Manager, Head of Entrepreneurial Programs + Brand, Marketing & Comms at Ernst & Young | Russia
I’m here today first and foremost as a Mother because I want to share the influence I have in this role and tell you how this influence has changed and continues to change my entire life, my work and my career every day.
Surprisingly, I’d like to quote my nanny here who used to say, “Don’t be scared to dream! Dream and everything will come true.”
My story is probably not very special. When I was a child – an only child in a family with parents who were always busy at work – I dreamt about a big family. When I was twenty, I remember sharing with my friends my dreams of living in a large house surrounded by a big family - kids and grandkids – in my elderly age which left my friends really perplexed.
Nevertheless, for the first time I thought of having a child at the age of thirty. I was too busy building my career before that age.
And then I was diagnosed with infertility. It was striking and terrifying. All my life seemed to have lost any sense. At the same time, it was sort of a challenge for me. I started to work on it, and luckily, my future then husband supported me.
Today I am a mother of three wonderful kids. They grow up together and I teach them to support each other and be the big Family I have always dreamt about.
However, this was not the end of the story. It was only the beginning. Before I had my first baby, it was normal for me to work over 12 hours a day. I have two professional educations, I have worked with different international companies and built a vertical career expanding my responsibilities quickly. I loved working, studying, doing my sports activities, having great time with friends, partying all night long and generally living a very active life. I used to work until 6 pm then go to the University to have my classes and get back to work after 10 pm to stay at the office until midnight or later. I imagined that after the childbirth, nothing will change and I will have a baby somehow integrated into my way of life.
It was a great surprise for me that I could not do so. And then there was a time of transformation, thinking, realization and changing priorities. I never wanted to be a housewife, or stop working, or being social.
It took me some time to recover from shock and to change my life completely. A feel of guilt both at home and at work was very pressing. And what helped me most, I suddenly felt one day how much force and inspiration my children give me. How much stronger and more confident I became. I feel responsible not only for myself now but for three more people who look at me and take my example as a must.
A mother for a child is the center of the world for many years– she is the most adorable, loved and longed for creature. And this is exactly the time when we can influence them and form the basement of their values and personalities.
Now I work on a very responsible position heading two flagman international EY programs in Russia: Entrepreneur Of The Year and Entrepreneurial Winning Women – the program which is an official Partner for today’s Forum. Still I am deeply involved in my kids’ lives. I do homework with them, I am their tutor on foreign languages and on music lessons, I always try reading to them or chatting with them before they go to sleep. They are integrated into my life deeply – I imagine no vacation or holidays without them, I always feel comfortable and happy. And I it makes me move further in learning new things because I can teach them more, get new career heights because they look at me and they would follow my example, be brave and strong, and daring. I also struggle to become a better person everyday so that they would learn to be kind, open and generous. It is important to find a balance and set your own priorities right. When it gets hard and I get lost and tired in all the chores that slam onto my head I just remind myself about the most important things - about my dream and how I move towards it and then the most important things come to the front and it becomes clearer and easier.
For me as a mother the most important thing is the health of my kids, but no less important than this is the importance of them growing as good people, because I strongly believe that only a good person, who has no remorse, can be happy. And I want them to be happy, of course.
Today thanks to my work and heading two flagman international EY programs in Russia: Entrepreneur Of The Year and Entrepreneurial Winning Women – the program which is an official Partner for today Forum I have an opportunity of influencing the society. But what’s even more important for me is that together with it I am a loving mom, who wants to influence the future through generosity, dignity, kindness and respect to other people I try to instill to my children.
I remembered recently that when I was already in my conscious age and dreamt about my future career I thought of being a director of a big sound project with an international company. I just realized that this is exactly where I am now. I wonder why I did not dream more! Therefore, what I tell my kids today when the whole life lies ahead of them, and what do I want to tell you? If you dream, dream BIG. If you want to be a scientist, be the one with the invention that will change the whole world, if you want to be a ballerina – dream of being prima in Bolshoy, if you think of being a sportsman – dream of becoming an Olympic champion. This is my influence. I believe I can make the world better being a mom! And I am trying to every day.
Irina Mirolyubova has a 20 years experience in marketing and project management in global international and domestic companies like IFC, Microsoft, Dexia, SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management. In 2011 Irina has joined EY and is heading Entrepreneur of the Year and Entrepreneurial Winning Women (EWW) projects for the past 5 years. EWW has the excellence award for EMEIA 2017.
Irina is a Master of Finance. She is also a professional business couch, and a co-founder of a Regional Open Organization “Distingteck” for employment people with autism.