Celebrating Women in Technology at INTERSPORT INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION

Laetitia Kotsiopoulos is the Business Services Manager here at INTERSPORT INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION. She has worked in the BERN office for over 3 years and manages a team of 3. She is responsible for the global implementation and service management of the Data Exchange Platform (DEP). Her previous job before moving to IIC was HEAD of IT at INTERSPORT UK.

Originally from France, Laetitia enjoys running, travelling, and gathering with friends. At IIC she is involved in many employee activities. She is an active member of the Company Culture Group and is known for her positivity and enthusiasm within the group. She is also a respected mentor and is passionate about the promotion of women in the workplace especially around women in tech roles.

What do you enjoy the most about IIC?
I have been part of the INTERSPORT family for many years and working at IIC has been the highlight of my career so far. There are so many wonderful things about working here. I absolutely love the teamwork and the respect that we all have for one another. It is fabulous place to work with happy, positive people who are passionate about their jobs and respect each other.

Why did you choose to be a Business Services Manager?
I originally came from a marketing background but very early in my career I had the opportunity to work for a retail software provider as a trainer where I discovered the world of IT and became specialized in project management.

Having said that I am not a “technical person” although I feel my current position suits my skills and personality as I promote concepts and ideas.

In your opinion, why is it important that more women take up roles in IT?
Despite much progress being made, only 20-30% of the European Tech workforce are women. We need more women to taking up leadership roles within Tech. We need to use these women as role models, for those who are beginning their careers or who want a change, to encourage confidence in applying.

A career in IT can be challenging and rewarding. I believe we should encourage all female students to be curious about STEM subjects and to consider careers in Technology, if we do this, I think the gender representation will improve.

What single piece of advice would you give to anyone wanting to start in IT?
If you work hard, believe in yourself, and are willing to make a difference, then working in Technology could be a successful career move.

Do you think allyship plays an important role in gender balance? How can colleagues support gender equality?
It is great if colleagues, managers, and senior executives support gender equality. Senior Leadership has the responsibility to make supportive decision and prevent equality blockers.

What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women at work?
The Covid 19 Pandemic! Generally women are becoming disadvantaged through remote working including balancing childcare, home schooling and succeeding at work.

Once the “new normal” has arrived, the old cliché of women wanting it all (having kids and wanting a career) is achievable. When given the flexibility, women can thrive within their careers and be also be the best at whatever they want to be.

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
It is very important to have role models and a network of support. My mother is my first role model. She is a wonderful human being. She is strong, loving and caring. Being a working mother is tough and my mum did it with such self confidence in a very demanding situation, day in, day out.

My current manager, Maria Seljeson, is a great role model to me. Hats off to Maria who like me is a working mum and conquers the business world daily. Both of us lift each other up and believe in equality and opportunities for women.

What is the most important message you want to send out to women considering a career in IT?
I would like everyone who is considering working in IT to take a moment to reflect on how they can contribute and make positive change within an organization. What are your personal values, do they match with the company you are applying to?

But most importantly, always embrace a career and a job you are passionate about and believe me it will pay off!