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It’s a collaborative journey where the golden UNIC “match” and open communication are key.


For this month's interview, we're delighted to have Yuki Fonteyne, Sales & Business Development Manager Benelux - Nordics, Cinionic. Yuki was a mentor in the previous edition of the UNIC Women's Cinema Leadership programme.

Here she reflects on her career path and gives some advice to current mentors and mentees.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAILY HABITS THAT KEEP YOU INSPIRED AND MOTIVATED. 

Maintaining inspiration and motivation is key for success in any career. My daily habits contribute to my overall well-being and professional growth. I make a distinction between my weekday and weekend morning routines. On weekdays, it's a quick coffee on the run, while weekends are reserved for enjoying a family breakfast.

While I'm not an avid book reader, I find online courses and seminars a great source of information on the latest trends and developments, stimulating new ideas and perspectives. I also try to stay active to manage my stress levels and clear my head. I like to do some jogging, walking or tennis with my friends.

Networking is another key aspect of my routine. I love to connect with colleagues, industry professionals, mentors, and the young generation regularly. Engaging in conversations with diverse individuals allows me to gain insights, share experiences, and stay connected with the broader professional community.

Lastly, I set specific, achievable goals for myself each day. Breaking down larger tasks into manageable steps helps me stay focused and provides a sense of accomplishment. At Cinionic, we have a fantastic team culture that celebrates small victories, reinforces a positive mindset, and keeps me motivated for the next challenges and the upcoming days.

LOOKING BACK AT YOUR CAREER JOURNEY, WHAT ARE YOU THE PROUDEST OF?

Working with diverse teams in various global high-tech companies like: Tech Data, Philips, Toshiba, Microsoft, Samsung, Barco and Cinionic.

It’s a privilege and very enriching to work with different Belgian, Japanese, America and Korean cultures. As a sales manager, it is my passion to listen to B2C and B2B customers and work together to find a long-term win-win solution. Today, I’m driven by my work setting up partnership agreements in the entertainment sector and contributing to a high market share.

WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU ENCOUNTERED THROUGHOUT YOUR LEADERSHIP JOURNEY?

I've encountered several challenges that have contributed to my growth and development. One of the most difficult challenges has been navigating through periods of significant change and uncertainties within the organisations I've worked with, such as adapting to technological advancements and responding to shifts in market trends. In the rapidly evolving technology industry, there is often a pressure to deliver immediate results, but great visionary leaders and effective communication helped me focus on the goals. After all, we all understand the true meaning of resilience from our experience during Covid time.

HAVING A DEMANDING ROLE, HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR WORK AND PERSONAL LIFE?

As a working mother of 18-year-old twins, effective time management and a can-do mentality help me to stay focused during working hours and be present in my personal life when needed. Effective and transparent communication and managing expectations are very important to me. At Cinionic, we are a great family of colleagues where empowerment and trust are crucial. We strive to live through our 4 corporate values: professionalism, Can-do (attitude), courageousness, and boldness. I recharge my batteries by spending quality time with family and friends. Balancing work and personal life is an ongoing effort and I continually try to adapt to evolving priorities and challenges. The supportive culture at Cinionic, coupled with my commitment to effective time management, empowers me to successfully navigate the dynamic demands of both roles.

FROM YOUR CAREER OF OVER 10 YEARS IN TECHNOLOGY, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS HOLDING WOMEN BACK? WHY DO THEY REMAIN UNDERREPRESENTED IN SENIOR POSITIONS IN THE CINEMA INDUSTRY?

Technology companies are still very male-driven, while the cinema industry is often driven by a family business where woman hold important technical, commercial and management roles. I strongly believe that mentorship programmes and facilitating connections between women and influential leaders can bridge this gender gap.

That’s why I’m grateful and thankful to the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme for supporting women in their professional journeys. It is crucial that we cultivate an inclusive and diverse workplace in the technology and cinema industries where contributions are valued regardless of gender for innovation, creativity and overall business success.

AS AN EXPERIENCED MENTOR, WHY DO YOU THINK MENTORING IS IMPORTANT? DID YOU HAVE MENTORS ALONG THE WAY?

Throughout my career, I have found mentoring to be very powerful for my personal and professional growth, both as a mentee and a mentor.

As a mentee, it helped me to have a trusted advisor who I could ask for open and constructive feedback, encouragement, advice, and insights on their career path. As a mentor, I had the privilege to share my experiences and lessons learned with a wonderful and ambitious lovely woman: Blerina Pashollari.

For me, mentoring means creating a supportive environment for continuous learning, skills development, professional fulfillment and fun. It's a commitment to investing in the success of others and promoting collaboration.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT MENTORS AND MENTEES?

Advice for mentors:

First, listen actively to understand your mentee’s goal, challenges and aspirations and set realistic short-term and long-term goals together. Then, and I love this part, share experiences, give constructive feedback and above all introduce your mentee in your professional network and give them the wings and confidence.

Advice for mentees:

Clarify your goals, be open for feedback and jump on the network of your mentor.  Believe in yourself, you can do it! It’s a collaborative journey where the golden UNIC “match” and open communication are key.


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