Alessia Gasponi, Market Innovation Consultant, Softlab S.p.A

28 Mar 2019 17:20 | Anonymous

This month we had the pleasure of interviewing our Women Talent Pool Participant Alessia Gasponi. She presently works at Softlab as Market Innovation Consultant and has extensive experience in the field of Communications. Alessia sheds light on the effects of digital transformation and pinpoints the fundamental factors that businesses must consider when taking steps into this futuristic era! Further discussions around the recent changes Softlab has undergone, both in terms of the newly available services and the internal restructuring which has seen an increase in employee satisfaction, are included! Lastly, Alessia shares a life changing moment which allowed her to reflect and put into perspective, the important elements in life. Eager to know more? Read the interview below to find out!

Having extensive experience in the field of Communications, how has corporate communication, digital marketing and social media communication evolved, specifically so with the rise of Social Media Marketing?

The spread of digital has changed consumption, perception, usability and the use of goods and services, with the corporate communication sector having also been affected. Until about 15 years ago, corporate communication meant just a good company profile and product leaflets presented by a good sales manager in a face to face interaction, delegating to the institutional sites and having a good formal presence. Today, companies must not only be present with a graphic connotation that makes them recognizable but must take actions to consciously produce fresh content on their channels.

Social networks are a showcase of company’s reputation: it opens up the opportunity of increased visibility that, if properly exploited, allows small entrepreneurial realities to emerge. Reputation is an important form of competitive advantage as it is an intangible value rooted in the experiences of consumers and audience. In this way, it is not something that can be replicated or imitated by competitors, but it is a distinctive quality of each company.  For this reason, companies must be very careful about what they publish, as users will only interact with interesting and unique contents.    

Social networks are a showcase of company’s reputation: it opens up the opportunity of increased visibility that, if properly exploited, allows small entrepreneurial realities to emerge.

Softlab was recently awarded the “Best Job Italia 2019” title. The award was given to Softlab for its “formidable corporate welfare policies and superb working environment”. What measures has Softlab put in place to ensure this award and how do you think Softlab differs to other companies with regards to its welfare policies and working environment?  

Our new CEO, Giovanni Casto, introduced a new business style that has shaped the structure of the company to how it is today. One of his first actions was to reserve a special venue for the company, therefore Softlab is situated at the heart of the city in Rome, in a historic building. The richness and elegance of the internal and external architectural details, together with the importance of the decorative details, makes the structure one of the most expressive works of Mediterranean architecture and an exclusive venue for our company. 

Regarding the market, Softlab made vast investments in Cyber ​​Security and IoT, and introduced new research laboratories for studying new technologies. Internally, a Job System pattern was introduced in which objectives for each individual resource and training plan were challenged and evaluated. A rewarding scheme was also put in place to ensure every employee was fairly recognized for their achievements, not just individuals in senior positions.  

One of the distinctive elements of our company is the strong sensitivity of our board members on social issues, with an active commitment to support female victims of violence and with the aim of fostering females into strategical roles within the company. From Client Operations Management to Internal Operations Management, and from Compliance, Strategic Planning, Resource Planning and, last but not least, Market Innovation, women are increasingly visible in all these areas.

Personally, after several years of corporate communication, I was provided with the opportunity to convey my marketing and analysis knowledge through highly innovative and strategic projects for the company. Softlab’s distinctive element is certainly the strong sensitivity of our board members on social issues, with an active commitment to support female victims of violence.

Softlab’s distinctive element is certainly the strong sensitivity of our board members on social issues, with an active commitment to support female victims of violence.

For nearly 20 years you have worked in the Tech Sector. How best would you define digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the integration of technology and models coming from digitization in all business areas. It is a real change of leadership, with the introduction of new business models and a greater use of technology to improve the experience of all the stakeholders.People are at the heart of digital transformation, because without the right talents and strong leadership that leads the changing process, companies will not be able to offer a high level of services and customer satisfaction. Digital transformation is the integration of technology and models coming from digitization in all business areas.

Digital transformation is the integration of technology and models coming from digitization in all business areas.

You are currently participating in our Women Talent Pool Program. What does the program mean to you and what is the most valuable lesson you have learnt? 

I lacked an international experience in my career and thanks to WIL Board Member Emanuela Palazzani I discovered the WTP. The programme is offering me the opportunity to learn from a range of different professionals who come from varying sectors.  Thanks to the meetings in Paris, London and Brussels, I had the opportunity to listen to the valuable advice of WIL members, and thanks to the many webinars, I was able to learn about the benefits of meditation and learn that it is a key element in the decision-making process. Finally, finding out that women like Ariane Gorin, President of Expedia Partner Solutions, was a former WTP participant like me, fills me with pride. 

Lastly, I cannot forget the exhortation of WIL member Anne Houtman, during my first debate on the inauguration day in Paris last year: “Be proud Alessia! Try, try, and if you fail, try again!” 

The Women Talent Pool programme is offering me the opportunity to learn from a range of different professionals who come from varying sectors.

What do you like to do in your free time and why is it important for you to maintain a good work life balance?

In my free time, I like to relax with my family, go out with friends and cook for them, but I also love taking time to read a book or watch movies. I don’t have children, and this element allows me to manage my time and relax by doing a lot of sports. I swim almost every morning before going to work, and the daily commitment is stimulating for me and provides discipline in my life.

Have you ever had a life changing moment that has changed the way you perceive situations?

In 2004 I had a bad car accident that forced me to be in hospital for around one year, and I still carry the aftermath of the event. I consider myself a privileged person because life has given me the opportunity to stop and consider what is really important in life, starting with the loved ones we take for granted. With the help of my parents and faith, I managed to live with some daily difficulties and find new goals. After the event, I came back to university for graduation and got my current job.

I strongly believe that every supposedly negative event- either in private or in professional life-can help one grow.

I strongly believe that every supposedly negative event- either in private or in professional life-can help one grow.

At WIL, we have the tradition of concluding the interview with a question from Proust’s questionnaire. We have picked the following question for you: What is the quality you most like in female leader?

I am fully convinced that leadership is an innate virtue that reaches its completeness when it meets confirmation in a professional position.

Determination and integrity are surely qualities that I mostly appreciate in a female leader, because if it is true that we must be firm and resolute in our professional life. We can never lose sight of our integrity. As Emanuela Palazzani often says: “My integrity cannot be traded”.


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