Kay Rayee | Member Spotlight
Founding Member of “Women Heart-to-Heart” and founder of “The Road to Leadership”.
I love sushi, travelling and dresses. I am a straightforward no-nonsense person! I love to get lost in nature.
I am a proud mom of a 5-year-old boy: Iyann who likes vanilla ketchup and tomato mayonnaise with his fries 😊.
My brain works at 200% always I am full of ideas. When I say: “I have an idea, my surroundings brace themselves cause it is going to be crazy but fun 😊
I am a people person and have the tendency to get passionate about sharing opinions and conversations. I love to help others achieve their goals that is what makes me happy!
Kay Rayee studied as a Professional Ballet Dancer from the age of 5, she graduated at “Hoger instituut voor hedendaagse dans” (University of Contemporary Dance) in 2005.
After that, she joggled jobs as a freelancer in the dance world, and as a Planning and recruitment officer for a Hostess company “MC Challenge” who was in charge of delivering hostesses for corporate events, leading and coordinating people.
In 2008 she took a job at “Disneyland Paris” as a dancer. In 2011 she got promoted in a managing position in Entertainment and discovered a new passion: managing and leading people. From then on she started her journey as a leader managing people 20 to 600 people, with more than 30 different nationalities and generations from 18 to 60 years old. Positive management guided her through a rich and varied path managing technicians, ticketing and after-sales, customer service and concierges in a ***hotel Seqouia lodge. Innovation and creativity helped her get sharp know-how on team communication. In 2018 she moved to Moorea, Tahiti and started her own company: "The road to leadership", a company that helps leaders to be better with their team. Through coaching, training other managers she passes her knowledge through.
When it comes to the role of women at work today, what inspires you and what keeps you up at night?
I truly believe that female leaders can make a difference. We are Ying and Yang, men and women. To balance these energies and reach success, we need both in an equivalent amount. We have so many good qualities we can bring on the work floor: empathy, organisation, communication… Although lots of men have these qualities too, I still believe that we have a different way of communicating which is at least as valuable if not more 😊. I am a bit of a feminist at heart I confess.
Although we, women, are taking over the world 😉, we still must fight for our place and for being different.
Too many women still wear pants at work or act as men cause that’s the only way to be taken seriously. I would like to change that. Embrace femininity and be authentic without being judged for it. We are whole beings even if we wear heels!
What’s your goal around that and why is it important to you? Why is that a priority for you right now?
My priority is to give women in leadership positions a voice so that they can mentor others. By putting a strong woman in the spotlight and creating a community we can make a difference.
We can find the power within. Yet, to empower and truly make a difference, we need to be a strong loud positive community.From then on I would like to build bridges. To make this work, we need to embrace our strengths and weaknesses and work together with men.
We are different that’s for sure but we need to be balanced out on the same scale (we are not there yet). I truly believe we are on a breaking point. The whole world is shifting. It started with a different balance of women working and voting. Now it is the turn of the business world. I want to be part of this change by empowering others and overcoming roadblocks together.
For any roadblocks you face, I am sure, there are others who have already been there and have overcome the same problem. Let’s share this knowledge and we will grow so much faster.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve personally had as a woman at work? How did you try to overcome them?
Balancing work and family life, without a doubt. Working late hours and weekend was very difficult for me. Guilt overtook me many times in all its colours. Not being home to raise my son or spend time with my husband. When I did stay home for a sick kid, I felt I was letting my team and company down.
Joggling to be me, a mother, a wife and a leader for my team is the hardest thing I have ever done. I was lucky to be surrounded by wonderful mentors but still felt guilty all the time. I now realize that I put this guilt on me.Once we stop feeling guilty all the time and change from within allowing us to be all we are… that’s when female leadership is going to change.
I realise that we are carrying thousands of years of DNA and habits. And we chose now to change that in a very short of a time.
Who or what would have made it easier? What do you wish you would have done then?
Moving to Moorea Tahiti is the best choice I ever made! I now start to find my way of balancing personal life and professional career. Being my own boss, deciding my own hours and living in a country where values and culture are still important is just giving me so much energy.
Many women are overwhelmed by the constant changes at work, frustrated with conflicts or disheartened by office politics, drama and draining emotions. What have you done in the past to help you get through such moments?
A good glass of wine does wonders 😊, I’m kidding… I always found a soundboard with peers and mentors. When you can talk it through you can often see it in a different point of view.
I had my good share of drama. Being a female manager in a multicultural environment is not always an easy thing. But what made me succeed is listening to people. I always tried to find the real reason behind the conflict.
When you are working with people it is often a problem at the base. Different values and education sometimes makes us not understand each other. When we can pinpoint these differences, we can work to build a relationship from there and find understanding and that makes us so much stronger.
You must put your ego aside and be truly authentic. When people see you are just being you and see you care about them it is much easier to have these difficult conversations.
Who do you follow on these subjects? Are there authors, influencers, leaders, sites, blogs you follow?
I love the Marie Forleo podcast and TV. It is very fun and I love the spirit of it.
My female examples are Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Catherine Powell and Oprah Winfrey. I love TEDx and read lots of blogs as they come. No particular ones.
Why is it important for women to be surrounded by other women and what is the role we play in each other’s lives?
Sometimes, just sharing can help. You need to get it out. Men are always searching for solutions. A woman gives you the time to explain what’s on your heart. We have different codes and just understanding that is already a lot.
What activities could we do so that we master together how to get back our zest, thrive on change, lead with grace and confidence and co-create the beautiful workplaces we all long for?
Think-Tanks or brainstorms, masterminds, virtual gatherings… And then acting on it.
Small steps taken by a lot of women are little pieces in the right direction!
How do you see your role in building this community? And is there anything else you want to add that you think would be helpful for us to know as we are building this community?
I want to share my experiences and learnings… Anything which the ladies in the community need and I can offer, I am willing to share.
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