W4IT: Could you tell us more about who you are and what you do, your leadership style and philosophy?
MM: I am a Financial Advisor with 13 years of experience in the financial services sector. I am married and have a 3-month old son. My leadership style involves good communication as I think it forms an integral part of any working relationship. I believe that at the core of one’s philosophy is the ability to communicate. The most important skill for leaders is the ability to communicate effectively. Communication is what separates successful leaders from less successful ones.
W4IT: What has been the most career-defining moment for you?
MM: Having worked as a licensed Financial Advisor for the past 10 years, I was recently appointed as one of the Voting Members of the Company’s Investment Committee. Such a role involves holding regular meetings to assess investment performance, review financials and develop investment policies and objectives for the Company. One also needs to have the necessary skills and abilities to be able to carry out these duties.
W4IT: How have technology and digital skills been relevant in your career progression?
MM: Technology and Finance go hand in hand, now more than ever. In my role as a Financial Advisor, digital skills are of utmost importance. These are amongst others required for research, Customer Relationship Management and to abide and keep abreast with ongoing rules and regulations imposed by the MFSA. Being able to master these digital skills helps me to carry out my role effectively and efficiently and hence progressing in my career.
W4IT: How important do you think developing digital skills is nowadays and why?
MM: The digital age is expanding into all areas of our lives, and it is not just those who work in IT that will need to be alert to this change. Digital communication has become pervasive, especially for success in the workplace. Digital Skills allow businesses to build customer relationships. Businesses need to respond to changing expectations, engaging with their customers and building relationships through a diverse range of channels - these could include email, social media, mobile apps and more.
W4IT: How important is it in the context of women?
MM: Possessing Digital Skills is very effective especially for women. One of the main reasons for this is the greater flexibility it offers with working as per one’s timings and/or working from home. Being a working mother myself, I know how important this is as it gives me the opportunity to continue working and developing my career without hindering the ability to have a successful and healthy family life.
W4IT:Do you notice a lack of women in leadership positions? If so, why do you think this is the case?
MM: The representation of women in senior management positions has increased over the years, but the obstacles still remain. Statistically, Malta scores low among EU countries in its representation of women holding leadership positions. The main catalyst for this, in my opinion, is the expectation that society imposes on women and mothers. A woman is expected to bear children and shoulder most of their upbringing. As a result, women are made to feel guilty about not fulfilling these expectations and consequently prioritise family responsibilities above anything else.
W4IT: What is one major leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?
MM: One major lesson I’ve learnt in my career is that everyone can help you learn something. Everyone has their own style of leadership and observing how others handle themselves is a great way to learn. Whether you agree with how a situation is handled or not, the experience can teach you how to approach a similar issue in the future. Leadership is a constant assessment and readjustment, so the more you can learn from the experiences of others – good or bad– the better off you’ll be when you’re positioned to make the decisions.
W4IT: What advice would you give the next generation of female leaders?
My advice for the next generation of female leaders would be to work hard, believe in yourself and persevere.