IWD2024 Online Feature Series - Mimi Giraud: Blending Tech Prowess with a Passion for Wine

Mar 8, 2024
Asia Market Entry
IWD2024 Online Feature Series - Mimi Giraud: Blending Tech Prowess with a Passion for Wine

This International Women's Day 2024, the team at Asia Market Entry reached out to the women in our network who are leaders in their various fields, ranging from AI to wine education. Mireille (MIMI) Giraud is Tech Leader and Founder at A Wine Adventure. Read on for her journey and her unique interpretation of the #IWD2024 Theme of Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.

This International Women's Day 2024, we spoke with Mireille (Mimi) Giraud, a woman whose career spans the globe with roles across Europe, the Americas, Australia and now Singapore, which she has called home for the past 10 years. Mimi’s story is testament to the transformative power of pursuing one's passions while leveraging a rich background in tech to make impactful contributions across different industries.

Transition and Impact

Mimi’s portfolio career is a narrative of transition, driven by a blend of expertise in technology in Telco first then Energy Management and Datacenter, to circle back to Cloud and IT consulting…  sprinkled by a passion for wine. With almost 30 years in the tech sector, and leadership roles at multinationals like Verizon, Orange Business Services and Schneider Electric, Mimi’s tech career took an additional dimension when she found an unexpected interest during her executive MBA at INSEAD. This began with starting the Alumni Wine Club at INSEAD. Enjoying this experience so much she took the plunge and founded as a side hustle called A Wine Adventure, a unique enterprise which offers innovating masterclasses and consulting in wine education. Launching right before the COVID-19 pandemic, Mimi had to adapt her business to provide entertainment for those unable to travel, demonstrating her ability to innovate.

Empowering Women Across Industries

For Mimi, the 2024 IWD theme resonates deeply with her ongoing commitment to invest in women through mentorship and sponsorship. Having taken years to embrace the title of mentor, Mimi now actively shares her experiences and opens doors for women across both the tech and wine sectors. Mimi's approach to empowerment extends beyond mentorship to fostering networks and supporting women's initiatives, such as advocating for gender equity in leadership positions and at A Wine Adventure, promoting wines made by women. “Investing in women is walking the talk. It’s about using my network to open the doors to women looking for a job. It’s about promoting women winemakers by importing their product, featuring them, selling their wine.”

Some of her other initiatives have included creating a Lean In circle during her time at Sourced Group, being a mentor at INSEAD and ESSEC and advocating for positive discrimination in the tech industry until parity is achieved. Mimi's leadership and advocacy efforts highlight the critical need to actually invest in women's advancement as a means to accelerate progress across all industries.

Challenges and Leadership

The challenges of navigating transitions between sectors and cultures have shaped Mimi’s inclusive and diverse leadership style. Emphasizing the importance of humility, listening, and decision-making that incorporates diverse perspectives, Mimi's approach to an authentic leadership is characterised by a deep understanding of the complexities inherent in working across different industries and regions in a multicultural environment.

Her parallel entry into the wine industry without traditional credentials also allowed her to bridge the gap between experts and beginners, leveraging her position to foster inclusivity and diversity. Mimi's success in creating a supportive environment for learning and growth in both the technology and wine industries shows her ability to navigate and unite diverse fields through leadership and passion.

Future Directions and Advice

Mimi’s advice to aspiring female leaders, whether they are considering going into general management, entrepreneurship, through a cross-industry leap or simply a promotion, is to “be bold, embrace change, and dare to ask for what you want. It’s ok to be ambitious.”

Mimi Giraud's journey into general management coupled with her commitment to mentorship and gender equity, exemplifies an ongoing movement of "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress," which is inspiring for future generations to break barriers and create their own paths to success.