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Episode 5

Game Changers with Joana Picq

Joana Picq meditates in the woods
Joana Picq centres herself in the woods of Cape Town, South Africa.
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Startup developer Joana Picq discusses balancing a successful career with mindfulness.

Catching her breath in the middle of a high-speed career, Joana Picq has been following the motto 'put one foot in front of the other' ever since she was a child – but at double the speed. Half-French, half-Brazilian, the 36-year-old knew her passion from an early age – she always has been (and always will be) a technology fanatic. She soon made up her mind that this would be her destiny and was undeterred by male dominance of the IT industry.

Joana Picq with Surfboard
A combination of surfing and meditation improves not only her happiness level but also her work performance.

She has worked hard to further her career, helped by her ability to keep a cool head and her practical organisational skills. This attitude has taken her around the world: after obtaining a degree in civil engineering in Rio de Janeiro and studying for further diplomas at the University of California and the London School of Economics, she worked in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa in a number of marketing and business development roles, including stints at IBM, Microsoft and VMware. Thanks to her globetrotting career, Picq speaks four languages fluently and has acquired a great deal of diplomatic talent when it comes to dealing with different cultures. She is now Head of International Business Development at the mobile app startup Jampp. She is also involved with the networking community TheNextWomen.com, helping other women to break through the glass ceiling as they progress in their careers. But how do you find time to catch your breath with such a fast-paced lifestyle? Picq has discovered the delights of meditation and surfing – and has been closer to herself and (even) better at her job ever since.