International Women’s Day - Interview with Ella Chilea, Partner, Audit & Assurance Services

This month, we are celebrating women all over the world. Happy International Women's Day!
#IWD2020 #EachforEqual

Ella, you’ve been a Partner of Mazars for a few years now, can you tell me how did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?

It is said that in order to be a good general you must be a soldier first. So I started as a soldier, just after graduating the university and then step by step I learned a lot of things, I met outstanding business professionals who were truly inspirational and aspirational for me, I worked, studied and sacrificed a lot, but at this point in time I am truly grateful for all the business opportunities and all of my career experiences.

Something that helped me along the way is the fact that I love what I'm doing and I love learning new things all the time. I believe that being stuck in a routine, it's not for me.

I am grateful to many people, but most of all I am grateful to my mom who always adressed my education as a high priority and emphasized a lot on its importance, especially because I am a woman.

Did you ever feel intimidated as a business woman?

I felt intimidated a lot at the beginning of my career, especially by other business women. After a while, by being involved in different situations I learned how to deal with it. We are taught that feelings must come second in business, but in my case intuition played a very important role.

Who inspired you and why?

As I mentioned before, many people inspired me in my journey and they continue to do so. I was lucky to work right from the beginning of my career with outstanding leaders who helped me a lot in defining who am I today.

The most important things I took with me in my journey:

  • To give people I work with my trust, to empower them but at the same time to monitor the progress of their work;
  • It’s important as a leader to take decisions and to be able to work with the different outcomes of those decisions;
  • Always concentrate on the things that are important and do not lose yourself in details or double check everything;
  • Always be ready to help the team when needed and not only when I am available;
  • Accept that people are different and might have values that are different than mines and this can beautifully complement the team.

How do you achieve work-life balance?

I can honestly say, I’ve never achieved this balance. I always struggle between being a great mum, a good professional business woman, a wife, daughter, friend and everything else.

It’s clear I was not born to stay at home and just cook or take care of house related matters (although I have the biggest appreciation for those kind of women), but I strongly believe that being a mom is centric to me and it is the most amazing experience a woman can live and the only experience, that completes me as a woman.

Being a mom helped me a lot in general, but also from a business perspective. I was able to better understand others, “to put yourself in their shoes” and to work with people from different generations, different backgrounds, different cultures, different business levels (juniors, seniors, CEOs).

What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in this field?

Firstly, to never stop learning! It is the only way to be on track with new technologies and to always have a relevant opinion. Secondly, we own our development. People around us can help, but in the end, it is our choice that counts. Last but not least, don't just fully concentrate on having a career. It is wildly important to have a fulfilled personal life, because this goal will also help in your professional development.

Can you recommend us a book/restaurant/favorite holiday destination?

I recently read “Dare”, a Romanian book describing the reorganization process of a romanian company. A great example of change management, business transformation and process re-engineering.

Althought the country is now going through a difficult time, Italy has my heart, as a holiday destination, especially Sardinia, Sicily, and Tuscani. I believe they show the true Italian beauty. And of course, I love and enjoy very much the Italian food, which you can also find in some of the restaurants from Bucharest.

Interviewee