LAUNCHING:
ALMIRA MOHAMED

Company:

Lotto Social

THE BIG QUESTIONS

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?

Director at Lotto Social

WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?

I spend a lot of time evaluating processes at the moment.  As a growing company, it doesn’t matter how clever your idea is, or how intelligent everyone is, organisation is the key to growth. Putting organisation at the heart of my role is what has helped me build Lotto Social from the bottom up. Starting with finding the right name then going on to develop creative campaigns and preparing for expansion and sustainable growth.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?

When I was a child I thought about being an air stewardess, the glamour of flying in a plane appealed to me. However, as I got older and started flying, I saw that it wasn’t as glamorous as it seemed, and I quickly realised that holding sick bags for passengers wasn’t the right career for me! Looking back, it’s curious how I didn’t think about being a pilot. I think there used to be many more gender stereo types which we conformed to.

WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?

I have a degree in Economics and Geography from UCL. An unusual combination but two subjects which fascinated me at the time and continue to today. Interesting fact is that I originally enrolled at Kent University but dropped out as there was something about London that inspired me- still here!

WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

It would definitely be: ‘don’t create a glass ceiling for yourself’. I believe this is often the case for many people. There are plenty of others who will do that for you without you joining in, especially for women. Don’t ever set a limit on what you believe you can achieve and where you want your career to take you.

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?

Tough question! There are so many people I have grown to admire over the years. If I had to pick one, off the top of my head I would say Michelle Obama. She is a very dignified, smart, charismatic, and sassy woman, who over the years has always strove to empower women. Someone like James Cordan is also a great role model.  He is funny, creative and feels like he’d be one of your mates down the pub but is also incredibly smart and has built a career for himself.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?

Unquestionably the passion from the whole team. Everyone at Lotto Social believes in what we do and are united on delivering a multi-market digital experience with the lottery. We plan to make the lottery more accessible, digital, fun and appealing to younger audiences, with a big charity element too.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?

It would definitely be having more hours in the day! Also ensuring meetings don’t over run, as they have a tendency to do--we are all just too passionate!

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?

Running a dot-com business globally, whilst also heading up a charity to help disadvantaged teenage girls.  I already do some mentoring work with an amazing charity called The Girls Network, which aims to help girls from disadvantaged backgrounds build confidence and contacts in the business world. This ties back to helping girls break that glass ceiling that they often put on themselves.

DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?

I would like to think I am the same person, however if you ask my colleagues I think they would say that I am definitely more serious at work.  As time always seems to run out (those meetings!), I often just get my head down and get on with it. With all dot com businesses, you are running at 100 miles per hour, meaning that I really need ensure I get my tasks done.  That’s why it’s good when we have our socials and team building events. Everyone gets to let their hair down and see each other in a different light.

WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?

We have one female at director level, a senior accountant and senior hr and administrator. So at least when we do hire, we aren’t just hiring in to junior roles. But when recruiting grads, I’ve noticed that with lot of the applicants, when you try to glean what they would really like to do, if it was a marketing role, more of the girls say PR whereas the majority of boys say digital and tech.

DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?

Yes! In fact, we call our office the UN or the perfect advertisement for Benetton.  We have so many nationalities in the office and it’s something we are very proud of. From Nigerian, American, Egyptian, Romanian to Mauritian, just to name a few!

HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?

Pretty good. Life is very work, work in the week, and then I often meet friends in the evening once or twice in the week, as we are based in town, it’s easy to do so. Then at weekends it’s hanging out with the kids and a dinner party perhaps.  I like doing a lot of sport too. I’ve just had to sadly hang up my netball shoes as I’ve got a knee injury but I’ve replaced it with boxing and swimming! As I’ve got older I’ve started to think about what I want to achieve and what I want to have experienced in my life. I’m doing my bucket list basically. If you ask me to do something, I’d probably say yes, unless its bungee jumping!

WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?

Organisation (that’s my new mantra), understanding, positivity, humour, trustworthiness and foresight.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS?

I feel very passionate about leaving a positive legacy for the next business generation, especially for girls. I want to create a place in which women believe that anything is possible for them with a lot of hard work, passion and humour. I would especially encourage young women to consider tech as a career. There is so much opportunity and I for one love the innovation and fast paced nature of a career in digital.

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