Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Julie Junio de Castro, Director of Marketing @ PMI UAE Chapter
How could you describe your career path in a few words?
I navigate through my career path by focusing on my 2Ps - passions and priorities. I started 19 years ago on my first job as a technical sales engineer in the chemical industry right after I completed my chemical engineering degree. After two years, I decided to move to Dubai where my technical sales expertise in the piping industry started. Moving abroad, in a diverse city truly is resistance training. Eventually, I held various roles in the administration, quality assurance, business development, procurement, and project management - all the while it focused on gathering a well-rounded set of skills and experience that helped me become a very versatile professional.
What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset?
The repercussions brought by the Covid pandemic presented a huge challenge for a lot of people. Being on a career break as a stay-at-home mom when it all happened, it felt specially difficult for me to get back to work at a time when there are less opportunities while the competition is a lot more stiff. I realized that I have to always stay competitive and to keep on sharpening my pencil at all times. I took up Project Management Professional certification to enhance my project management skills which led me to more opportunities such as volunteering at PMI UAE Chapter where I was appointed as Director of Marketing and a few consultancies relating to the Oil & Gas sectors which is my expertise.
When you get surprised by unusual or uncertain context, what do you think?
Life is always full of surprises. But no matter what happens, we should always look at the bigger picture and focus on what is really important for us, in my case my 2Ps - my passion and priorities. The current pandemic, however, has already changed our collective calculus of uncertainty. Indeed, I discovered more of myself as it has deepened my understanding of ambiguity and resilience.
What’s the key success factor for a female entrepreneur in cross-cultural context based on your experience?
I firmly believe that women’s innate multi-tasking skills and capabilities to tough economic development help us to be very successful entrepreneurs in a cross-cultural context. We have the ability to steer through different social and cultural differences while still focusing on our objectives and key results.
Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader/manager?
Successful leaders/managers possess the same traits: perseverance, commitment, empathy, power, and passion, be it, male or female. Nevertheless, hope dies last when it comes to female leadership progression. The capacity to create women-empowered workplaces and being resilient. Resilience means inner strength, authenticity, and the ability to deal with failure.