Laura Zuidema - Mar 8, 2023

Celebrating International women’s day 2023 at Digimind: bridging the technological gap

International Women’s Day 2023 (Blogpost Cover)

Today is international women's day. A day to remember the effort that is happening everyday for a more equal world and to celebrate the accomplishments made in gender equality.  On this day we celebrate all women, in all their diversities. This years theme from the United Nations is #DigitAll, innovation and technology for all. 


While there have been many improvements made in the past years regarding gender equality, it is still far from being done. The United Nations states that at the current pace of change, it will take an estimate of 257 years to close the gender gap. That is the same as 10 generations!  Just one look on the website of Amnesty International shows horrific things happening to women all over the world. But also the corporate world has a long way to go. In the Forbes cloud 100 list - the top 100 private cloud companies in the world - only 8 CEOs are women. That is not even more than 10%. 


To highlight the day, we did an interview with 5 inspiring women from the Digimind team. They all have their own stories of their careers - challenges and accomplishments - and we love to learn more from them. 


Our first interview is with Sophie Penanguer, our Global Director of Insights.


Sophie Penanguer - Global Director of Insights

Sophie Penanguer is our Global Director of Insights, she has been in the company since 2017. She is from France, but is currently located in Barcelona, Spain.

Why do you think it is important to celebrate international women's day?


It is important to celebrate the fights that have been happening for years for women's rights, gender equality, and the protection of women in terms of violence. It is all of these steps we need to celebrate.  

I hope that one day we won’t need to celebrate it as we will have reached full gender equality. But there is still much more work to do and the fight is still happening all over the world.


What is the proudest accomplishment/ moment of your career at Digimind?


I am proud of the fact that I have achieved a great career path at Digimind by being completely myself.  You have to wake up in the morning and be happy with who you are and with what you're doing, this is what motivates me!


Which woman inspires you and your career the most?


It’s not one specific woman, but an event that inspired me: a few years ago I was invited to participate in an HR event with many large French companies. There were two ladies, both HR directors of a big French group who gave a speech. Their personalities were inspirational. Especially because they were incredible at mixing many different aspects of life; their work expertise, making time to take care of their family, and claiming big steps in the company. 


Have you faced any challenges as a woman in your career? If so, how did you overcome them?


I think it is really difficult to know whether something happened because I was a woman, or due to other factors. Many small situations happened throughout my career, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that this was because of my gender. 


How do you think the corporate world can break the ‘glass ceiling effect’?


With issues like these, we mostly think at the scale of our own country or culture. But there are still many places in the world where women’s rights are abused and misvalued on a large scale. It is our duty and our global companies duty to support the change for equality in other countries than our own… that is the way to make a big difference over time. 


Frédérique Clappier - VP HR and Diversity

Frederique Clappier is our VP or HR and Diversity, she has been at Digimind for almost two years and is located in Paris, France


Why do you think it is important to celebrate international women's day?


In an ideal world we shouldn't have to celebrate this day, but it is important to highlight all the gaps that we need to overcome. There are so many different aspects, topics and areas where there is a lot of unfairness. That is why it’s important to reflect and think about this day.


What is your proudest accomplishment / moment of your career at Digimind?


To open the Corporate Social Responsibility topics to the Digiminders! When I arrived at Digimind, I realised that the team didn’t know what Digimind was doing externally. I met a lot of passionate people who all give me a lot of energy, new ideas and a drive to continue.


Which woman inspires you the most?


Someone who inspires me a lot is my grandmother. From a young age I looked up to her work ethic. She grew up staying at home with the kids, but when her husband passed away she had to work. She worked until a very old age to feed the family. As a kid I often visited her office, a very inspiring woman.


Have you faced any challenges as a woman in your career? If so, how did you overcome them?


You can still feel a big contrast between men and women, especially when having kids. As a mother it can slow down your career, and it’s frustrating when you’re facing a split between two big priorities: your career and your family. I felt a need to prove that I can succeed as a mother in the corporate world, even more than before having children. 

Something that has helped me a lot is separating work and life by seeing myself in different roles: at work I am a professional, when I am with my kids I am a mother. By keeping the roles separate, I have more energy in my career.


How do you think the corporate world can break the ‘glass ceiling effect’. 


When looking for a company to work for, pay attention to their values and their people. In some traditional companies, it can be very hard to progress in the hierarchy, where your career will maybe slow down when you have kids. There are other companies where it makes no difference, and you can pursue your long term goals to succeed.


