Fusing power and femininity in business

Elena Gheorghe, Country Manager of PayU Romania, was recently recognized as one of the 100 most powerful women in business in Romania.

With a sector worth over $6 billion and growing at a rate of more than 30%, Romania is one of the most exciting emerging markets for e-commerce in all of Europe.  As a leading provider of payments and financial services within the Romanian market, we at PayU have been privileged to be a part of this growing ecosystem.


As e-commerce and digitization have expanded rapidly across Romanian society in recent years, few people have been closer to the action than Elena Gheorghe, PayU’s Country Manager in Romania.  Fueled in part to the hard work of Elena and the rest of our team in Romania, PayU has become a trusted media and industry voice around Romanian e-commerce.


In recognition of her hard work, Elena was featured recently by Business Magazine Romania as one of the Top 100 most powerful women in business in Romania.  As part of the announcement, Elena spoke to Business Magazine Romania about leadership, employee motivation and the relationship between power and femininity in business.


Have a read below to learn more about Elena and her journey (adapted from the original article in Romanian).

Interview with Elena Gheorghe, PayU Romania Country Manager

The most important lesson I learned in the pandemic is:

Being close to numbers and analyzes, I would rather say what I observed during a year of pandemic. The way we socialize has changed – we use the digital environment a lot, the physical interactions have been significantly reduced, and all this directly reflects in the way we act. We analyze the things we do much more and question whether they are really relevant to us, if they really fulfill us. I think the “normal” after the pandemic will be very different from what we knew until now.



The most important decision I have made in the last year:

Taking over the current role, in the midst of a pandemic, was not only the most important decision, but also a challenge that I accepted with great courage. I think a good leader is always close to people, and during this period it was quite difficult to achieve, due to restrictions. Basically the only physical interaction, me and a small group of colleagues had, was during a Black Friday event. Nevertheless I always found solutions to keep the team spirit.


Do you work from home or from the office? Why?

I strongly believe that a balance between the two is best. Going from one extreme to another is not a healthy thing, and we see this in recent research as well. Complex projects are better managed when there is physical interaction – the dynamics change, and the degree of attention and involvement during meetings is different. On the other hand, working from home has a lot of benefits. Spending more quality time with the family, which is otherwise spend in commuting being one example that comes to mind.



How I kept my colleagues motivated over the last year:

A leader must be close to people and inspire them. I like to believe that through my energy, involvement and “we can do it”-attitude,  I manage to maintain team spirit and motivation among colleagues.



The place from which I get the energy I need to overcome times of crisis, such as the pandemic:

Going out in nature and, of course, my passions are the main sources that charge me with energy.



The person who inspired me the most during this period:

My family and people close to me were the main source of inspiration. The support of family and loved ones, especially in such a period, are very important.


Power vs. Femininity: are they mutually exclusive?

Power and femininity are not mutually exclusive, it’s not one or the other. On the contrary, a mix between the two helps promote balance, moderation and empathy in society, as well as in business. Even more so in the latter.