As a start of our Women’s Week, in honor of International Women’s Day today, we have interviewed leading power women to hear about their individual journeys to their success, their advice to women and men working in male-dominated industries, where they find inspiration and more.
To kick-start our female power week, we have had the pleasure to interview Ms. Terri Ghio, President (North America) at FactoryEye by Magic Software.
Q1) How has your journey looked like, in terms of your career, to be where you are today?
A1) My journey definitely didn’t have a traditional start. I was a Rock and Roll singer in my 20’s with a young son. At 30 I decided I wanted to be in business and was attracted to the world of technology. I was able to move quickly up the corporate ladder and had 2 very strong male mentors. I became a Vice President at 35 and by 45 was the CEO of an International company. Much of that was a result of my sales skills. I took about 6 years to focus on my passion for fashion and created a Personal Styling business. Because of my technology background I always added elements of tech to the offering. Unfortunately I was about 10 years too soon and the market was not ready for what I had. I went back to the corporate world a few years ago and at 69 years old am now the President of an Innovation lab in a large company.
Q2) What are you the most grateful of in your work?
A2) I was always able to push the boundaries and earned money commensurate with my achievements. The flexibility and creative growth has helped me to mentor people I have brought into the industry. Lifelong relationships were created throughout my career and having the luxury of traveling all over the world is a huge bonus.
Q3) Tell us about a time where you have used inspiration from another woman to motivate yourself?
A3) During some of the most challenging times as a single Mom/Career woman I was able to reach out to very strong women who had done it before me. They opened doors and put out a hand.
Q4) Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic many more people around the world have struggled with depressive episodes due to lack of social activities, exercise etc., have you implemented anything new that you have found exciting, in your weekly routines since the pandemic started?
A4) Hehe! For me it is just being home. I have traveled my entire career so I have enjoyed cooking and spending time with my husband.
Q5) Looking back on the past years, what would you have wanted to tell the “you” that was 5 years ago?
A5) You can do it and not give up on my business. Listen to others when they have advice but surround yourself with people who believe in your goal.
Q6) Since going into your line of business, what was your first goal you wanted to accomplish and how did it turn out?
A6) My first goal was to be successful. Initially the success was measured financially. Then it was measured by promotions and finally by having people come to me for advice. I have achieved all 3.
Q7) What advice would you give to women that today are working in male-dominated industries?
A7) Don’t try to be a man. Being a woman has many more advantages. If I felt the “glass ceiling” where I was I moved. I didn’t need to shatter it. I wanted to be in a place where I was appreciated for who I am. I was in the technology industry and almost everyone was a man in an IBM looking suit. We sold into the fashion industry so I wore beautiful suits and great big hats. I was known as the “hat lady”. I was me.
Q8) What advice would you give to the men inside the same industries?
A8) Since I hired many women on my team I would absolutely encourage you to realize the benefit of a different approach to a problem and our innate ability to find out what really matters to people. This is the key to business.
Q9) Where do you see yourself and your company in the next 10 years? Do you have a dream project?
A9) Great question – I expect to be doing much more mentoring and helping others to succeed. Since I will be splitting my time between Italy and the US it will be global. My dream project would be to work on eradicating Juvenile Diabetes and being part of the reason it happened.
Q10) Our final question: among the people you know, who’s interview would you want to read next and
Thank you for sharing it with us today!
Maja Säholm Westling