Natalia Tomasjevskaja - Head of Administration in EU Delegation to New Zealand
As Head of Administration in the EU Delegation to New Zealand I provide support to the Head of Delegation in all administrative aspects of running the embassy.
I am responsible for a large variety of tasks, including financial management, human resources management, logistics, management of the office, the Residence and the accommodation, IT, security and contacts with New Zealand MFAT on protocol issues. But, despite the very heavy workload, I do enjoy this diversity and mixture of tasks and connections with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Another fascinating aspect of my job is the possibility to live in different countries. This is my first posting, but I truly enjoyed the experience of living on the other side of the world.
As my greatest achievement, I could have listed all large projects that I was involved in, but in my opinion, my greatest achievement was and still is the fact that all admin processes in our Delegation run smoothly, without delays, with no major issues and in compliance with all the regulations. Even in such a challenging year of global pandemic, I’m happy to say that we are managing well.
I am well organised, am good at multitasking, I am a very flexible person and I manage to adjust to the new circumstances quite easily and I’m stress resistant. Maybe this is a result of my family situation. With 3 children you do learn to be stress resistant.
On a usual Head of Admin morning, I would have 5 long or short meetings or discussions with colleagues, resolving all sorts of urgent issues, before I’ve even entered my office. On a usual day I would work on 10 different projects and completely unrelated subjects simultaneously. This requires a high level of stress resistance.
I would not say that I do not get stressed. Of course, I do feel stress and the pressure; this is a challenging and demanding job after all. However, I somehow find my own way to deal with it. I mobilize all my strength and abilities and increase my productivity.
The biggest challenges are definitely related to the work-and-family balance.
I have 3 children and they motivate me to do more and to do better every day. Of course, its not always easy to combine a busy job with a family and children, but, I think, we are managing quite well. And I'm very grateful for the support that I receive from my family, and I think that living abroad for several years has been a rewarding and a mind-opening experience for us all.
It is very difficult to combine a young child and a full-time job. I fully understand why some young mothers feel discouraged to work full time or to take any additional, more challenging responsibilities. Luckily, our society and the employers have become more tolerant and flexible, and from year to year it becomes easier to combine a job and a family life. There is definitely a positive tendency and I hope it will continue.
I am very pleased to say that, in my job, I do not feel any gender discrimination.
For the women who want to pursue a career in diplomacy my main advice would be to go for it.
I do not think women hesitate because of the work-related challenges. I’m sure that the main factor that stops women from taking a post in a delegation is their responsibly for their family. It is indeed very challenging to balance the career and the family. However, at the end, it is not much different from what we are doing in our home countries. Challenges of raising children are almost the same as in our home countries. But the entire experience of living in a different country for several years is very rewarding for everyone.
I believe that the European society, as well as the EU institutions are making good progress towards the gender equality. By involving more women in diplomacy, in politics, in management roles, we are creating a more diverse and safe world.