Are you a woman and are you dreaming of pursuing a career as an entrepreneur? Follow the example of our CEO Katya Aricci who, interviewed by PWI, a non-profit association which helps to accelerate the move to gender balanced leadership, spoke about her values, the path that led her to managing an international agency and the difficulties she encountered along the way.
I started out as a legal and financial freelance translator but I wanted more contact with other people. I’m a very sociable person and I didn’t like working all on my own in my apartment. So, I decided to establish my own company and have people to work with. Right from the start, I decided to focus on specific translation industries: law, finance, and communications. These were the topics I enjoyed most both because I had had personal experience in these fields as a translator, and because I considered these to be interesting, premium sectors. Twenty-two years ago, most translation companies offered general translation services but I believed that offering highly specialized services would be an advantage for our success, and as indeed it proved to be.
I had two main sources of inspiration during this wonderful journey: the first was my love for languages and a service that could make the world more international. The idea of helping people from different countries to get closer and helping them to communicate has always appealed to me. I have also always believed in the value of people and working with people has always been the most enjoyable and inspiring part of my journey.
I like the idea that a company is a small world and I believe that an entrepreneur must create a positive working environment. I believe that it is really important that people are happy to work here at Arkadia: work is a very important part of our lives. And if you are happy at work then you’ll give back a great deal to the company. And understanding people is a very female characteristic.
I have actually been very lucky because I have never really experienced any bias as a female entrepreneur. The language industry is a female world and we’ve always made an effort to bring male talents into Arkadia. It is really important to integrate the two visions into the working teams.
My biggest struggle has actually been juggling work and family responsibilities. It hasn’t been at all easy to find a balance between running a business and a family, and long working hours have at times had an effect on my fatigue levels. Fatigue can make women want to give up at a certain point and this is something that should never happen. I think that there is a great deal to be done to change the mentality, with fathers helping out more in the family. But I am optimistic because I see that things are changing and companies are of course also responsible for this change. We have to understand that not only mothers but even fathers need the flexibility to take care of the family, for example when a child is ill.