Europe, Interviews

Stella Tsitsoula – Senior Communications Consultant, Tech & Cybersecurity Industry Specialized, CEO at RED.comm

The technology industry should play a more active role in educating students on technology and how it is influencing the world we live in.

Stella Tsitsoula is a communications consultant specialized in the Tech and Cybersecurity industry who works with multi-national organizations and universities to help them understand emerging technologies, manage risk and strategize on a future roadmap to thrive in changing times. She also has her own PR and Communications agency. Stella Tsitsoula has a B.Sc degree in Electronic Computing Systems Engineering from the Piraeus University of Applied Sciences and a PGCert in Management of Public Relations of the University of Athens. She is a member of the Greek Periodical Press Association and International Federation of Journalists.
For more than 20 years she holds senior management positions with extensive experience in media and communications business. Excellent background in corporate communications process design, development and scheduling.  As editorial director she managed the total editorial activities of a business unit producing magazines in the fields of computers, mobile phones, digital imaging home entertainment. She is experienced in strategy development and management with strong critical thinking and organizational skills.

In a Nutshell: Tell us a bit about your job and what role technology plays in it?

Currently, I’m running RED.comm, a communications agency specialized in providing services for the information technology and cyber security market. Before that, I worked as a technology journalist holding also some management positions in publishing houses. As I really enjoyed my working in this field, I took the chance to explore more deeply the high-tech industry by establishing a communications agency specialized in high-technology sector.

My passion is about bringing technology into others life too and not just using it because it’s there.

In these circumstances, technology has definitely made my life better. Every day I use smart devices and their integrated technology in order to improve my life, into my family, my work and even my hobbies. It seems amazing if you realize that you can keep all your activities on it. I’m really impressed how something simple like a smartphone app has made effortless some of the annoying process and I’m always looking for ways in which I could apply technology in a similar way for my everyday work. During the lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic we organized our social life in WhatsApp or Skype which was a very convenient solution to something logistically complex. That means that I definitely “live” with technology. My passion is about bringing technology into others life too and not just using it because it’s there.

Where did your professional journey start and how did you get to where you are now?

This journey started in the 90s with journalism. When I was a student, I started working in the technology sector. I worked for about 15 years as a technology journalist for computer magazines. At the same time I started my own communications agency, RED.comm which specializes in technology clients. For the last 5 years I have been involved more actively in the field of cyber security, supporting actions taken in this field, at domestic and European level.

In fact there are so many ways to get more useful working experience. The important thing is that the wider the range of your experiences the more specific your choices are, focusing on your best choice. This is what I did.

What is the greatest transformation in technology you’ve witnessed in your career?

Thinking about the distant days of the 90’s when I took my first professional steps, it becomes clear that the first decade of the 21st century was the era of a real revolution in the field of digital transformation.

Can you imagine that when I started working we didn’t use the Internet? Later appeared e-mail, Google, social media etc. And these are just some of the big evolutions that have radically changed the modern societies. Technology has changed the way we communicate, the way of shopping, the way we do business, the way we move, in general the way we live.

The easy access to smart devices gave the chance to people in every continent to access the web. The popularity of smartphones has prompted the creation of an entire ecosystem of mobile apps and tools that people now consider integral parts of their lives.

When you think about ‘women’ and ‘technology’ what comes to your mind first?

My first thought is that it’s time to narrow the gap. Despite decades of progress towards workplace equality, women remain woefully underrepresented in the technology industry.

The gender imbalance in technology doesn’t just represent a missed opportunity for women and society, but also for businesses. There’s a growing body of evidence – supported by everyday experience in organisations worldwide – that having a more diverse workforce, including an equitable gender balance, is better for the business itself. This reflects the wide range of benefits come from workplace diversity, ranging from the ability to engage customers more effectively, to enhanced abilities in areas where women are particularly strong, such as problem-solving and emotional intelligence.

We always hear there are not enough women working in Tech. What needs to happen to change that, which steps should be done to achieve gender equality in tech?

The problem seems to start from the early school years. Girls are less willing to study tech subjects in school – and this gap continues even to university. More the boys than the girls are studying in the tech and engineering fields. The main reasons for girls not choosing to study technology topics include: being better or gaining better grades in humanitarian or other fields of studies, don’t  find a very interesting subject in technology or not relevant to the career they aim to choose. So girls are thinking ahead – but they can’t imagine themselves involved in a career in technology.

The technology industry should play a more active role in educating students on technology and how it is influencing the world we live in. Additionally, must form a more attractive working environment where women will be able to reach their full potential. They can start with initiatives to support women to get more senior positions with mentoring etc.

Which was the best decision in your career?

When I was about 34 years old, married and with my twin babies and very good resume filled with remarkable positions and studies I decided to change it all. Till then I was working as a journalist having interesting business trips around the world and attending exceptional events and business gatherings. At that point I made a decision to change my career, moving from a non-stop working way to a more “static” one. This may be the most important decision that I have ever made.

I settled up a home office and I started my own PR Agency. After two years I eventually moved to an office environment by hiring people. As a former journalist I kept daily learning more and more about technology and PR. That was almost 15 years ago and I made it mainly by staying focused on my goals and always improving my skill set.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 14-year-old self?

Very good question! My daughters are at 14 now and I see this as an excellent opportunity to give them an advice which I would probably give to myself at this age. At 14, most kids are worried about earning good grades at school, having friends etc.

This age (around 14) is a very important turning point in life. It is time we should start thinking about future, about the types of profession we prefer to follow and how to handle people. It is also important to thing how to stand out of the crowd, doing something worthwhile.

This age is much different for girls than for boys. Boys are still shy and more immature at this age. But for a 14-year-old girl it is starting the transformation from a teenage girl to a woman. They have to embrace it, taking the best of it but don’t abuse it. They have to get ready for high school and harder classes by doing their best now. They have to catch every chance given. But above all, every girl and boy at 11-15 should enjoy this period of life like I did.

Stella Tsitsoula is a communications consultant specialized in the Tech and Cybersecurity industry who works with multi-national organizations and universities to help them understand emerging technologies, manage risk and strategize on a future roadmap to thrive in changing times. She also has her own PR and Communications agency. Stella Tsitsoula has a B.Sc degree in Electronic Computing Systems Engineering from the Piraeus University of Applied Sciences and a PGCert in Management of Public Relations of the University of Athens. She is a member of the Greek Periodical Press Association and International Federation of Journalists.
For more than 20 years she holds senior management positions with extensive experience in media and communications business. Excellent background in corporate communications process design, development and scheduling.  As editorial director she managed the total editorial activities of a business unit producing magazines in the fields of computers, mobile phones, digital imaging home entertainment. She is experienced in strategy development and management with strong critical thinking and organizational skills.

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