I think in general, breaking the ‘glass ceiling effect’ starts with education. Educating our little boys and girls that we all have an equal chance, showing them diverse role models so they have someone to look up to. It is difficult to change the biases and mindsets of adults, but with the new generation there is so much to be done. 


Lia Neri - Customer Success Manager

Lia Neri is our Customer Success Manager since 2021. She is located in Manila

Why do you think it is important to celebrate international women's day?


To acknowledge the developments we have made throughout the decades for our rights for equality! By being grateful for the many things that have been accomplished we will hopefully feel more empowered to continue this.


What is your proudest accomplishment / moment of your career at Digimind?


I am proud that I am able to provide valuable things to my teammates, and accomplish big things. I am proud of all the times when I am able to use my talents to make my clients happy. They get to learn from me, and I get to learn from them, which is the best!


Which woman inspires you the most?


To be honest, the people I looked up to in the past were mostly men: my former bosses, superiors, and other leaders. That is because they were the ones I saw in those positions. Luckily right now that is changing a lot. Who really inspired me growing up? My female teachers at my old high school, which was an all-girls school. They educated me on the limits the society will impose on you, but also made me realize that I always have a choice. This made me feel very empowered.


Have you faced any challenges as a woman in your career? If so, how did you overcome them?


Yes, especially at the beginning of my career. I started in different male dominated tech companies. They always saw things differently, and I had to really prove and ‘fight’ for the same level of respect. When I went through that I learned to have the courage to stay true to myself and to be confident in the things that I brought to the table! Certain aspects that the men in the team were lacking, I was able to provide. But actually, I am still learning that now. 


How do you think the corporate world can break the ‘glass ceiling effect’. 


I have actually witnessed this phenomenon in previous work; there was a rumor that it was more difficult for minorities to climb the career ladder. If that was actually the case it is always difficult to know, but the top was mostly men.

Ways that we can solve it? By acknowledging our own biases. Super important for any company! 


Soukaina Balote - Global Senior Marketing Operations Manager

Soukaina Balote is our Global Senior Marketing Operations Manager, she was born in Marocco and is located in Rabat

Why do you think it is important to celebrate international women's day?


It’s important to celebrate international women's day for new generations to come to bring awareness, to memorize the journey, to give motivation and courage to continue, mostly we must not forget that we can raise our voice any time for a change. As a visual learner, I always remember that movies like “a league of their own” for example allowed me to understand women's fight for equal rights, which is why it’s important to keep telling the story in so many ways. 


What is your proudest accomplishment / moment of your career at Digimind?


Within 6 months after joining Digimind, I was into recruiting, inspiring and driving a new team to be their best. It was a challenge and I’m happy that this project evolved and is still in constant progress. The Lead Generation Team is my proudest accomplishment which started by supporting a single region, right now acting globally and continuing to impress. To this achievement, I must equally add another moment of my career at Digimind. 2020 - well known as covid and curfew year worldwide - was the CRM migration year for Digiminders. I was part of an amazing team project, going through ups and downs and mission impossible mood boards… BUT WE DID IT!


Which woman inspires you the most?


Independent, strong and confident women! I grew up surrounded by an amazing group of women, I was looking up to them all the time and they are the source of inspiration behind all I do.


Have you faced any challenges as a woman in your career? If so, how did you overcome them?


I believe that I faced one of the same challenges any woman has in the workfield, which is when you’re considered not legitimate as a manager just because you’re a woman. I recently saw a LinkedIn poll asking the question; “what makes a better manager, a male or female?” Let’s just say that I was terribly disappointed with the answers… Talent has no gender for me and I want my success and achievements to always be associated with my own person. 


How do you think the corporate world can break the ‘glass ceiling effect’. 


It must start with women taking the initiative to provide effective support. We had one female manager when I started working at Digimind Rabat, today we are 4 female managers working closely together, improving ourselves to give a good impression to our teams and giving hope that the younger generation will succeed. Mostly we need the companies to embrace more workplace diversity, to have different backgrounds, and to let women be part of the decision making.


Catalina Hernandez - Director of Latin America 

Catalina Hernandez is our manager of Latam, she is currently located in Buenos Aires, in Argentina

Why do you think it is important to celebrate international women's day?


Because it is still very necessary to bring attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, violence and abuse against women. If you want to know more about feminist movements in Latin America, I encourage you to follow this hashtags #niunamenos #ParoDeMujeres #vivasnosqueremos. Some emojis can help you identify our fights, many female users on Twitter add  💜 (to claim for justice for women victims of gender violence), or 💚 for a Global Call for Legal Abortion. 


What is your proudest accomplishment / moment of your career at Digimind?


