Gabriela Oliván is a tightrope walker who balances her way of understanding and representing the world with equal doses of corporate mentality and citizen awareness. On the other side of the screen, she always sounds judgmental; she can become reflective without lecturing, she can talk business without being fascinated by money.
“It may be that I always had a sensitivity to look not only at my professional career but also at what happened around me (…) I am from Monte Grande, and I come from a family in which there was no one who had a university degree before. And my strong Christian background always kept me grounded and trying to help others.” Well. So it becomes clear why now, without a corporation that shelters her, her ability to promote projects remains intact, to the point that she is leading a network of more than 3,500 women from all over the world, providing them with training, strategic alliances, and equipping them with of tools to face the era of algorithmic communication in the best way.
For six years Gabriela was Accenture’s Director of Communications for all of Latin America. When recounting it, she acknowledges that occupying positions of power cost her a lot, even more so in her first job, when they worked in the oil industry, masculine par excellence.
However, she defines herself as a “moderate feminist, because I believe in complementarity… and I thank many men who believe in me throughout my career. But also, when I was studying for an Eisenhower fellowship on the future of journalism, we had access to studies that indicated that women used to befriend us with technology. So I understood that this applied to the media, and I had a huge network of journalists, because of my role at Accenture. Well there I thought “girls, this applies to you; If I start a network, and I think of ways in which we can communicate the technological changes that we are experiencing, do they get hooked?” And there WINN was born.
AHA. That is what Gabriela’s life is about today. Woman in the News Network is the foundation she chairs, because she created it while she was responsible for communication at one of the leading companies in the tech market, but she took it with her when “I understood that it was me to take a step in my career, and deepen this project that now has to be sustainable, but also will not disappoint so many people who expect all the support from us to be better in their professions”.
WINN has a luxury advisory council –Marna Rúa and Silvia Fesquets stand out there– in addition to female journalists from the country’s main media collaborating to offer mentoring, seminars, courses, and a network of contacts that links organizations such as the Association of Venezuelan Journalists Abroad (Apevex with academic institutions and countless etceteras.
It is interesting to understand that Oliván, in the years that he has been directing WINN, chose not to focus on what could have improved his profile as a performer. He did not bet on his growth as the person in charge of an area, he did not even invest me, effort or money in it.
Shortly before the health crisis broke out, he published a book in which he analyzes how artificial intelligence (platforms, algorithms, social networks, Big Tech) becomes decisive in the way we communicate. His debut feature is called Communication 5.0: From Technological Impact to Collaboration, and offers anthropological reflections around it.
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