What I learned about female leadership at the Women Leadership Bootcamp

Learnings about how we can lead a team (and ourselves) and reinvent our careers

Juliane Mazucki

💻 Location Platform | Software Engineering Manager at iFood

In this article I explain my learnings about how we can lead a team (and ourselves), as well as how to reinvent our careers.

Women Leadership Bootcamp has the purpose of developing skills in women so that they become leaders of themselves and leaders in the market. The event features facilitators, who bring information and practical dynamics, combined with their own personal and professional experiences.

Leading yourself

The first step in the pursuit of self-leadership is self-knowledge. We need to reflect on our life story, know ourselves as women in all aspects: race, gender identity, sexual orientation and social, physical and emotional context.

We must observe ourselves to know what we want for ourselves, become aware of our internal conversation, taking advantage of it, but being careful not to make it just a new demand. Self-knowledge allows us to know our insecurities, and this brings the opportunity to identify what the triggers for these insecurities are and what actions to take to reduce or nullify their effects.

Many studies show that women tend to be more insecure at work than men, give up on leadership more easily and tend to be more affected by impostor syndrome. We are always faced with the belief that we do not have the necessary skill and knowledge to handle what needs to be done, without even failing.

There is no magic solution to these problems, and that is why we need to invest and take care of ourselves, to recognize and neutralize these “ghosts”.

We have not, throughout school history, had a subject that teaches us to recognize our feelings. However, it is important to invest in this skill and ask ourselves every day how we are feeling, know how to name our emotions, so that we have control over our reactions to situations that arise on a daily basis and choose how to act.

We must look to our ancestry for examples of women we consider strong, and identify their strengths and weaknesses. What makes them happy and what makes them sad, and how they see us. The women in our family can say a lot about ourselves.

Other women awaken and influence us, but we need to “demystify the figures”, not idealize, because everyone suffers and everyone needs to live day to day. We need to identify, among what we do, what we do because we want to and what we do because of the will or need of others.

In elementary school, a teacher told me that I had a leadership spirit. And indeed I had. I always participated in elections for class representative and other “positions” at school. I have already held technical leadership positions, but my insecurity did not allow me to go further, even though there were new opportunities.

At one point in my career, I accepted a leadership position without wanting it, just because I understood that it was what was expected of me, and that, if I didn't contribute in this way, I wouldn't be able to contribute in any other way. I wouldn't say it was a total failure, but it was very far from success, and it had unpleasant psychological consequences for me, even though it was a very friendly environment, with people I appreciated (and still do).

Psychological help encouraged me to recognize what my desires are, and today I occupy a leadership position that I not only accepted, but also desired.

Leadership team

Self-sabotage is a real thing. And we, women, are generally educated to be led, to give up the spotlight in order to be welcomed. So we need to develop our way of overcoming these obstacles. Having women leaders is not a favor, but rather a smart decision, as we bring profits to companies.

A leader is the person who changes the context, leading a group from problem to solution, bringing effective transformation. But we don't need to formally be leaders of a team at work to act like one. Leadership manifests itself in all aspects of our lives: at school, in family and romantic relationships, in motherhood, etc.

A leader needs:

  • Make difficult decisions, but make decision criteria transparent;
  • Have self-knowledge to seek emotional and psychological stability, not losing emotions under the radar;
  • Have and maintain your code of honor, know what is tolerable and what is non-negotiable;
  • Have interpersonal skills to influence the company's culture and vision and develop people;
  • Focus on the team.

The leadership stages are:

  1. Engage: get to know your team, their stories and values to be able to connect their values to the company's values and objectives;
  2. To delegate: identify each person’s skills and points to develop and develop them; remembering that you have other responsibilities and cannot do everything;
  3. Demand: it is necessary to have a task schedule, follow up and give assertive, specific feedback (generalization closes the communication channel), which addresses behavior and proposes solutions;
  4. To celebrate: we need to give personalized rewards for each person, and this requires knowing what pleases and satisfies each individual.

A leader's main skill is getting to know the people on their team, so it is necessary to invest quality time in this.

A leader can be more passive or more aggressive. We need to identify where we are on this ruler, because what we should pursue is the assertiveness, which means expressing ourselves without causing pain or feeling embarrassed.

All leaders need to have their leadership manifesto, which follows the model:

  1. Productive outrage (why)
  2. Measurable result (what)
  3. Emotional resource (how)

“I do/accomplish/lead (2) using/through (3) because I believe/uphold/pursue (1).”

Even though I believe that my manifesto is not ready, I will share with you what I built during the training:

“I promote the learning of my team and family through knowledge sharing and networking because I believe in improving people's lives through knowledge.”


We need to learn that we are the ones who should make our career plan, not the company we work for. And that, if we don't make our ambitions clear, no one will simply guess them. On the other hand, we have to understand that not everyone has the same ambitions — this is important, and needs to be recognized and respected.

When considering working in a company, we first need to know its culture, check if its values are aligned with ours or if we can connect them in some way. And we need to be aware that more people are fired for behavior that is not in line with what is expected within the company than for low productivity.

We always need to align expectations with people, at work (managers, partners, employees) and in personal life (relationships, family). We have to know how to be political.

Our life becomes overloaded every day, so we need to map out the people who have direct influence on our work/personal life and those who do not have direct influence. But it is necessary to maintain contact to make the necessary advances possible. Based on this mapping, we must define actions to ensure the collaboration of these people. It is necessary to prioritize the important people in our lives and the (few) battles worth fighting that will help us achieve our goals.

We cannot count on people's common sense, because common sense is different for everyone. Therefore, it is necessary to document and agree on the rules to be followed.

Since we talk openly about how much we collaborate in the project, we also need to be aware and know how to talk about the financial gain we generate.

We must choose our personal projects in the company, the careers we want to contribute to.

If you wish to change companies, follow the steps below:

  1. Activate your networking.
  2. Choose 5 companies you want to work for.
  3. Develop an action plan for each selected company.

I confess that I never realized that I had applied these three steps when I decided to leave the first company I worked for (for 15 years), and that is what brought me to the Movile Group, in 2017, and to iFood, in 2019.

Designing your career reinvention

Some precautions that can make a LinkedIn profile more attractive.

  1. Always detail all job changes within the same company to make it clear that you have not become stagnant.
  2. Select the companies you are interested in and highlight your achievements that align with the profile of these companies, directing your profile towards what you want for your career.
  3. If you are in the Technology field, just have a LinkedIn profile 🙂

When being hired by a company, regardless of seniority, no one expects a person to arrive delivering a large volume of tasks in the first few weeks, but it is expected that they use this time to get to know the company and the people. Build relationships and try to understand more than just your area of expertise.

In conclusion, I see how important self-knowledge is, knowing what makes us happy and what makes us insecure, so that we can work with all aspects of our personality.

Self-knowledge also helps us get to know others, allowing us to know how to deal with people, making the best of our personal and professional relationships. Finally, in addition to knowing our qualities and skills, we need to make them clear so that others also recognize them.

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