Liliana Solomon, chief executive, Vodafone Romania

A former chief financial officer at both Cable & Wireless and T-Mobile in the UK, Solomon began her career in the telecoms industry in 1995 at a German start-up. “I was attracted by this sector due to the fact that the entire telecom market was about to get liberalised in Europe. It was clear to me that the industry would change dramatically in the years to come and open up a whole new range of challenges and opportunities,” she says.

Solomon takes the position that the right person for a job should be appointed irrespective of gender, saying that gender has never been an issue in her ascension through the ranks.

“I strongly believe that, if one has the knowledge, the skills, the passion and the desire to work in order to be successful, then these represent the right ingredients for a successful career. There are many examples of women in leadership positions, at Vodafone and in other companies around the world,” she says.

Solomon has a PhD in physics and an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, and argues that engineering qualifications are not essential to enable progress to the top within the telecoms space. The industry is more of a mindset, she suggests: “It is much more important to have an open mind and to be willing to constantly learn and embrace new technologies,” she says.

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