Leader Spotlight: Stephania Varalli of Women of Influence

Q: Where do you live?

A. Toronto, Canada

Q: Tell us about your organization.

A. At Women of Influence, we believe women deserve workplace equality now — and that's what we're working towards, by providing insights and inspiration, sharing the stories of extraordinary women, and creating opportunities to connect. Through our events, content, awards, courses and coaching — as well as the voice of our community — we are making change happen for women, today.

Q: What is the one piece of advice you would like to share with other women looking to start an organization?

A. There will inevitably be a day (or several days) when you are starting out on your entrepreneurial journey where you ask yourself, "Why did I get myself into this?" Don't let it stop you. If you keep on pushing towards the goal, you will get to the day (or, more likely, several days) that will provide you with the answer to that question.

Q: How can WorldWideWomen readers get involved in what you are doing?

A. Visit us at womenofinfluence.com, follow us on social (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram) and sign up for our eNewsletters (whether you need MONDAY MOTIVATION, some advice on how to ADVANCE in your career, or are an ENTREPRENEUR, we have something for you).

Q: Who is the greatest female influence in your life?

A. My mother

Q: Please share with us something that you want other women around the world to hear.

A. I had a conversation with a very successful member of our WOI community recently, who had held CEO positions at several major retailers. She confessed she had lost hope that we were capable of moving the needle towards gender equality in the workplace in our generation. I asked her to think about her life fifteen years ago. Before Facebook had us connecting to our entire high school graduating class and that nice couple you met on vacation in Cuba. Before Google really figured out how to instantly connect us to all the world's information, literally changing how our brains are wired. Before smartphones turned us into zombie sidewalk shufflers. As a society, we've completely changed how we interact with each other, how we share and access information, and how we go about our day. In fifteen years. We are VERY capable of change, we just need to guide the journey.

Q: What do you feel is your greatest achievement?

A. Choosing to take over Women of Influence after only working at the company full-time for a month.

Connect with Stephania and Women of Influence through her LinkedIn page!

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