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Elisabetta Romano

Vice President, Ericsson

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

I was ready to lean in, using the confidence and drive I had embraced throughout my life.

When you grow up in a small town in southern Italy, you know you’re not at the center of the world, geographically speaking. You are aware a world of opportunity is out there, yet it takes a certain inner strength to push yourself forward, leaving the comfort of home behind to experience it for yourself.

From a young age my parents taught my two brothers, sister and me that we could accomplish great things if we push for them. Most importantly they instilled confidence in my abilities and a belief that helped me to tell myself nothing is too difficult or impossible to achieve.

I studied technology at my local university and then worked as a software developer. With my first paycheck I bought myself a suitcase, I was that determined to travel and see the world. Only a few years into my career I took an opportunity in another country. It was difficult to leave – my brother begged me not to go – but I drew on the confidence instilled in me from my upbringing and pushed ahead.

After 12 years of software developer and systems engineer roles in the telecoms industry, I moved more to the business side. At the time, there weren’t many females in this type of position, even at companies that prioritized diversity. But I was ready to lean in, using the confidence and drive I had embraced throughout my life that ultimately took me from a young girl in Southern Italy to running a global business portfolio, overseeing everything from strategy and engineering to marketing, sales, and customer support teams.

And that confidence and drive is how I’ve landed where I am today – Vice President and Head of Ericsson’s TV & Media Business – where I am relishing the challenge of leading one of the fastest growing parts of Ericsson. It has taken me to the heart of the global tech industry, Silicon Valley, where we are truly taking on a dynamic and changing industry. Technology innovation has sparked a TV revolution and I’m proud to be part of a company that’s reshaping the way we consume media and entertainment.

I’ve always found that women have a tendency to think less of themselves, undervaluing their remarkable contributions to the workplace as compared to their male counterparts. However, I’ve never had that tendency, thanks to my family and upbringing. They instilled a confidence in me to the point that I never thought I would not make it.

It takes lots of work, drive, patience, energy, dedication, curiosity and willingness to embrace change to be successful. Being confident about what you accomplish and showcasing your accomplishments is also important to ensure you’re communicating your value and getting what you deserve.

When I discovered this, I applied it and it has helped me to do better. While I keep learning every day, self-confidence is still the biggest attribute that I believe can help you to lean in successfully to tackle any challenge, no matter where you are in your career or where you are in the world.