Gitta Toussi: Leading the Charge for Gender Equality in Business

With the advent of technology and social media, women now have a platform to raise awareness about workplace challenges and advocate for better career opportunities. The “me too” movement, in particular, has significantly empowered women to address issues such as unequal pay and limited access to higher positions, which men traditionally dominated. This shift in mindset is long overdue. Historically, women have been underrepresented in leadership positions and continue earning less than men for the same work. But thanks to technology, women can finally break through the barriers that have held them back.

Gitta Toussi, the Founder and CEO of 1 World In Freedom, LLC, is an empowering woman business leader who has significantly impacted this realm. Gitta established her company as a Solopreneur in 2005, offering her expertise to organizations that value her services. By operating as an independent entity, she creates an environment where employees can truly understand her without concerns about competition for their positions or career advancement.

Throughout her career, Gitta has earned a solid reputation as a reliable and trustworthy business professional. Whether working as an employee or contractor for various firms, she has gained 27 years of impressive experience. Recently, she decided to step forward and offer her exceptional skills as an independent program/divisional/enterprise-level agile coach service provider.

Gitta’s Path to Independent Success

Gitta’s educational and professional journey began with her graduation from the University of Maryland, where she obtained a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. During that time, her only aspiration was to become a Business Analyst, a role that greatly interested her. She secured her first job with a Telecommunications company, starting as a tester.

However, Gitta’s initial annual review was poor due to a misunderstanding. Due to her limited work experience, she believed she required clear and detailed instructions for every task, just like in old movies where work is handed to you and you wait for the next assignment. Her manager addressed this misconception and explained, “Gitta, we noticed as long as someone comes to you and tasks you with work, you get it done right away and perfect. But as soon as you are left on your own, nothing is happening.”

Gitta’s mindset shifted after this revelation. She realized she didn’t have to wait for permission or direction to contribute to the company’s objectives. With this newfound understanding, her work habits transformed, and her managers noticed her growth, describing her as “rising like a helicopter.” She appreciates the support and mentorship she received from her manager during this period.

A significant turning point in Gitta’s career came when the company faced a challenging critical milestone, leading to unmotivated coworkers. Taking charge, Gitta proactively approached individuals from different departments, seeking to learn about their roles. She aimed to give her best and contribute to the company’s success. Through this initiative, she gained firsthand knowledge of the company’s business processes and software development life cycle (SDLC). Gitta’s dedication and willingness to go above and beyond earned her the respect of her co-workers. This experience demonstrated that what seemed impossible was, in fact, an opportunity for success. As a result, her career took off, and she received several promotions to recognize her hard work.

Gitta’s fearlessness in trying new things led her to pursue hands-on experience in various IT roles. These roles include coder, database administrator (DBA), quality control (QC), systems analyst (SA), business analyst (BA), business relationship manager (BRM), and project/program/portfolio manager. Her curiosity extended beyond roles to encompass industries and company sizes. She actively pursued opportunities in the automotive industry, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, finance, banking, education, telecommunications, and the security sector. This allowed her to gain experience in remote work, particularly within international companies.

Finally, in 2005, Gitta felt her work experience had become well-rounded. Drawing on her diverse experiences, she leaped independence by establishing her own company, 1 World In Freedom, LLC. This step marked a significant milestone in her entrepreneurial journey.

A Solopreneur’s Mission to Inspire Brilliance in the Workplace

1 World In Freedom, LLC’s primary focus is to provide services to organizations that value Gitta’s unique set of skills. By operating independently, the company ensures employees can better understand Gitta’s expertise without concerns about competition or personal career advancement.

The mission of 1 World In Freedom, LLC is to unleash leadership brilliance, foster a thriving company culture, and maximize the growth potential of talent. The company’s vision is to encourage creativity and bring out the best in leaders. They aim to cultivate an environment where the value of individual growth is harnessed and celebrated.

The mission statement and philosophy of 1 World In Freedom emphasize the importance of embracing genuineness, focusing on personal growth, respecting the unique contributions of each individual, and channeling confidence and positive content in a purposeful direction. The company advocates for win-win solutions that benefit both individuals and the world. They promote meaningful and enriching learning experiences that lead to positive and humane outcomes.

1 World In Freedom, LLC aims to create a world where all seven billion people unite in this initiative, both in their personal lives and businesses. They encourage shaping and forming the world through positive actions and considerate behavior for the present and future generations. By embodying these principles, the company strives to make a lasting and positive impact on society.

