In honour of International Women's Day 🌷 last week, we're excited to present the second edition of our Zoom on Stuwies series featuring the inspiring stories of two exceptional women at Stuart: Alba and Gunjan. They share how they've been able to spread and share their personal passions within our organisation, contributing to the development of other Stuwies and creating engaging initiatives that embrace diversity. Let's celebrate Alba and Gunjan as we continue to honour the achievements of women in our organisation.

Alba & Gunjan—who are you professionally?  

Alba, with her roots in Barcelona, brings a knack for hospitality from her background in tourism and hotel management. Since joining Stuart two and a half years ago, Alba's been an inspiring heartbeat in our office operations alongside her fantastic team and supportive manager, Alexandra Vozniak. She ensures everything runs smoothly while injecting her infectious enthusiasm into every engagement initiative.

And what about Gunjan? Gunjan is a seasoned pro in operations, product features, and financial analysis, having spent seven years working across different continents and industries. Her recent triumph in spearheading a groundbreaking R&D tax savings project across Europe is a testament to her strategic prowess and collaborative spirit (#workthroughcollaboration).

But what's even more fascinating? Despite their diverse backgrounds and experiences, Alba and Gunjan share a common passion: spreading joy by sharing their interests with other human beings at Stuart.

What keeps you going outside of working hours?

A fun fact about Alba is her passion for cooking (not baking, though!), which led her to create the Instagram account @Albitrips. Originally a platform to document her travel adventures, it transformed during Covid lockdown into a culinary haven, where she shares various recipes alongside her vibrant personality.

Alba's culinary adventure started way back when she was a teenager, and she can't help but beam with excitement as she reminisces.

"When I was 16, I spent some summer seasons vacationing with a friend in Mallorca. It was there that I fell head over heels in love with cooking, learning fantastic recipes from my friend's mom."

When talking about her Instagram journey, Alba chuckles.

"When Instagram decided to shine the spotlight on reels, I was a bit nervous."

But with her passion for food and a little help from her partner in crime (aka boyfriend), she turned reels into her playground, adding her unique touch of "fantasía pura" (pure fantasy).

And the cherry on top of her culinary escapade?

"In October, I launched my very own cookbook, 'Fantasía Pura en la Cocina'!"

Now, her cookbook is spreading joy and flavour across Spain, promising not just mouthwatering dishes but also a taste of Spanish culture—all served with a hearty dose of passion!

Alba & her first official book signing

Similarly, Gunjan's remarkable trait is her strong dedication to diversity and inclusion. Gunjan puts it this way: 'I want to make sure everyone feels valued and empowered to share their own perspectives.' Through her advocacy, Gunjan is driving positive change and trying to make a more inclusive space for all, wherever she is (a workplace, sports class, or meeting with friends).

Gunjan's journey towards championing women's equality began early on. Reflecting on her upbringing, she said, "Growing up, I always believed in equality for women."

This belief guided her career choices, leading her to pursue engineering and later enter the male-dominated field of investment banking, where she organised the "Winning Women Networking Event," inviting over 100 female engineering students. The event aimed to showcase the diverse career paths available in finance, empowering aspiring women to pursue their goals.

But Gunjan's advocacy extended beyond corporate walls. As a volunteer content writer, she shared stories of resilient women striving to overcome challenges. These narratives raised awareness and provided support for women seeking to fulfil their dreams.

Looking ahead, Gunjan envisions a future where women are represented at every level of the workforce and makes her mission out of this goal!

How are you sharing your incredible passions with people at Stuart?

Alba's enthusiasm for cooking (and sharing her cooking knowledge) knows no bounds. She celebrated Veganuary this year by putting together an online vegan workshop at Stuart and continues to share her passion every month during Stuart's themed Community Lunches. 

"Many of my colleagues have attended some of my cooking workshops in Barcelona! I feel everyone in the Barcelona office supports my hobby at all times!"

Sharing her book news with her team was a momentous occasion for Alba. Recalling the heartwarming scene, she recalled, "We were all doing an art and wine team gathering, and I just told them I had something to share! I couldn't even speak without crying with happiness for that beautiful moment."

Meanwhile, Gunjan's commitment to equality and inclusivity mirrors her bold approach to enacting positive change. From leading workshops for underserved individuals to championing LGBTQ+ initiatives, she's a force to be reckoned with. Inspired by her own transformative experience with an #IAmRemarkable workshop, Gunjan became a facilitator herself. Reflecting on her Stuart workshop, she had this to say:

"It was such an interesting mix of people from varied teams and backgrounds—some introverts, some curious to learn about diverse challenges, and some with remarkable journeys but lacking confidence to share."

Any plans for the future? 

Alba's colleagues never miss a chance to tease her about "cooking" up her second book.

"Some Stuwies always make the joke if I'm already 'cooking' my second book!"

However, this year, Alba has other plans in mind. She's determined to carve out some extra time for herself and indulge in a bit more relaxation.

Meanwhile, Gunjan's boundless energy propels her to connect with others and seek new opportunities related to personal development.

"I'm always up for a chat with anyone to bounce ideas off and explore how I can contribute more."

From networking with her alumni community to tapping into her MBA network, Gunjan is on a mission to maintain momentum with additional workshops and engaging coffee chats.

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