We met Simona and Micaela Arosio, the sisters from Brianza who have contributed, with their entrepreneurial spirit, to the growth and development of Status Contract, a company specializing in the creation of made-to-measure furniture and turnkey projects. Daughters of art, different but complementary, they have inherited the energy and dedication to work from their father Giulio, the founder of the family business with whom they share a passion for work and an intense (and joyful) professional and family life.
On March 8, International Women’s Day, we wanted to have a chat with these two successful young entrepreneurs in their company, which (as we discovered) certainly does not need pink quotas!
What has your ‘sisterhood’ meant and still means today, both at work and on a personal level?
Simona: Working together with my sister means sharing the passion and dedication for a job that is part of us: for Micaela and me, there is no clear boundary between work and private life… the roles of businesswomen and sisters are constantly intertwined and I really like that.
Micaela: For me, sisterhood is definitely an added value to our work, because it means being able to share long-term projects with someone I know deeply, who shares my vision of life and who has been at my side forever and ever.
What do you think are the ideas and visions that each of you has brought into the company and of which you are proud?
Simona: I have always thought that programming is fundamental to the development of any business: so I brought my idea of programming and work development into the company, introducing certain rules and procedures, especially with regard to foreign markets. I personally supervise commercial agreements with foreign customers to manage them as productively as possible. And I am proud of that.
Micaela: For me, the success of a company is based above all on the ability to work as part of a team and to work well on sharing the same objective: I think I have brought this vision and this feeling of mine into Status Contract and I think I have done it successfully… In short, I can say I am proud of it.
What is the most important lesson you have learned in your career?
Simona: I have learnt that the relationship with the customer (both national and international) does not end with the delivery of the products but continues, if managed well, throughout life. In a nutshell: I have learnt how important perseverance and care is.
Micaela: To be honest, the lesson I have learnt in my career is that we are all important but no one is indispensable: you have to work with the right amount of self-confidence but also a pinch of modesty. It also helps to make room for other people, employees and their ideas.
What do you think is the biggest problem for women in the workplace?
Simona: The problems that women have to face in the world of work are many and multifaceted: the main problem is how men see women. This is not only in Italy, but in general… Unfortunately the male world has a very limited idea of the true potential of the female universe: it’s a real shame! But I have great confidence in the new generations.
Micaela: The greatest difficulty for women is always the same: to assert their professional role. We always have to work harder, make more effort, give more and more, because often (and unfairly) the contribution of women is not considered at the same level as that of men. Yet we are good – and very good!
Which great women do you admire and why?
Simona: Lately I have really appreciated Ursula von der Leyen and Angela Merkel, two extraordinary women who have faced and managed really complex and unthinkable historical moments. I admire their rationality, balance, intelligence and sensitivity in solving one problem at a time, without creating others.
Micaela: My myth is undoubtedly Michelle Robinson, better known as Michelle Obama. Michelle is a woman who has always supported her husband, probably renouncing to take that step forward that could have, more than once, brought her into the limelight both professionally and personally. But she will go down in history as an extraordinary woman.
What does it mean to be a woman entrepreneur in 2022?
Simona: It means doing the most stimulating work there is, being ready for challenges and having faith in the markets and in young people. Especially in the younger generation: Italian companies need young people and new air! I am a great believer in the need for companies to bring in young professionals (and especially female professionals!) to fill frontline roles.
Micaela: Being an entrepreneur today still means struggling to assert your professional position: too often women are not considered in the same way as men. There is still a long way to go, unfortunately.
What advice would you give to women who want to fulfill themselves in their careers?
Simona: My advice would be to work hard, believe in yourself and don’t stop in the face of the many difficulties that you can be sure you will encounter on your professional path. But if they believe in it… they will succeed!
Micaela: To young women I say: take risks, don’t be afraid, believe in yourself and in the possibility of always doing better.
For many women entrepreneurs (but also for many women in general) it is still very difficult to reconcile work and family. What is your opinion on this? What could be the solutions?
Simona: Solutions have to be found socially: tools and solutions have to be put in place. Tools to reconcile family and work, but – beware – they must be designed not only for mothers, but also for fathers! Family plays a fundamental role in the development and growth of boys and girls, at least in the first 10 years of life: in our company we are very sensitive to the family aspects of our employees and we try to meet the needs and requirements of both mothers and fathers. It’s very important to us.
Micaela: Personally, I think the family is doubly important for an entrepreneur: professional successes, when accompanied by a satisfying personal life, are much more solid and long-lasting. My children know that their mother is always there, even if she is not always present in everyday life. They are aware that the effort they put into school and their daily activities is the same as their mother puts into her work, and that there are no things more important than others, but that they need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The advice I can give to women with children is that in order to bring up our children we have to create a network of help around us and above all we have to involve fathers, because they too must become active players in their children’s lives.