Everytime we achieve a goal as a regional or global team I feel very proud because we built it from scratch. I know how hard my team works and I am grateful for their commitment. 

A specific moment I remember very well is the first time a client trusted Digimind in Latin America, that was a great accomplishment for me on a personal level, and the first time we delivered an insights report (6 years ago) is something that I won’t forget.


Which woman (in general) inspires you the most?


There are many that inspire me: Julie from the TV show V Invasion when I was 6 or 7 years old (scientist, very handsome, wearing jeans, revolutionary, fighting against invaders), Madonna during The Girlie Show Tour when I was 13 (my first concert and my idol 4ever!!) :) Simone de Beauvoir when I read Memoirs of a dutiful daughter and discover all the books she had read at my age of that time, Janis Joplin when I started to care about rock history, the history of sisters Mirabal against Trujillo’s dictatorship and I can go on for hours…but Beyonce’s come back after her maternity leave at Coachella 2018 is legendary 🙂


On a more personal level, my daughter, my mother, my sister, my aunts, cousins, my female friends. We share our thoughts, fights and joys in real time (thanks whatsapp!) and this is a powerful source of everyday inspiration and support, a real sense of community.


Have you faced any challenges as a woman in your career? If so, how did you overcome them?


Yes! Lack of respect/confidence/opportunities/trust in my 20ish and 30ish. I must point out that I am a privileged woman, who had access to education, traveling and even getting scholarships to study in France. So I overcame these challenges studying more and working more.


How do you think the corporate world can break the ‘glass ceiling effect’. 


Breaking the glass ceiling effect can happen if we talk about it, show statistics (some people only believe it is a fact when they see numbers), train managers on how to deconstruct gender stereotypes (we all need that training!), and conduct blind screening during recruitment processes.


What advice would they give to us?

With all their experiences, stories, and career ambitions, they have many peaces of advice valuable to share with all of us. Swipe to read what advice they would give to everyone. 



Who is their dinner invitation of choice?

What would be their perfect dinner table, together with an inspirational women of choice? We asked everyone the question "If you could have dinner with any women, alive or dead, who would it be?"

Swipe to see who our interviewees would love to speak to.


Lia Dinner invite IWD
From Lia Neri:
Maya Angelou - an American civil rights activist. She’s a women of color,  born in a time when speaking her mind was not encouraged. I admire her braveness and courage to influence others. 
Soukaina Dinner invite IWD
From Soukaina Balote
My Aunt that I lost 2 years ago because of COVID, I would love to enjoy her company like in the old days. I always have something of her with me wherever I go and I make sure to always keep in mind her advice to have fun, enjoy life and treat myself the best I can. I Hope she finds peace and comfort wherever she is now. Grief is not a weakness, it’s a healing process where we let go of loss little by little but never of love. 
Catalina Dinner invite IWD
From Catalina Hernandez
That’s a difficult question! I would have dinner with my great great grandmothers who took a boat from Ireland/France/Spain to live in Argentina, thank them for this brave decision and tell them that we are a young nation that has already won 3 world cups.
International Women’s Day 2023 (Dinner Date)
From Frédérique Clappier
I would have dinner with Jeanne Barret, who is recognized as the first woman to have completed a voyage around the world. Which happened in 1766. She joined the voyage by pretending to be a man, since women weren’t allowed to do so. To me, she’s such a brave and inspiring woman. She wanted to have the same opportunities as the men, and was really passionate about her job.
Sophie Dinner invite IWD
From Sophie Penanguer 
XinRan! She is a British-Chinese journalist who wrote a lot about the lives of women in the rural parts of China.

About Digimind

Digimind is the global leader in AI-Powered social listening platforms and market intelligence software, designed for brands and agencies who want to accelerate digital transformation through an insights-driven approach. Digimind’s best-in-class technology transforms social and online data into actionable business insights, enabling marketers to plan, execute, and analyse their marketing strategy effectively. With offices in New York, Paris, Singapore, Grenoble, Rabat, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Madrid, and Amsterdam, Digimind is part of Onclusive, a global partner for public relations and Communications success.


Additionally, as part of its CSR strategy, Digimind gives privileged access to its social media monitoring tools to schools and nonprofit organisations. This program,, is implemented in order to extend this initiative to a larger number of NGOs and to open it to secondary education. 


Written by Laura Zuidema

Laura Zuidema supports the Digimind team in HR and Marketing. Her writing is focused on global initiatives regarding CSR and Digimind’s approach. She is an avid lover of nature, playing board games with friends and family and finding good unknown restaurants in town.