Before we introduce you to a new friend on Meet MyFriends!, we would like to introduce you to an important day that memorializes and bring back awareness towards women’s rights! Whether that would be in terms of societal rights, political rights, to economical rights of women all over the world.
Every 8th of March is International Women’s Rights Day. It started with a marching protest in 1908 that consisted of over 15,000 women in New York, demanding higher wages from their employers, as well as reducing working hours to 8 hours. They also demanded the right to vote! Clara Zetkin, a German activist suggested that the 8th of March of every year be an acknowledged international day to promote equal rights in the year 1910, and this day has been observed all over the world as International Women’s Rights day!
In honor of this occasion, MyFriend would like to introduce you to Linda, the CPO of MyFriend, and her views from a lens of a woman in the workplace! Alongside the development of the MyFriend app through her experiences, since it was just a simple idea until now, with over 50,000+++ downloads with a unique company culture you can’t find anywhere else!
Hi, so I’m Linda, I’m 45 years old and I’m the co-founder and CPO of MyFriend.
Mathieu who is the CEO of MyFriend was our neighbor and our client as well, my husband and I have a web agency and we did some websites for him. He used to come and see us about ideas. He wanted to absolutely launch an app, he wanted to to something special. He kept on coming with ideas, which we were not always okay with. One day he came like “okay, I’ve got THE idea!” So we say, yeah okay let’s listen to it. It turns out that he wanted to do a Tinder for pets. Like you know, matchmaking, and getting some friends to go to the park. For the first time, we were not dismissing the idea, but rather “Oh, there’s something interesting here.” The day after, Kevin, came up with what basically, Kevin my husband, what basically became the roadmap to the whole app that we see today, and that you’re going to see after, and the whole idea was made in basically one night. From there we partnered up and started working on this. Really the idea is to have this one-stop solution, to have everything that a pet parent needs in just one app.
For this one! [points at Harry]
To be totally honest, I’m 45 and I’m still figuring out what I want to be. But I think my whole career built up to this. I had my first daughter when I was 18 years old, so I dropped out of school, and started working in F&B, F&B being restaurants and hotels. Started in the service industry at 20, a position as a manager, and I actually realized that being a manager was something I really liked. What I mean is organizing things, taking care of teams, that was really something that I really liked. So I went from F&B, then event management, working in events like the Cannes film festival, or the Monaco Yacht Show, because I was back in Europe. Then I also did consultations for F&B again, some movie shootings where I was doing location scouting, all these kinds of stuff, and I think that everything built up, plus when I arrived in Thailand, we opened this web agency with my husband, and everything goes around project management. Whatever the industry, project management, at the end, it’s the same. We just need to adapt to different industries, to different needs. That’s what I think I’m good at.
So a dream I’m not sure, it wasn’t a goal initially, but for sure, it is something that uses all my experiences, all my skills, and that at the end, yeah. I was made to do this.
So I have two cats, Hekate and Fellini, and I have Harry, my puppy, newly adopted puppy, very cute but very naughty!
Yes they do, I mean it’s my case study. So I do know what issues I have, it inspires me to create new features, new things that our users might need. Because I’m a user myself! I mean, I have cats and dogs, I see what are the joys, I also see the pain points. They are, for sure, an inspiration, and actually, the inspiration was also Charlotte, my 15 years old Brussels Griffon that passed last summer. We really started this for her as well.
They can expect an app that makes their life easier and more convenient. I mean, we’re all… [hello, naughty boy!]
To help, [laughs]
What I think we’re trying to do is to make all pet parents’ life easier and more convenient. We all have super busy lives between work, family, friends, activities that we might have. So if we can take care of our pets, the best way possible, but make it easy, that’s really what we thrive for. We do have things like the insurance, which is easy to access and to subscribe to, we have the Shop, we have amazing content made by our amazing team of content writers, and all information that you need to take care of your pets. So if you have the app today, you should know that there’s much more coming. We’re going to have a travel section, we’re going to have hotel bookings, you will be able to book services like pet walking, pet sitters, pet boarding, all these kinds of things that you need in your daily life with your pet, you will have it in the app. So yes, I would say make life of pet parents easier and more convenient.
