Highlighting Women Authors of Achievement with Daria Suvorova
Daria Suvorova, creator and host of the Women Authors of Achievement (WAA) Podcast.
As part of our celebration of International Women’s Day, today we want to use this opportunity to continue putting the spotlight on some of the inspiring and interesting women who work at Klarna. This is something that Daria Suvorova does herself on a regular basis as the creator and host of the Women Authors of Achievement (WAA) Podcast, a project created to give listeners insights into the minds of some of the most successful women of our time.
With topics that range from How Artificial Intelligence can help us live better lives, to How it is Disrupting the Banking Industry (something that we are quite interested in at Klarna already!) and How to Foster Financial Independence, Daria takes on a journey to discover and learn from these remarkable women. Now, we are the ones interested in learning from her.
— Women Authors of Achievement. Why this title for this project you have created? Who can be considered a “Woman of Achievement”?
Throughout history, women founded institutions, built economies, and influenced global developments. I believe that every woman is an author of achievement, regardless of the size of her achievement.
The name of the podcast stems from a Latin phrase dux femina facti, which means a woman was the author of the achievement, referring to Queen Dido’s founding of Carthage. Escaping tyranny in her country, Dido came to Libya where she founded the Phoenician city-state of Carthage, which, in a short time became one of the most powerful cities in North Africa. I was really inspired by this powerful, but yet so unknown story, and I kept reflecting on it. After playing around with the phrase a bit I shortened it to “Women Authors of Achievement.” I really like that it sounds a bit complex and requires you to think about the actual meaning of the words.
— Tell us how this project came to fruition. Do you already know the women you want to interview, or how does that first connection tend to happen?
Growing up in a family that hosted regular dinners and social events, I was surrounded by a lot of creative people from a young age. Back in those days, we had writers, actors, art critics, journalists, and artists coming over to submerge themselves in thought-provoking discussions and reflections on matters happening around the world, which I was invited to participate in from a young age.
I had a desire to re-create this intimate experience, which is how I started organizing networking dinners in Berlin. The first dinner started with only 12 women, but the community grew to over 200 women once the word got out.
As soon as the pandemic hit and hosting dinners were no longer possible, I started thinking about how we could continue sharing the knowledge, not only within this group of people but also with a wider audience. This is what inspired me to start the WAA Podcast. A year later, the podcast has grown in ways I never imagined possible. The podcast is now in its second season and I have had over 40 remarkable and inspiring women share their stories with me as of now.
My list of potential guests for the podcast is massive and it only gets longer with every passing week! Most of the women who participate are already in my network, otherwise, I rely on someone in my network to make an introduction. For me, it is important that the women I invite to speak on the podcast have a strong work track record and appealing personal stories which can inspire and energize listeners. I also try my best to introduce new topics on the podcast, so every episode can feel like a new chapter of a book – surprising at times and with new insights that continuously add to the show’s storyline.
— You have your work at Klarna, and the work you do with the podcast. How do you stay balanced? Is there a common thread that you see in the work that you do?
To be frank, when the second wave of lockdown started in Germany back in Autumn 2020 there was not much one could do after work or on the weekends, so I decided to find something that would not only substitute the dinners I formerly hosted, but also something that could motivate me – this is exactly when I recorded the first episodes.
If you were to ask my friends or family, I think they will all say that it’s really against my nature to sit and wait for better times to come. No matter what is happening in the world, life goes on. Time and your own personal life never stop. So I try my best to find ways to stay occupied, hopeful, and to find a new purpose even when the world is on “hold”.
Discipline helps me a lot. At the same time, I need to have a creative outlet, which for me is the WAA Podcast. Sometimes I feel like an artist who has her own canvas where I can experiment and play around with colors and shapes. The best part of this is that other people who listen to the podcast share the same feeling of being motivated and uplifted by the stories they hear. I really appreciate the great support and people writing with gratitude, this is the greatest motivation, truly.
However, balance is everything. Over the last year, I learned a lot about how to prioritize and be effective in my work. At a hypergrowth company such as Klarna, a lot of things can be happening at the same time. I always make sure to focus and identify the most important projects and prioritize them, which helps me create maximum value/output from my work.
— How do you envision WAA growing from where you are now?
I always stay curious and continuously seek stories, inspiration, and learnings from other people. It is exciting to meet someone completely different from you and find common ground. My hope is to awaken this curiosity for knowledge in others with the work I put out.