Empowering Diverse Industries towards Societal Progress


Gitta primarily targets companies from diverse industries. However, she is selective in choosing clients whose mission statements align with her values and contribute to societal improvement. While each company believes its processes and challenges are unique, Gitta has observed common pain points that cut across different sectors. These include employee satisfaction and happiness, customer retention, ensuring quality and timely delivery, effective cost management, and the need for an environment conducive to innovation. Although every industry has unique characteristics, many companies face similar challenges when striving for progress and expansion.

Leading with Clarity

Throughout her career, Gitta’s roles and responsibilities have evolved, and she found herself drawn to the Agile methodology and the servant leadership approach, which aligns well with her personality. Embracing the agile coaching role, she has invested significant effort in obtaining numerous leadership and agile certifications.

One of Gitta’s notable strengths stems from her diverse hands-on experiences in various organizational roles. This background has honed her ability to communicate effectively and clearly with individuals at all levels of a company’s organizational structure. Gitta can bridge communication gaps by engaging with C-level executives or the talented individuals responsible for delivering commitments. Her talent in facilitating dialogue between coworkers and leaders across different divisions has proven instrumental in keeping them focused on the company’s vision and mission.

Establishing Psychological Safety

Gitta believes establishing shared values is the best way to build a great team. Recognizing the importance of understanding and treating people with respect and empathy, she emphasizes the value of teamwork and having a common goal. Gitta believes that constantly instructing individuals on what to do is not conducive to building a strong team. Instead, she encourages open conversations and invites team members to contribute their ideas and perspectives. Whether someone is introverted or extroverted, Gitta recognizes the importance of giving everyone a chance to voice their opinions. This involves establishing a sense of psychological safety, which enables team members to share their ideas and perspectives without fear of judgment.

Competing on Equal Grounds

Gitta acknowledges the existence of statistically different pay rates between male and female talent, and she approaches this issue calmly while seeking opportunities to address it diplomatically. She advocates for individuals, irrespective of gender, to be aware of the salaries of others in similar positions. Understanding one’s self-worth enables one to confidently negotiate for fair compensation when appropriate.

In Gitta’s perspective, competitiveness is not inherently gender-based or focused on opposite genders. Both men and women can be competitive within their respective groups. Those who prioritize competition and subscribe to the “survival of the fittest” mindset may prioritize the act of competition over gender. In such cases, competition may take precedence over traditional gender dynamics, challenging the “ladies first” notion in the workforce. Gitta stresses the importance of being ready to be treated the way men treat each other in competitive settings when competing with them.

Gitta recognizes the need for adjustments in societal perceptions of gender roles and responsibilities. She acknowledges that changing these perspectives is challenging, as global consensus on such topics is rare. Gitta expects progress in this area but admits that it may fluctuate as society evolves.

Navigating through Change

Gitta loves the versatility of her profession, as it allows her to apply her skills to various industries and engage with individuals at all levels within an organization. This enables her to unite diverse teams towards a common objective while empowering each individual to reach their full potential. She appreciates the continuous learning opportunities that come with her work, broadening her knowledge and diving deeper into specific areas. Gitta finds it exciting to face new challenges and explore uncharted territories.

However, one aspect she dislikes about the industry is the tendency of hiring managers to revert to traditional criteria during economic uncertainty. This shift in mindset can make them less receptive to innovative approaches and less open to embracing new ideas. Gitta has observed that when the economy is shaky, there can be a reluctance to deviate from established norms, hindering progress and limiting opportunities for innovative solutions.

Advice for Women

As a successful leader, Gitta has valuable advice for aspiring women leaders. She encourages them to pursue careers that align with their passions and have a positive impact on others. Gitta believes that as human beings, individuals often have multiple passions, and it is important to explore and discover them.

However, Gitta cautions against the counterproductive nature of women’s empowerment when it involves perceiving other women as rivals or competitors. She emphasizes that women should only feel the need to be competitive with one another if an agreed-upon friendly competition motivates and drives both individuals forward. Gitta promotes supporting and uplifting one another, creating a more conducive environment for growth and success among women leaders.

Quote

“The first person who needs to respect and stand the ground for you is you. Everyone else around you who may volunteer to support you is a bonus.”

ALSO READ: The 10 Iconic Business Women Leaders of 2024

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