08 March 2022
International Women’s Day is a significant global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women, and has been celebrated since 1911.
At GO, we ensure equal opportunities to all candidates and employees, in areas such as recruitment, career growth and developmental opportunities, salary and benefits, learning and development, flexibility and family friendly measures for women and men alike.
This day gives us an extra reason to talk about some of the brilliant and inspiring women we have within the team, a group that during 2021 were appointed to new roles within GO and grew in their careers and are motivating us all.
We invited Christine Apap – Senior Manager People Operations, Christine Galea – Senior Manager Financial Control, Emma Gatt Senior Manager People & Culture, Helena Esnerova – Senior Manager Online and Mandy Calleja – Head of Corporate Communications, to share with us their GO career journey, their greatest achievements, and advice to help aspiring young leaders who want to grow their careers like them.
I am Christine Apap, relatively new to GO, having joined the Company last June. Supported by the HR Managers and HR Specialists, as Senior Manager – People Operations, I am responsible for several high-level HR pillars, that include Labour Relations, Employer Brand, Payroll, HR Data Analytics and the GO Cares Employee Fund, amongst others.
Over the years, I have been fortunate to have gained experience in some very diverse workplace settings, ranging from aviation to rural affairs, banking to education, financial services to back-office services, environment to telecommunications.
When I am not working, I enjoy my time cooking, gardening, reading, trekking, travelling, and working out at the gym.
I am Christine Galea, and I am the Senior Manager Financial Control within GO. An accountant by profession, I have worked at GO for 23 years in different areas of the Finance department.
Similarly to Christine, my hobbies are baking, reading and thanks to Covid19, trekking.
I am Emma Gatt and I joined GO over 4 years ago, as an HR Specialist always wanting to venture into the world of learning & development. I am now a Senior Manager of People & Culture, overseeing the Learning & Development umbrella of GO amongst handling other HR operations.
Prior to HR, I used to have a passion for teaching English and watching my students’ satisfaction as they develop and improve – a teaching background together with HR experience led me to the fulfilling role I occupy today.
Outside of work, I am all about finding time to focus on myself and my self-care to ensure that I can always be the best that I can be for those around me. I spend a lot of my free time reading as much as I can on enhancing my well-being, meeting up with family and close friends and watching my niece grow up, using my Calm App twice daily and spending time travelling outside our little rock.
I am Helena Esnerova and I am a Senior Manager for our Online presence. I have always had a passion for online marketing, economics, creativity & innovation, all interests that help me grow in my current role.
I love arts and crafts outside of work.
I am Mandy Calleja and I first joined GO in 2017 as Executive Assistant to the CEO. Today, I am lucky enough to also Head Corporate Communications and Sponsorships, apart from managing the CEO office. I also take an active role in Purpose and Culture transformation.
Strangely enough I have worked in the telecoms business for most of my working life. I started off in the regulatory environment and today I get to enjoy telecoms from a completely different perspective. My background is in corporate communications, public relations and marketing.
Having a son on the brink of becoming a teenager, with all his personal demands, leaves very little time for my personal hobbies, but I do make sure to carve out a few hours a week to lift some heavy metal in the gym.
We wanted to dive deeper into the journey of this group of women and we asked them a few questions we hope will motivate you as well to keep on working hard until reach your career goals.
Christine, what excites you at work?
C.A. Many situations! Being trusted, being valued, being respected, having learning opportunities, tackling challenges, knowing that suggestions have been on board, and the sense of satisfaction after a job well done, are some.
What are you most proud of your career so far?
C.G. When I was chosen to lead the Finance department and believing in myself that I was up to the task.
E.G. I am proud that throughout my career so far, many opportunities were given to me which I have taken ownership of and pushed myself to use them to create high impact where it matters most. A proud moment I can think of which showcases this, is that to get into the Learning & Development sphere in GO, I made time to start creating my own training content and training employees for my own self development. All this has led me to overseeing the Learning & Development function and launching a GO Academy in April 2021, where all our employees are inspired and celebrated to learn and develop.
M.C. I am proud of the fact that despite my challenges on a personal level, I have never shied away from any opportunity to grow and learn in my roles. Also, having the courage to simply take the plunge and move on in your career is sometimes all that is required for you to progress in your career. From then on, so many doors open up. I left a job I loved after 16 years simply because I needed a new challenge, and I have not looked back since! It was indeed a turning point for me.
What is your best advice to women who want to succeed in their career?
C.A. Never consider your career aspirations in terms of your gender.
C.G. Education and having the right skill sets for the career they want to pursue. Ask for feedback and listen to the feedback given to you to be able to identify areas of improvement. Have a support network in your life, it will help you keep motivated and when you are overwhelmed you have people you can turn to help out. Remember to prioritise your dreams and work towards realising them.
As a leader, how do you empower your team?
C.A. Primarily, by sharing knowledge and providing the necessary context for team members, and then by trusting them and showing them that I trust them by stepping back and giving them the freedom to act.
