a lot of expectations for and from my working life but with no experience. So I used my energy to learn and to improve, with an open mind and a different approach to work in a team mostly comprised of men.

I have to say that this helped me a lot but it was difficult to be always “at the top”, which means to be always the first to arrive in the morning and the last to go in the evening. I was requested more than any new male employee and nothing was “excused” for me. But this was for me more an opportunity than a disadvantage. I learned a lot and, in the end, I really felt part of the team. This experience was useful for my future career. Never give up! In the end, my “Female” attitude was appreciated. When I moved to another company, the big boss wanted to personally thank me.

 

What would you advise your female colleagues to do within Worldline to successfully develop their career path?

Working in a technology company offers the opportunity to live in an innovative environment that is constantly evolving. This is for sure the best opportunity to build the right “success story” for one’s career.

What I see as a value is to approach the daily assignments with energy, collaborating with the team. Of course, as said before, it is requested to work hard, to be committed and dedicated to the job. The natural female leadership will be then recognized.

 

What would say to your male colleagues?

To be honest? Nothing special. I do not recognize any superiority or differences between a female or male colleague. But when I do not feel respected, then I make it clear.

 

What advices would you give to achieve Work-life balance?

Achieving the right balance is quite complex especially at certain times of the year. I’m used to say that sometimes we have to do extra miles to have success or to close something that is requested. I admit that I can be quite demanding sometimes but for me, the most important part is to be the manager of your life. I like when people on my team take free time. It can happen that I work during the evening and the weekend when it is needed but I always try to love what I’m doing. I’m convinced that when you like your job and you’re happy to work, it is easier to find the right balance and provide the extra effort when needed.  On the other hand, at home I try to switch myself off as much as possible. Only a few people can reach me in order to keep my time at home for me. I also try not to bother my team when they are home or on holidays.

Likewise, in the team we also try to have events together, spending time together for fun. It is true that it is not your private life but it contributes to the quality of your working environment as well.

 

How has Worldline helped you to advance in your career and reach your professional goals?

When I joined the Worldine Group as part of the acquisition of Equens, I was already at the top of my career. However, they were really open-minded to meet me, to see what I was doing and to bet on my capabilities.

Worldline support me in my career with trainings for example. It helps me grow with and alongside my team because it helps to see in which way I can manage them better. Also the Human Resources department is always available whenever needed. And our managers are really open-minded and accessible.