In the third instalment of our nine-part series, Florine Eppe Beauloye, founder of Moonshot Digital and Luxe Digital writes about breaking barriers as a woman of colour in a male-dominated industry
To all the working women,
Know that we can move (digital) boundaries and rise above gender-based expectations, unconscious biases and stereotypes. Know that nothing noteworthy was created by accepting status quo and limitations.
From walking the dusty red roads of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival among Hollywood celebrities, it’s been quite a journey for me. Like many young girls, growing up, my father was my hero. In his early 20s, he moved to Africa, where he built schools and empowered thousands of people through his educational work. His wanderlust ignited my search for work beyond borders.
Yes, I attribute much of my own success as a leader to my late father. He taught me to always stand up for my voice, believe in my dreams and abilities to realise them. Launching my own business has been the most exciting, scary, hard, yet rewarding rollercoaster ride I have embarked on. These challenges and rewards come hand in hand with being an entrepreneur – woman or not.
It is an honour to be recognised as one of Asia’s Top 50 Women Leaders by the World Brand Congress and one of the Top 20 Shepreneurs to Watch by Insights Success. However, I don’t see myself within the confines of a ‘woman entrepreneur’. We should not let gender (or anything else for that matter) define who we are as leaders.
There will be times when it feels like the entire world is against you. Some people may even insist on reminding you that you do not fit in. As a mixed race woman in a so-called male-dominated sector, I get it.
Be resilient. I know that we, women, sometimes sell ourselves short. You will run into objections, sure. But they are not failures, just setbacks. Keep going, keep learning, keep loving. No matter our gender, background, ethnicity or flaws, we should not let our differences define our potential. Instead, let’s embrace them as fuel for our success. Go for your dream job, promotion or career change.
Success is made of micro-moments; these little magical instances in time have the power to brighten our day and shape our world in significant ways. I believe that there has never been a better time to be a woman leader than now.
Technology-enabled accessibility means more flexible working hours and new opportunities to balance the demands of home and business. Digital is also a fertile ground for women entrepreneurs to explore business opportunities, raise our voices and get heard.
As an avid believer in digital as an empowering catalyst for change, I am heartened by this promise of progress. It is my hope that my work and yours will inspire other women to follow their dreams, too. Don’t conform for comfort. It takes bravery to lean in and lead. But for the next generation of women – and for all the people’s lives we are transforming through the digital sphere – it is worth it.