Justine Toms is a Bulgarian entrepreneur, lecturer and author who has played a major role in Bulgarian digital marketing since 1998. Justin loves her job and networking, meeting people with new ideas, and creative projects.

Justine Toms is a Bulgarian entrepreneur, lecturer and author, who has played a major role in Bulgarian digital marketing since 1998. Justine loves her work and networking, meeting new people, new ideas, and creative projects. Justine tells us that she is still looking for a way to successfully balance her professional and personal life. When she is working from home, her roles are constantly intertwined – mother, wife, teacher, expert, and of course time for herself. She admits that juggling is not an easy task, and although it has been more than 12 months, she is still learning. Justine believes that over time she has managed to gain equal gender rights professionally. When asked if she has encountered any obstacles in her career because she is a woman, she answered that this has happened more than once. Justine adds that she has been involved in business and online entrepreneurship for 23 years – an area seen more like a man’s job, although this has changed significantly over time. She is a big fan of podcasts and follows a few in Bulgarian and a lot in English, out of which she recommends the Ratio and Internet Speaks podcasts. Regarding inspiration, she recommends their project “Creators – the digital optimists of Bulgaria” (blog and podcast). About social networks, Justine says that she has relatively reduced Facebook, but instead she follows Twitter, which gives her enough information. She reads many books and also listens to them in audio format. Justine warmly recommends Harari – Homo Deus to those who have not read it yet, as well as their new book with Marina Stefanova – Leaders for a New Beginning. 

“We’ve always tried to gain a diversity of people on our team and fortunately, we’ve succeeded.”

Justine Toms

Favourite clothes?

In the last year – leggings and a T-shirt. 🙂 

Otherwise – dresses. 🙂

High heels or flat shoes?

Low, comfortable, fast.

Which typical female quality or household responsibility does not apply to you?

Vanity.

What is THE thing that you must have in your bag when going out?

Maybe a phone. 🙂

Favourite lipstick colour?

Sour Cherry.

Do you currently support any social causes?

I currently support several causes:

– Gorichka and eco themes, life with a small ecological footprint, green future

– Several projects related to children from marginalized groups

– Causes for equality, women’s entrepreneurship.

Read More Inspiring Stories for Women in Tech in WRTech here.

Can you share something specific about yourself that we can’t find on LinkedIn?

I don’t know whether it’s obvious how much I love my job. 🙂 Also networking, meeting people with new ideas, with projects with creativity.

Have you encountered any challenges in your career in connection to being a woman?

Yes, not once. Maybe mainly because I have been involved in business and online entrepreneurship for over 23 years – areas that in the past were seen as males’ jobs, but lately the problem is not seen so often.

Do you know how many women work in your position?

There seem to be more men, probably only 15-20% of women.

Do you think that the problem of gender inequality is still relevant in Bulgaria and globally?

Yes, it exists in Bulgaria, but in places around the world, such as Asia and Africa – much more. But yes, the topic is very important.

What policy does your company follow in terms of promoting diversity?

We have always strived to have a variety of people on the team and fortunately,we have succeeded. Not with quotas, but with the search for interesting alternatives. 

Do your male colleagues treat you differently?

I seem to have won equal gender rights. My positions on the topic are clear, communicated and probably due to that. I don’t think this applies to all girls and in all situations.

Do you think that a woman’s appearance and charm affect their professional success? (example: does it make communication easier?)

I’m not sure. It depends on who is standing in front of you and what their attitude is. I strongly believe that the “female vision” will not matter in the future. About charm – it’s up to the person, it’s not so much related to gender or gender identity.

How do you combine personal and professional life? Are there any rules that you follow?

I’m trying to keep the boundaries, however the balance is difficult. It is especially complicated in the last year, when we are at home during the last year, when the roles are constantly intertwined – mother, wife, teacher, expert, time for yourself – juggling turned out to be quite a difficult task and although 12 months have passed I am still learning. Unfortunately, personal time suffers the most.

Which sources do you follow and can you recommend some of them to our audience? (example: podcasts, pages, influencers, vloggers, etc.).

I’m a big fan of podcasts – I watch a few in Bulgarian and many in English. Out of these, I would recommend. Of these, I recommend the Radio and Talk Internet podcasts. Also for inspiration our project Creators – the digital optimists of Bulgaria (blog and podcast). I have reduced Facebook. I mainly follow Twitter which gives me enough information. I also read a lot of books, I also listen to audiobooks. To anyone who has not yet read Harari – Homo Deus, I strongly recommend it. ☺ And our new book with Marina Stefanova – Leaders for a New Beginning.

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