Silvia. To encompass her in the right words is truly going to be a challenge, but I will give it my best.
Likely one of the most down to earth women you will meet, Silvia is hard-working, conscientious and more than anything, willing to adapt. She relocated her family to Tokyo 5 years ago, to give them all the experience of living in Japan and connect with her own Japanese heritage. Silvia is one of those rare humans you walk away from wanting to be a better person yourself. I am lucky to have met Silvia through a mutual friend and every time we speak about life, raising children and making progress in our careers, she always inspires me. I hope a little glimmer into her perspective inspires you as much as it did me.
Born in Paraguay, Silvia moved around quite a bit as a child with her father’s work and lived in 4 different countries across Latin America as well as Japan all before her 18th birthday. While these moves may sound quite tough, I think this is what gives Silvia her ability to adapt and look at the best side of most situations.
If you know Silvia, you immediately know that she is passionate about sustainability and making the world a better place for generations to come. Following her passions, Silvia recently switched out of her tech focused role to focus on sustainability as a Senior Project Manager within Environment, Social & Governance Sustainability. She confesses this may have been more of a lateral move, but that if there is one thing she wants her children to know it is that “mommy really did everything she could to make the world a better place for them.”
When we spoke, Silvia was essentially raising her two children as a single mom while she and her husband were temporarily living a world apart. In spite of all she was balancing, Silvia seemed incredibly positive. When I asked her how she does it all, she confessed, “I honestly don’t think I have things under control... I’m in a ‘Just Do It’ mode, prioritizing my kid’s well-being, health, and work. The rest, I try to outsource...” (Note to self- outsource as much as possible.)
As we dive into different topics, I admire Silvia’s absolute openness about all aspects of her life both professional and personal. She says she’s learned the importance of not keeping things in and talking things out, even with a stranger if necessary, as this keeps small things from becoming bigger than what they are.
As she embarks to relocate back to Canada, Silvia is nostalgic about her life in Japan. “Living in Tokyo has been pretty convenient. Childcare is wonderful (once you get into one!) and accessibility is great! We’re within walking distance of the public transit network, groceries, parks, etc. And of course, a community of dear friends and parents that we value.”
Knowing Silvia on a personal level, I know firsthand that she has been in some hard situations and has always come out on top. As a young adult, she put herself through college, while working full time and juggling extracurricular activities. She has financially supported her family of four, and relocated herself and her children to do what is best for her husband's health, AND she does everything she can to promote sustainability both on a personal and professional level.
Her advice to other women? Learn to be resilient, don’t sweat the small things, and get things done (even if they’re micro-steps and imperfect). Finally but most importantly, talk about what’s bothering you!
What is chic to Silvia? “Aspiring for minimalism, while balancing class and timelessness is the epitome of chic…I don’t like to spend too much time picking what to wear. But I do like to look good, so for me, keeping it minimal, dressing simply, and choosing timeless accessories is key.”
There is SO much more I can share about Silvia but if you are interested in learning more about her perspectives on climate change and sustainability take a look at her recent interview on how to battle climate change here:
Silvia - You are honestly one of the strongest people I know. Keeping calm under incredibly stressful situations and always looking at the positive side of things. Keep inspiring us all to do better!
Stay inspiring, stay chic.
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