Bolognese Superwomen


Guest list:

Dora Carapellese – Freelance Consultant

Sara Roversi – Founder of You Can Group

Susanne Plaehn – Fundraiser for Opera House

Julie Wade – English Teacher at CLA, Unibo

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Dora Carapellese

What’s your job?

Communication Consultant and Public Relation, Press Office

What was your previous job?

I’ve been doing this since 1997.

Are you paid fairly?

No but in this period it’s not so easy to make more money.

How does it compare to working abroad?

Better, I immagine for 4 reasons:

1.More money; 2.More opportunities; 3.More liberal; 4.Gain more knowledge.

What are the advantages of working here?

1.Funny people; 2.To have family close by; 3.Good food

What are the disadvantages?

See above.

How difficult is it to advance up the career ladder?

I’m freelance so I don’t have this problem.

What are the main obstacles to career progression?

To know the right person.

A shy personality doesn’t help since we live in a competitive society so you need to be determined and aggressive.

Is sexism at work more prevalent here or abroad?

For here, most men still have the power at work. I know a great female manager who despite her success is far lower down the hierarchy than her male colleagues. I think it’s better in the north of Europe.

How difficult is it to bring up a family while working?

I don’t have any children but as a freelancer in a male dominated industry you have to fight for every tiny concession.

sara_roversi_11-4-15

Sara Roversi

What’s your job?

I’m a serial entrepreneur.

What was your previous job?

Events production when I was studying.

Are you paid fairly?

I’m happy with my circumstances.

How does it compare to working abroad?

There isn’t a lot of meritocracy, and politics and everything is a challenge, but if you succeed it’s a real satisfaction!

What are the advantages of working here?

It’s a beautiful city, high quality of life, a green city and high cultural level. There’s a strong industrial ecosystem and with the high speed train you can reach Milano and Rome quickly.

What are the disadvantages?

May be the cold weather in winter.

How difficult is it to advance up the career ladder?

Difficult than in other countries due to a general lack of competitiveness and lack of “startup mindset.”

What are the main obstacles to career progression?

There’s not enough innovation.

Is sexism at work more prevalent here or abroad?

I’ve never suffered sexism but may be in other sectors it’s very different.

How difficult is it to bring up a family while working?

I’m lucky because I have grandparents who live close and my kids started kinder garden early. The welfare system is improving and more companies are offering support to their employes.

Susanne Plaehn

What’s your job?

Head of Fundraising & Sponsorship Dept at Athens Opera House.

What was your previous job?

Senior manager in live performing arts organizations.

Are you paid fairly?

Salaries in Italy are on average lower than in northern Europe.

How does it compare to working abroad?

It’s 50% less well off.

What are the advantages of working here?

Good life style, wonderful food, great weather. Interesting tech industries are set up around the city and excellent craft industries.

What are the disadvantages?

Less money and fewer prospects.

How difficult is it to advance up the career ladder?

Difficult and complicated.

What are the main obstacles to career progression?

There’s an organizational and cultural barrier which makes things hard.

Is sexism at work more prevalent here or abroad?

I’ve never had any problems in this sense. There’s generally a good level of civil behavior and respect here.

How difficult is it to bring up a family while working?

Thankfully, there’s good welfare, educational and health systems which help a lot. The comune can also help out economically.

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Julie Wade

What’s your job?

I teach English at CLA, the University of Bologna language center.

What was your previous job?

I was the program coordinator for the Indiana University Bologna program.

Are you paid fairly?

It’s not ideal, but it provides a lot of security and generous maternity leave.

How does it compare to working abroad?

Teaching jobs require a lot of bureaucracy here with less importance on quality.

What are the advantages of working here?

My work environment is very international, which makes for a stimulating environment.

What are the disadvantages?

There aren’t many. 

How difficult is it to advance up the career ladder?

Landing a job with a contract “da dipendente” is much more difficult now.

What are the main obstacles to career progression?

Although  we are CEL (collaboratori ed esperti linguistici), absurdly, our contracts avoid stating we’re actually teachers meaning they pay us less.

Is sexism at work more prevalent here or abroad?

Sexism is less prevalent in Northern Italy than in other parts of the country.

How difficult is it to bring up a family while working?

The ‘nonni’ have an almost institutional role in helping out with grandchildren, making it convenient for working couples.

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