13 hours ago
The Best Things I’ve Learned: Tania Boler, Co-founder and CEO of Chiaro, creators of Elvie
April 4th 2016
Tech entrepreneur, mother and women’s health advocate Tania on the wisdom that’s stayed with her…
Wearable tech; it’s rarely designed solely with women in mind. For tech that taps into not only female biology but also women’s lifestyles and preferences, Chiaro should be your first port of call. Co-founded by Tania, the company aims to innovate in the wearable tech arena, but in a way that uniquely serves women and puts them in control of their bodies and routines. From a fitness tracker ‘like no other’ to advancing scientific research in the field of women’s health, Chiaro isn’t your average startup, and the team are dedicated to problem solving and listening to what women have to stay. Tania, for one, comes from a place of experience; a working mother with a background in sexual health education, she’s passionate about getting issues that affect women in particular out in the open. Here are the habits and learnings that have helped her along the way…
The best things I’ve learned about...
The digital age
I love how the digital revolution has changed the way we consume media from around the world. I do increasingly worry that there is so much noise online that it’s becoming more difficult to know which opinions to trust, for instance which bloggers are being sponsored and which health information is accurate. With Elvie I know it’s such a personal topic, but I’m still constantly surprised by how much of the conversation is happening offline rather than online.
I’m a really high-energy person and my mind is always racing ahead, so switching off can be hard. I need to do something very physically challenging so that it forces me to be mindful. I love going to barrecore a couple of times a week, as it’s the perfect balance of exertion and relaxation.
I’m definitely a ‘lists’ type of person, but I found myself getting depressed by how long the lists were getting! So now I find organising the lists into urgent and long lead really helps.
I’m a working mum so naturally need to multitask and work from home sometimes, but I quickly learned that trying to play mum and fire off an email at the same time was not so good. I now purposefully multitask less at home; turns out it’s more efficient for work and better for my family too!
Confidence at work
Feel the fear and push through it! This is pretty uncomfortable but you need to force yourself to do things that you’re scared of, as this is the best way to build real confidence. You’ll surprise yourself after a few times at how much easier it is and how much your confidence has increased.
I also think being physically confident is really important. Sit tall, stand tall. It really makes a difference to how you feel and how others perceive you.
I’ve always been a very frank and outspoken person, which isn’t always great when it comes to office politics! Some companies don’t like people to outright question the status quo, so you need to find the best way to achieve the change you are after. The great thing about Elvie is that we’re such a new company that we can shape the culture around the values we are most passionate about.
I think being a great recruiter is pretty rare and should never be underestimated! With Elvie, our mission is to develop beautiful and bold products that make a difference to women’s lives and everyone needs to be passionate about what we are doing.
For some of the men in the team, they might not have ever really thought about women’s health but they need to be open-minded enough to ask the right questions and motivated enough to want to make a difference!
I never got so many things wrong until I started my own company but I think of it as a steep learning curve! In work, failing is okay as long as you can reflect and adapt for next time. The problem is that most office cultures are not tolerant of failure. Now I’m the CEO, I help shape the culture so I tell the team when I’ve made a mistake (which is fairly frequently!).
I am fitter and healthier than I was ten years ago and this reflects wider societal changes. There has been a big shift from treatment to prevention and wellness and I’m excited to be part of the health revolution.
The job market is going through a lot of change due to digital disruption and globalisation. Individuals will need to plan a lot more to find a long term fulfilling career path. For women (like myself) who know they want to have children and work, my advice is always to try and get ahead in your career before having kids. This will really help when you want to go back to work, as no matter what people say, unfortunately there are still a lot of negative attitudes towards mums in the workplace.
A working wardrobe
When in doubt, go with black!
Follow Tania on Twitter @taniabeeb
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