March 8, 2024 margarita

Interview of Kyriaki Economakis at Women in Digital

Kyriaki Economakis: As digital connectivity is completed, entrepreneurship is released.

To Christos Kotsakas

_Economakis MB WID_interiew EN_site

Kyriaki Economakis, Business Development Manager at Microbase, talks about digital transformation and gender equality in the workplace, focusing particularly on the representation of women in leadership and technology roles. She also highlights the necessity of empowering and supporting women in the technology sector, promoting a diverse and inclusive environment.


How is the digital transformation of the Greek state taking shape at the moment? And how does the technology and services offered by Microbase contribute to this?

The digitization of the state was a chronic backlog and Greece was ranked low in all indicators of digital transformation. It was thought to be our country’s destiny, but it was not. On the occasion of the pandemic, it took an upward course and digital transformation became a necessity. New challenges arose, demonstrating the need for innovation, and for the creation of new best practices. The Greek state showed an earthly ambition and eagerness to work, in order to ensure, in many areas, the digitization of the public sector, recommending it as a national priority.

The aim was for the digital transformation to reach the citizen. It is a fact that today we can see exponential progress and the expected results are paying off. When the projects in progress – and those that will be financed in the immediate future – are completed, then we will gain our lives in time, in the reduction of bureaucracy, in the aspect of corruption, there will be a removal of the forms of inequalities that have prevented fair development for years, the quality of work and life etc.

The Greek citizen/employee must be assisted by the state with trainings, so that this essential and holistic reform has a positive sign for everyone. As digital connectivity is completed, entrepreneurship is released. Digital skills are directly linked to the upgrading of work. The digital transformation aims to change the cross-state relations, but also its relations with citizens and businesses. The active participation of companies with high expertise has an important decisive role.

We, as Microbase, have always supported Development, and
the transition of the Greek State to the Digital Age,
with Solutions & Services that meet modern technological requirements.

Our main pillars are in the field of communication and collaboration solutions, in the field of automated service using natural language recognition and artificial intelligence technologies, as well as in the field of security with solutions to protect and prevent cyber-attacks.

Is there digital illiteracy in business today? And what initiatives is Microbase taking to educate and support businesses?

In 2021 on “On the Horizon”, Marc Prensky (American author) provided the terminology of Digital native and Digital immigrant. It’s a digital gap! To those who were born into the digital world and their skills are excellent and to those who were not born into the digital world but tried and trained to adopt the skills of technology. If we look at it with a realistic eye, digital natives do not fit into the term digital illiteracy, but digital immigrants who are 35 and older must join the digital development, if they want to have continuity in their professional path and in the labor market.

The E.U. establishes an action plan to support the sustainable and effective implementation of educational programs for familiarization with new technologies in its member states. In Greece, the rates of digital literacy vary at particularly low levels. Unfortunately, many businesses (especially experiential ones) invest little in training and upskilling their workforce. The goal of the state must be, through programs, to strengthen the digital inclusion of citizens to face modern professional challenges and not only that.

The business community’s goal now, if they want to have a future, should be to invest in their members. We are lucky as executives, because the Management of Microbase, always invests in its people, although the mosaic of its people is diverse, employees of all ages and different sciences, yet as a whole we have excellent chemistry and cooperation.

As far as the initiatives we undertake as a company are concerned, we essentially contribute to the upgrading and progress of all the companies we work with.

All the departments of Microbase are made up of specialized people, having knowledge, experience, and continuous training. Since our customers constitute our “endowment”, our Engineers -characterized by high technical know-how and immediacy- provide Training, within the framework of every collaboration.

We are proud that our customers, through our digital products and services, have modernized their production, commercial and administrative operations, have upgraded the way of communication and collaboration with new forms of hybrid work, have digitized electronic transactions with customers and partners and finally have increased the level of security and trust in electronic transactions. Thus, we achieve Customer Satisfaction/Experience. And this does not only concern the free market but also the state apparatus.

It could not be otherwise, because we would not support what characterizes us – Customer-centricity – which is at the core of our operation. Our contribution, therefore, is catalytic.

cropped1What do you think about the 4th Industrial Revolution and what are Microbase’s positions?

As we all know, Industrial Revolution 4.0 will transform-differentiate the way we see our lives.

It is characterized by a fusion of technologies, which affects-blurs the dividing lines between the physical, digital, and biological worlds. The speed of today’s discoveries has no historical precedent.

These challenges are both admirable and worrying. One path-perspective leads to a better world, inclusive, fairer and with greater respect for nature, the other leads to a world that looks like the one we just left behind, but worse and constantly threatened by unpleasant surprises. Therefore, we must do the right thing.

