At the beginning of spring, wall-street.ro proposed to talk to as many women in the business area as possible, in order to discover the feminine vision about the business environment, about the way they lead their business and about what motivates them. We talked to Lidia Pleniceanu, Business Unit Director at ALTEN Romania, a local subsidiary of the French Group and one of the most important IT and engineering consulting companies in the local area.
Soon, it will be two decades since Lidia Pleniceanu became an active professional in the field of work, a career journey that she says it was built hard, without resorting to "shortcuts".
After more than seven years spent in the recruitment and hiring company Gi Group, Lidia Pleniceanu took hers courage in both hands and took a decisive step in her career, becoming Business Unit Director within ALTEN Romania, the local subsidiary of the group with same name.
"Coincidentally or not, I started my career in a french auto company, in the sales department, where I spent eight years. Subsequently, I worked in human resources, constantly advancing for a decade. I have the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams, together with colleagues from various departments and I have implemented and attracted complex projects." specified Lidia Pleniceanu, ALTEN Business Unit Director, in an interview given to wall-street.ro.
Lidia graduated the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, within the University of Craiova, but only later would she find out that life had reserved a path for her that had nothing to do with her finished studies. She worked in sales, business development and human resources, and now she has found her place in the field of IT and engineering consulting. At ALTEN she coordinates a team of 100 consultants and seven business managers, with whom she works on projects of partners in the financial-banking sector, telecom, research and development, retail and automotive.
"The motto I used every day is 'It's impossible, till it's done.' I think that nothing is impossible, especially when you are surrounded by people who have the same mindset and the organization you belong inspires you and encourages you to think that way. ”- Lidia Pleniceanu, Business Unit Director, ALTEN Romania
In Lidia's life, the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with the career change that she chose to make, a turnaround that meant to step out of her comfort zone because she realized that "nothing is guaranteed and it is essential to always be bold and take risks".
"The challenges I had were more prejudiced that a 27-year-old could not be a good sales manager, that at 30 you couldn't answer independently of international accounts, that at 38 you couldn't you can become a Country Manager. I disassembled some of them and proved the opposite, others not yet
, but I don't think this had to do with the fact that I am a woman. Or I hope not (...) Unfortunately, I was negatively surprised to find out that not always the verticality, frankness, team spirit and empathy are considered the qualities that recommend you for a top management position ", said Lidia Pleniceanu.
You can have them all, but not all at once
Work-life balance often becomes a difficult concept hard to achieve, especially for the people in leadership positions. The pandemic and the work from home further destabilized this report, which was already fragile before the onset of the health crisis. But Lidia thinks you can have them all, but not all at once.
"Generally, I think that I managed to balance them optimally, but there are exceptions that confirm the rule, but I do not let the bad days affect me
. I am reconciled to these situations and focus on what I can do in the future.
I prefer not to put pressure on myself (...) Like everyone, I have good days and less good days, but I am lucky to work efficiently and in close contact with my team, with whom we prioritize the active projects", she says.
The fierce competition for the available IT workforce, which are added to the industry-specific challenges, are the ones that keep Lidia on the boil and motivate her, even if "the computer monitor is a barrier when it comes to empathize and to really connect with the people behind it."
The Business Unit Director of ALTEN Romania also shared with us some books that were a real support throughout her career and that offered her a direction to get to where she is today. "Atomic Habbits," by James Clear, "Leaders Eat Last," by Simon Sinek, or "Think Like a Scientist," written by Rooney Anne are just some of the volumes that gave to Lidia the clarity she needed in business, but also in everyday life.
After 20 years working in sales, of which, over 14 years, she worked in human resources management, Lidia says without thinking too much that her parents were her mentors.
"The education I received in the family, the principles that were instilled in me, the security offered, but also the fact that I was always encouraged to trust myself, all these represented the best mentoring
I could have received and the most solid foundation that I could have needed in my life", also mentioned Lidia Pleniceanu, Business Unit Director within ALTEN.
Published by Wall-street.ro