Women in a leadership position, especially in a male-dominated industry, are rare. Eva
Arh, a native of Latvia, but firmly rooted in Vienna, is one of them. The 28-year-old has deliberately opted for the technology industry. A few hurdles later and with more confidence, she has arrived in an industry that fascinates her because of the rapid developments.
LEAD: Women in the technology industry are rare – what was your path to the male-dominated industry?
Eva Arh: I studied International Management and just before I started at a bank, I got a study fellow who worked in an IoT company. He said they needed someone for finance and for finding investors. Since I was one of the few who had fun with college finance, he asked me. I thought, why not? I can still start with a bank later, if I want that. ‘ So I started my career as a CFO at a software company, fell in love with technology and business development, and learned how Angel Investment and venture capital work. Since then, I have followed the developments in the technology world and am fascinated by it.
After a couple of years on the corporate side, where I was involved in finance and corporate development, I was thrilled with the opportunity to work with Peter and Roman at Capital300 to acquire tech talents in the DACH area and in Central and Eastern Europe support and build new international champions.
LEAD: What were the biggest hurdles for you?
Eva: To be honest, it has been a really great trip so far. I have the privilege of not having encountered any major hurdles in my career. However, I found myself in countless situations, in which I had to earn the respect of my counterpart in the first few seconds, because most did not expect at first to be able to have a deeper conversation with me. What made me realize these moments? To be treated the same way, women often have to do more than men.
LEAD:Nevertheless, what are the advantages of being a woman?
Eva: Actually, it’s difficult to generalize that. But I think women think and act differently – we tend to think ahead and think about causality. When we act, we want to make sure that as many people as possible are interested in the solution or plan. Mixed teams are definitely the best performers, they are more of a holistic approach. In addition, women in tech definitely have the advantage of having so few of them. So women stand out and get more attention, which makes it easier for them to hold important business talks.
LEAD:What makes a good female leader?
Eva: In my opinion it is important not to distinguish between sexes. Ultimately, it is important to be passionate about things, to be able to get others along and to have confidence in your own abilities. It is important for current and future leaders to ensure an inclusive work environment so that women and other minorities not only stay in the company for a short period of time, but also stay there longer term.
LEAD: What advice would you give to young women for their career path?
Eva: Do not think too much about what is expected of a young woman. Do the things you enjoy. Find a mentor who believes in you, who can give you advice and open doors.
LEAD: Who is your personal role model as a female leader?
Eva: The female executives in our portfolio companies – Bozena from Gamee, Tammy from PicsArt.
LEAD: What else should change for women in leadership positions?
eva: Women who already hold leadership positions are the ones with the strongest personality out there. Now they have the opportunity to influence the talent pipeline, establishing a mindset mentality and mentoring programs that simultaneously empower men and women and provide supportive parental leave policies.
LEAD: What does it mean for you to be at Forbes 30under30?
Eva: It’s definitely an honor to be part of this ambitious, inspiring and energetic group of people. I am sure that we will hear from some thirty-three alumni in the future.
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