According to this framework, big questions arise about whether man can control technology, but also intervene in the rapid changes that accompany the fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s a fact that it must work as a mechanism of progress for all nations and peoples… in all fields!

We as Microbase, being a society that lives in technology and its emerging surprises, follow the developments and applications with the acquisition of even greater skills and re-skilling. We are moving forward in leaps and not steps, as a business society, because as Klaus Martin Schwab, founder of the WEF (World Economic Forum), says “the Great Reset has begun and those who do not have the necessary qualifications will experience … surprises”. We are not in favor of surprises, our philosophy is foresight, knowledge, strategy. We are fully ready to respond to the market demands for Digital Transformation, by providing Solutions & Services that are characterized by their ease of use and that drive Productivity, Experience, Security. We are not just observers, but participants in evolution, with respect for “Man” so that technology is a tool for progress and prosperity.

The 4th Industrial Revolution should allow entrepreneurs to implement their ideas more easily, without forgetting that “Man” is at the core. We have incorporated artificial intelligence technologies in the telecommunications sector, which can help improve our customers’ customer service with natural speech recognition and generation mechanisms, communication data analysis and automated learning mechanisms.

Give us an insight into the representation of women at Microbase, especially in leadership and technology roles. How does the company promote a diverse and inclusive environment?

The Management of Microbase trusts and invests in Women, in almost all sectors, trusting them in key positions such as: Telecom, Quality Assurance, Development, Marketing, Sales, Accounting, etc. The percentage of women in both the Technological and Administrative sectors in the company is high. Antonis Psaras and Yiannis Lagonikas, the owners and Managing Directors of Microbase, have a different perspective compared to many other entrepreneurs. They believe that women’s expectations, for their development, determine and offer perspective – the future.

Speaking about the woman now, whether she is accused or glorified she does not shy away, she is not affected. Looking at the global map of Technology-innovation and the inclusion of women in key positions, we notice that opportunities have been created for women to assume leadership roles. Let me just refer to Margaret Hamilton, Software Engineer, at the age of 33, in 1969, she was entrusted with the smooth landing and return of Apollo 11. From 1969 to today what can we say? Almost 55 years later… how successful is the percentage of women in decision-making centers, at high levels of organizations, businesses? Not what was expected, both in Greece and abroad. Imagine today that women in senior management positions around the world have as an important personal motivation the achievement of long-term success for their company, at a rate of 35% in Greece and 33% internationally.

To your question, regarding Microbase, I believe that managing Technology requires different skills, which all seem to be closer to the innate talents of women, such as adaptability, flexibility, working with people of different specialties, the strict criteria, creativity, risk prevention, efficiency, always with knowledge and continuous information-training as the leader. Since you are referring to the Technology part, I will mention that the Head of Telecoms is headed by a woman and all of us at Microbase respect her and follow her positions.

As for the women in our Management Departments, they have an excellent relationship with all Human Resources, because they are possessed of relational/down-to-earth intelligence, self-confidence, sensitivity, and flexibility, they are open to criticism, they focus on creation and not on obstacles. We can assess today’s business environment, the risks and challenges we face, and how we plan to ensure growth and future success in our company for years to come. We do not face issues of exclusion and diversity, although the male presence is greater in percentage, our relationships are based on the professional culture. We respect diversity, we do not focus on possible differences of perception. I clearly argue that a strong commitment to women’s inclusion is required from all entrepreneurs today.

Regarding DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) we are familiar and open. In addition to the internal environment that is an inclusive workplace, the extroversion of our business pursuits is not foreign and inaccessible to our philosophy, which is proven by our many years of cooperation with 40 countries around the world. Human capital is a set of different skills and elements, which can simultaneously add value to the workplace. Therefore, by including diversity in the work environment, one discovers its power, which is released when we respect and value differences.

The Exchange of Different Opinions and the Dialogue of Different People in Business, Strengthens Corporate Culture, Brings Out the Talents of Employees, Strengthens the Concept of Equality and Respect Between People and Offers Multidimensional Knowledge.

More generally, regarding the “glass ceiling” phenomenon, what is the current situation in Greece? Is there an improvement? What strategy should be followed?

Let me answer primarily for us. The Management of Microbase is far from this mentality, the lack of prejudices and the recognition of meritorious criteria is a matter of principles and conscious choice.

Now, in decision-making centers the obstacles to the advancement of women are not only the Glass Ceiling, it is the Sticky Floor, the Glass Elevator, but also the Leaking Pipeline which is the final stage (of manipulation), because it concerns the withdrawal of women from the workplace.