I make sure that I watch out for occasions when they do well because that is a reason for celebration. However, when and if something does go wrong, it is important to create an environment where it is safe to fail.
I see empowerment as one of the most effective management tools to develop team members and to increase overall accountability.
Helena, if you could give just one leadership lesson that you’ve learnt over the years, what’d it be?
H.E. Never stop learning. Bring out your humbleness by being a life-long student. Always look for ways how you can improve and expand.
Who has supported you the most throughout your career?
C.G. When my children grew and became more independent, my husband was supportive of me taking up a role which has greater responsibility because he knew that it was my dream, and he gave me the confidence to go for it.
E.G. I have been so lucky to be surrounded by an incredible support system. My line manager has created the perfect balance where she gives me the space to grow and take risks, whilst being an incredible sounding board and there when I need mentorship and guidance. My HR team, who inspire me through their passion and dedication to our people. Last but not least, my family and partner, who are always there to celebrate my every achievement, although also challenge me to grow and be my best self.
H.E. Surround yourself with successful and good people who wish you the best. I am lucky to be surrounded by exceptional people at GO and by a great support system outside of GO. I would often go to them for advice when I face a challenging situation and what helped me was asking for advice from those who were a few steps ahead in their career.
M.C. I think there are two levels of support. On one hand, a direct manager who is a strong believer in continued learning and personal growth, who gave me support and coaching in achieving my career goals. On the other hand, I have had immense support from my family, in particular my husband and my parents. Raising a child with special needs and trying to build a career is indeed challenging and without their support, there is no way I could do half the things I do.
What would you tell your younger self today?
C.G. You are on the right track.
E.G. Whatever role you want in life, whether you choose to be a stay-at-home mum, nurse or a business leader, strive for what you want and have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Do not compare yourself with others, as everyone has different goals and life journeys.
H.E. Worry less! I tend to be an over-thinker. I would advise the younger version that everything will be OK.
M.C. Be confident. Be bold. Believe in yourself.
Which woman has inspired you the most?
C.G. My mother has been my role model, she was a career woman who raised a family while obtaining a University degree, at a time when most mothers were staying at home and raising their children.
Emma, what is your best advice to women who want to succeed in their career?
E.G. Do something you love and are passionate about – If you have enough passion and drive for what you want to do, you will get there. Never be scared to ask questions, there are no bad questions. Learning from your mistakes makes you stronger, never let go of your growth mind-set, no matter what height you reach there is always more to learn. Above all, always be true to yourself and celebrate every single one of your achievements, no matter how big or small.
Can you share a leadership lesson that you’ve learnt?
E.G. Leadership is not about you as a leader, it is about focusing on the people you are developing, mentoring and leading. Practice self-care, as only when you are your best self can you be the best leader for your team.
Helena, what’s the best work-related advice you’ve ever received?
What advice would you give to women who want to be a leader? H.E. Being humble is a great virtue but it should never result in minimizing and underselling yourself.
M.C. Be kind to yourself (we tend to be our harshest critics), stay true to yourself and your values and always think to yourself what you want others to remember the most about you.
What is your message about International Women’s Day?
C.A. Be proud of being a woman. Unless you respect yourself, nobody is going to respect you.
C.G. International Women’s Day is a celebration of what we and our ancestors have achieved so far and honouring the fact that each person is different in their own way; there is no one stereotype on how to be and live as a woman. It is also a reminder that there are still women in the world who are being denied the opportunity to be whoever they want to be due to societies’ judgement, culture and lack of access to education. Up till when these barriers are not eradicated, the world still needs International Women’s Day.
E.G. For me International Women’s Day, or any other day really, is about celebrating and showing gratitude to all the exceptional women around me who come together, near and far, and choose to challenge societal norms, break glass ceilings, work towards equality, whilst constantly motivating, supporting and celebrating those around them.
H.E. It is a day when we should pause and reflect. We came a long way and there is still so much ahead of us. Let’s all take a moment to celebrate our achievements and be inspired for the road ahead.
M.C. The fact that we have a specific day to advocate for and celebrate women, recognise achievements, and honour their struggles is, in itself, a testament to how much harder we need to work to prove ourselves. I hope for a time when we no longer need such occasions because that would mean that we have achieved real equality and a more level playing field. This day is not just about us women. It’s about the men supporting women, those parents and carers bringing up young women, because everyone has a role in breaking stereotypes. Until then, lets continue raising awareness and break the bias!
These are some of the hard working, successful and inspiring women we have at GO. Five women with different background and experiences, in different stages of their life, all deserve to be applauded and celebrated for their achievements, growth and success. We are happy and proud of them and we can’t wait to see them growing even more within GO.
Our message to you, believe in yourself, respect yourself, keep on learning every day and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Have a look at our careers page and get in touch with us if you want to take your career to the next step by joining our star One GO Team!
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