Employee journey

Trailblazing women: A conversation with Lucie Calisto

We had the privilege of sharing a moment filled with passion and inspiration with Lucie Calisto, Vice President and Client Partner at Talsom, a dynamic and passionate woman who brings invigorating energy to her environment. 

With expertise in telecommunications, manufacturing, and financial services, she brilliantly guides many companies through their digital transition. 

Recently, Lucie participated in a special french episode of the “Women in Business” podcast, where she highlighted the presence of women in the technology sector, thus marking International Women’s Rights Day in 2023. 

Outside of her professional work, she is deeply involved with organizations such as La rue des Femmes, dedicated to relational health and support for homeless women, active with international organizations for causes related to children, and has the joy of mentoring 8 young girls in various countries. Lucie remains an unwavering pillar for the women around her, inspiring and encouraging them to pursue their dreams with determination. 

Talsom: What are the leadership opportunities for women in 2024? 

Lucie: To attract, retain, and promote women, it is essential to establish equality of opportunity. This requires a review of traditional selection criteria for positions, moving away from standards established by and for men. Companies must assess performance and potential differently, focusing on leadership skills rather than specific qualifications. 

Moreover, it is crucial to identify and provide advancement opportunities for those with potential and to focus on “soft skills” as much as technical expertise. These measures are essential for creating a diverse and inclusive talent pool. 

Talsom: What are the important qualities for leading during uncertain or difficult times? 

Lucie: Women play an essential role as leaders, and their impact is even more pronounced during challenging times. Their ability to bring a high level of empathy to the table, combined with strong communication skills, is of great value. In times of crisis or uncertainty, our primary concern should be the well-being of our teams, providing support and effective communication. This connection helps create a “safe space,” particularly crucial during the pandemic-induced remote work and economic crisis. 

“In these uncertain times, the key is to prioritize the well-being of your team, ensuring continuous support and effective communication.”

During a crisis, leaders must spend more time motivating and inspiring their teams, ensuring that each feels invested in the company’s mission and understands their role. Leaders must acknowledge these disparities and find ways to help everyone progress at their own pace and as comfortably as possible. 

Finally, maintaining a positive attitude and an optimistic perspective, even on challenging days, is paramount. This may involve adopting increased transparency in communication. 

Talsom: What advice would you give to future leaders? 

Lucie:  I have four pieces of sage advice for upcoming leaders striving to navigate the ever-changing world successfully and to steer their teams towards a future guided by insight and empathy. 

1. Capitalize on your strengths 

First and foremost, it is essential to recognize and capitalize on your own strengths. What you do well is often what you are most passionate about. Identify these aspects and seek to orient your role around these areas. Devoting more time to what you love will give you more energy and increase your performance. Above all, take care of yourself. 

2. Cultivate authenticity 

Authenticity in the workplace is a powerful but sometimes challenging quality to maintain. Remaining true to oneself is crucial in all spheres of professional and personal life. For me, embracing my nature as a female leader has greatly helped. Recognizing and valuing natural skills, such as empathy and active listening, helps build deeper relationships and solve problems more quickly. 

3. Lead for the common good 

Good leadership involves leading for the common good. In business, we are often all winners or losers together. It is therefore important to support struggling colleagues and offer help when needed. Remembering the support received throughout one’s journey can encourage reciprocation. 

4. Step out of your comfort zone 

Finally, stepping out of your comfort zone is essential for personal and professional growth. When an opportunity arises, even if it brings doubts, it is important to seize it. Women, in particular, may sometimes be more hesitant than men in these situations, but it is crucial to be bold, resilient, and move forward despite doubts and fears. Taking calculated risks and exploring new challenges are key elements to achieving goals and succeeding. 

“Don’t forget that your strongest skills are often those that align best with your passions. Seek to cultivate them and integrate them fully into your professional journey.”

Talsom: Why did you choose to get involved with La rue des Femmes? 

Lucie: I got involved with La rue des Femmes because I firmly believe in their mission to support homeless women and rebuild their lives. Homeless women are among the most vulnerable in our society, and I am passionate about the idea of offering them tangible support so that they can regain their dignity and reintegrate into society. It’s a cause that is deeply close to my heart because every woman deserves to have a safe home and opportunities for a better future. 

Talsom: What is your vision for the future of female leadership in the field of digital transformation? 

Lucie: I firmly believe that women will play a crucial role in shaping the future of digital transformation, ensuring that it is ethical, inclusive, and focused on the well-being of society as a whole. As leaders, we have a responsibility to create an environment where all voices are heard and valued, and I am convinced that women will continue to play a central role in building this future. 

Published on 20.03.2024