The term “glass ceiling” was adopted in 1986 by journalists from the Wall Street Journal. The “glass ceiling” scale reflects the degree of difficulty women face in trying to advance their careers to levels commensurate with those of their male colleagues. The reality is that these perceptions are maintained from generation to generation, views that slow down or even block the advancement of women to top decision-making and management positions in an organization, whether public or private and in any sector.

The initiation of knowledge about equal opportunities and behavior must start from the first years of the child, so that the opposition of inequality is not consolidated from generation to generation.

The data helps us act for systemic change, because many castles have already been broken by women and indeed with extraordinary, significant results and achievements for science and technology. The same applies to high-ranking executives as well as to the Boards of Directors of companies. These are leadership positions, which some women have the right to hold or seek, provided of course, on the one hand, that they themselves have the necessary competitive disposition and on the other hand, that the environment allows competition to develop unhindered.

Science, innovation, and technology constantly require new ideas, and arguably the best of them emerge in an environment characterized by diversity. Also, why equal rights and not equal opportunities? Let’s dwell on this difference as well.

The first major obstacle many women leaders face is unconscious bias. Unconscious bias against working women is particularly damaging in the fields of management and leadership. Research shows that such biases can make it much more difficult (and slower) for women to advance into management positions than for men.

What should women have? Education, knowledge, expertise, composition, confidence, ambition, skills, goals. Because the “glass ceiling” is nothing more than glass that breaks.

A point of reference for equal treatment is not only legislation, but also the corporate will.

In addition, individual action is also necessary. Ultimately, it takes strong reflexes, system, respect and will to break the “glass ceiling”.

The measures must be radical and not superficial. Cooperation on a collective level is extremely important and must be pursued by each of us individually on an individual and collective level.

However, we must not forget that the world of leadership does not belong exclusively to men, nor to women, and high hierarchical positions are for those who dare. Leadership positions should belong to those who are capable and persistent in their goal, regardless of gender.

Κυριακή Οικονομάκη4_Επιχειρησιακή Ανάπτυξη

After all, Leadership is for those who have no barrier and no “glass ceiling”. Leadership Is For Those With Soul!!!






What is the role of management in achieving corporate goals? The role of the leader, if you will, but also the leadership tips that we can transfer, as “lessons”, to other companies?

A Manager must ask him/herself some questions:

  • Do you want to succeed? If you want to succeed, the answer is Goals.
  • How should you act to achieve the desired results? The answer is Strategy.
  • To be considered as a good Manager, what do you have to believe in? In Teamwork.

The French thinker Montesquieu said: “To do great things, it is not necessary to be a genius. It is not necessary to be above other people. YOU HAVE TO BE WITH THEM.” You create a solid team, recognize it, give it a positive lead and finally you enjoy the fruits of success with the team.

What skills should the Manager have?

  1. The answer is given by the definition of Aristotle’s Rhetoric “creator of persuasion”, recognizing it as the most important ability of man to achieve goals in combination with the reliability of his speech and actions.
  2. He/she must have the ability to collect, approach, influence and change or differentiate the way of thinking in order to approach competitive advantage in the modern knowledge economy.
  3. He/she must be a good and methodical guide until his/her team feels the certainty of the objectives, acquires courage and as knowledge and courage increase, so does self-esteem which gives a positive sign to the upcoming movements, because otherwise there is a risk for failure, for loss of prestige and reputation of the business.

As for the tips for a Leader, I think one should:

  • Be charismatic, self-confident, visionary, adaptable to new perspectives, proactive and ready for a plan B in advance.
  • The Leader must have the strength to better manage crises, transitions and upheavals, because the team relies on his/her composure and sound judgment.
  • The charismatic Leader must have exemplary behavior and earn the respect of his/her people with a clear strategy.
  • A Leader must be steadfast in his/her decisions, but flexible in the way he/she implements them.
  • Be open to criticism. (This is the prerogative of educated Leaders!!!)
  • Anticipate and eliminate (to the extent possible) Backstabbing and Gaslighting phenomena in the Work Environment! Because the Management should not manage being Managed!!!

In conclusion, my opinion on the characteristics of a working person, after many years of experience, in high-level positions either in the private or public sector, concerns two strands: the human and the professional. In the first it is ethics, commitment, secrecy, protection in the second knowledge, sense of justice, goal planning, concentration of forces, steadfast in your decisions, but flexible in the way you implement them, perseverance, and desire for positive results. Because there is always a way to succeed, if you are determined!!!

The interview was published in Women in Digital (issue 19) and on on  March, 8, 2024 (in Greek language)


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