Oana Iordachescu, 36 years old, born in Bucharest, Romania. Oana has lived in Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin before moving to Barcelona a few months ago. She is the founder of We Include, a consultancy and media organization focused on technology recruitment, diversity and inclusion and the future of work. She has been a senior Talent leader in large scale technology organizations like Booking.com, Criteo, Meta, Wayfair and led teams across EMEA and Asia, hiring the next generation of talent.
Why did you choose Barcelona?
Barcelona made it easily in the top cities to live in at this point in my personal life and professional career. From a professional perspective it is up and coming in the tech space, the level of investment and innovation are both very promising for making Barcelona the next tech hub. This already attracts international talent that is interested in making Spain a home. While very easy to get by in English in the city, the local culture is a very open and engaging one, so you can integrate with ease. It is also the perfect place to practice more mindful living, with a lot of outdoors for all types of activities from hiking, cycling, swimming, etc., a positive outlook on life and prioritization of social connections and community activities, which I love.
What aspects of the city would you highlight as being positive?
I am extremely grateful for the people’s openness to connect on both business and personal level. Feeling lonely and isolated in new places is a common theme among immigrants and the people of Barcelona get it. Both locals and expats have said “yes” to all my “cortado” invites and thus managed to quickly understand the local realities and connect on the many levels we need to create a good life when starting anew.
What aspects of the city must be improved? How?
After living in Amsterdam and Berlin I really took on biking everywhere, I try to do this here too, but I must confess it is an anxiety filled activity as the city is not made for cyclists. I think the municipality should really engage some expert consultants to reverse engineer the infrastructure needed to both engage and protect all road participants. The city would be cleaner, quieter, and friendlier, if a balance is struck.
What do you expect from Barcelona in the coming years?
In a growing city, there will be multiple struggles when it comes to dynamic integration and avoiding classisms or segregation, so I expect it to offer an infrastructure for all, that it creates conversation forums where those who want to get involved, can do so, such as Barcelona Global, and that it creates human scale accessibility to institutions, education, cultural offering and work. With the right tools, local and international talent can jointly build incredible initiatives and strike that balance between local authenticity and global resources.
Which city do you feel as «your city»? What do you miss the most?
I am a biproduct of all the places I lived in, and I miss equally the calm and friendly people of Dublin, the postcard perfect canal walks in Amsterdam, the rich art culture of Paris, the possibility to cycle from Berlin to Poland for some pierogi and the easy summers of Bucharest. Now I feel I am blending all this in Barcelona. These places are now engines of tech innovation, of access to future looking jobs and education and they all can be role-models for other municipalities, if they prioritize doing the right things for all their diverse communities.
If you are an expatriate living in the city and want to help improve Barcelona to attract more high-impact talent, you can complete the survey here: https://barcelonaglobal.civi-go.net/en/6th_international_talent_monitor