What is empowerment anyway?

Eleonora Gabrielli, partnerships key account manager at SeenThis, breaks down what empowerment means to her

Eleonora Gabrielli

Account Manager SeenThis


Empowerment is a widely discussed concept in society nowadays. But what does the term actually mean? Googling it often leads you to examples related to women - and here I am: a woman trying to define empowerment through her life and experiences. 

But words mean different things to different people, of course. I have been trying to unpick - and to understand through self-reflection - whether to be empowered is something that an individual feels about themselves, whether it’s a term used by others to describe an individual or both?

“Empowerment is the granting of political, social or economic power to an individual or group,” suggests my Google search. But why is it granted to us? And by whom? 

There is nothing better than knowing you have achieved something by facing your fears.

Eleonora Gabrielli, Partnerships Key Account Manager, SeenThis

Certainly, empowerment is a tricky word to define; meaning different things to different people. I have come to view it as a lifelong process and goal. We are not necessarily empowered from the moment we are born. And perhaps, in a way, society layers things onto us which suppress us: stereotypes, marginalisation, discrimination.

But there is a saying, ‘Enjoy the journey, not just the destination’. This is what I am trying to do - and I have found that the first step to being empowered is confidence. 

Achieving confidence has always been a struggle for me. It’s something I’ve worked on. Removing all the stress from my life would be a dream come true, of course, but that wouldn’t necessarily make me feel empowered, either. In fact, I have come to believe - from my privileged position - that empowerment comes from overcoming anxiety and stress and learning to live with it to achieve goals. 

There is nothing better than knowing you have achieved something by facing your fears. That feeling, to me, is empowerment: a newfound confidence within yourself that allows you to take on all the different challenges life is throwing at you.

Unlayering and discovering ourselves and the way we interact with the world and society is tough, but it can be hastened if we choose to reflect on our own, unique journeys.

Technology can help to empower us, too, and it is gratifying when truly empowering concepts take flight. Take the well-known dating app, Bumble, which aims to challenge the stigmas of online dating and enable the evolution of cultural norms around gender roles. Founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd launched Bumble back in 2014 with the aim of creating a platform on which women could make the first move, with a vision to create a more respectful relationships app. This positioning has been Bumble’s key differentiator in the competitive dating app market, and consequently, it has been valued at as much as $13bn.

Individuals can make a huge difference, too, through mentorship and inspiration. Caitlyn Kumi, for instance, is a Google marketing manager and a strong believer in helping women in tech find their confidence and purpose. As a Gen Z role model, she has harnessed technology to engage and uplift other young women by sharing tips for professional and personal success.

Caitlyn herself has said that her ‘Women in Tech’ series put her on the map. She says, “Honestly, I mainly did it because I didn’t know anybody when I started at Google and I was nervous. So I reached out to colleagues and asked questions about their college majors, their current role at Google and the advice they’d give to their younger selves.”

On LinkedIn, she writes: “I am the woman I am today because of the people who invested in me and the investment I made in myself… I hope to inspire women to become the best versions of themselves and encourage women to support other women.”

Personally, I have found that what helps is acknowledging and respecting ourselves and learning to survive through both the good times and those times in which the monsters inevitably appear. Empowerment is not something that is just granted to us - it requires both a personal and collective effort. 

Guest Author

Eleonora Gabrielli

Account Manager SeenThis


With five years experience in the media industry, Eleonora has held numerous leading account management positions at companies such as Double Verify. In her current role as Partnerships Key Account Manager at adaptive video streaming company, SeenThis, Eleonora focuses on cultivating relationships with their strategic partners to drive a higher return on ad spend in a sustainable way.

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