JANA MARLE ZIZKOVA
Co-Founder & CEO, Meiro & Shelovesdata
(In her 50's)
Her story (as shared by her nominator)
As computer science major and an emigrant, Jana literally worked her way up to leadership roles in enterprise software firms and eventually founded her own business, consultancy first and product company later.
She is role model for everyone in our organisation, hiring female talents into our team, with a goal to help them grow and develop. She pours endless energy into people and into our non profit arm She Loves Data which is a vehicle to empower and enable more women to venture into tech related field. She also has more empathy and kindness than anyone I ever worked with in leadership roles.
In her words:
Entering into the unknown after quitting my corporate career and starting my own tech startup at the age of 47 and now managing 30+ people on 2 continents with many satisfied clients across APAC, ANZ and EU while at the same time starting and building the Shelovesdata non-profit movement and empowering over 13,000 women on 3 continents (5,000 of them in Singapore) with free data and tech education. Feedback from these women who are writing me back and tell me how they have strengthened, powered up and sped up their careers is really fulfilling.
Additionally, taking time off dedicated to myself - taking a break in my career for 3 years to sail around the world on a 38ft sailboat.
Biggest challenge thus far
At the age of 18, I ended up as a political refugee living without my family in a foreign country. Battling insecurities and worries while being often the only women in the room when my career in the computer science field took off, was something I lived with. I am proud of making it on my own terms, not compromising my own values and overcoming those feelings of "I am not good enough". I love to see my career advancement from tech marketing into GM positions in a global software company, to be now an entrepreneur. I am now encouraging other women to walk their own path with confidence via volunteering mentoring.
what judges say
What could have made her give up hope, made her even stronger - creating an organisation that empowers women!