I would say, first of all, the angle of being a woman, stop apologizing for everything. Stop saying “I’m sorry I have an idea,” I think we are kind of trained to do this. I think we should stop. To have imposter syndrome is one thing. We all do. I still have it today, despite doing everything that I’m doing. But be confident in your skills, and be confident in what you’re doing, but also put your ego aside. That’s for men and women equally. When you are a leader, you need a team. You’re not a leader if you don’t have a team. So my job today is to hire the best team possible. To have people who are able to bring their own skills, knowledge, and expertise to the app, to help me and Mathieu bring the vision that we have to life. So I would say there’s a lot of things that you could be, but I think that being able to build the right team, for me, is the most important and to have empathy, for me anyways it’s very important, to make sure that everyone is happy. Cuz I guess that if they are happy, well, they do a better job. So at the end, I’m happy, and the users as well.
Yes, I got told several times that, because I was a woman, and I was young, that I basically hit my glass ceiling. That I couldn’t expect to go any further up. I was very lucky to have my first boss, an American woman, who believed in my skills, who believed in my potential, so I had a management position at a very young age. I was lucky for that. But then, after I was repeatedly told that I was too young, that I was a woman, that it was not my place, that there was a glass ceiling. My answer to that was basically to quit F&B because it was a male-dominated world, and apparently the only thing I could do to evolve was to go into housekeeping or to do marketing, which both are totally fine, but it wasn’t what I was doing. I was really into F&B. So yeah, I had some obstacles, but then I think the way I dismissed them was by creating my own work environment, with my own rules and to respond to myself. Which is maybe I am my own obstacle sometimes.
So it’s not a piece of advice, but something that I saw and I try to apply as well. So I was talking about this American woman, who believed in me, so that was Kate from the Stars and Bars in Monaco, which was an American restaurant. She believed in mindset over skillset. And I still apply this today. I don’t really, I read CVs when I receive them, I see the diplomas, I see the schools, yes of course, it’s important. But, it’s not the most important. For me, I value much more, the mindset of the person’s skills, you can always learn with the correct mindset. If you have the correct mindset, you’re able to evolve, you’re able to learn, you can reconsider your choices, you’re able see what you are doing wrong or right and evolve. And you can gain more skills. So I would say that observing this woman, see how she gave a chance to a 20 years old girl with no diploma, nothing, self-taught, believed in me and let me managed over 90 persons for my first position, yeah she was my inspiration, and that was really how I try to lead my career after.
Thank you for mentioning that it’s International Women’s Rights day, so this is the french way of naming this day. In most countries, they call it Women’s day. For me, it’s very important to keep the whole denomination, It’s about having equal rights, and it’s about all these women before, and now who are still fighting to have equal access to education, equal rights, and equal opportunities. For me, it’s all about equality. It’s not about being better or saying that men are bad, not at all. It’s about having the same opportunities, it’s about having the choice to do whatever you want to do. Do you want to have a career? Do you want to be childless? Yes? Good for you. Do you want to be a stay-at-home mom and raise your kids? Fine. If it’s your choice and if it’s not made because of society, culture, religion, or people, your partner, tells you to do it. If it’s your choice, everything goes. So for me, it’s really important to say that yeah, it’s Women’s Rights day. Very very important for me.
MyFriend would like to thank Linda for agreeing to this interview and saying hi to all our readers! All while giving us a fresh and insightful perspective of being a woman in the workplace – directly from the woman who has been through it all! As well as being a fellow pet lover who helped built the MyFriend application from the ground up, especially made for pet parents to give them the most convenient experience pawsible!
Stay tuned for next week’s Meet MyFriend’s episode! Don’t forget to follow us to stay in the loop!
💙 Meet MyFriends! is here to take you all to get to know new friends! Whether it’s fellow parents, business owners, or professionals in the field, pet lovers get to hear all the wholesome stories they have to offer!
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