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souboru Genton-LEpee Karin1

Businesstalkme.com: To speak, or not to speak, that is the question

Mentoring session summary: Women and Power with Karin Genton L’Epee

The question of why the society is critical of powerful and ambitious women and how it causes ambivalence about women’s own ambitions.

The art of Parisian charm and American attitude to business is how I’d describe Karin Genton-L’Epée. She is charismatic, high-energy and sincere in her interest when she is talking to you, the personality traits that engage you immediately.

No wonder that she has been enjoying great success as a professional business coach both in the US, where she founded L’Epée Coaching and Consulting, and her business continues to thrive in the Czech Republic where she transferred her operations. She creates and delivers targeted coaching and training programs aimed primarily at mid and top-level managers. Her focus is on developing leadership, cross-cultural understanding and effective communication in the global business environment.

I know Karin since the early 2000s when we first met at the Prague Business Women’s Club and when I saw that she was going to conduct a mentoring session at the Equal Pay Day Conference I attended this April, I signed up.

Karin was exploring the question of why the society is critical of powerful and ambitious women and how it causes ambivalence about women’s own ambitions. She brought a book Women and Power: A Manifestoby Mary Beard, the primary subject of which is female silence, a “long view on the culturally awkward relationship between the voice of women and the public sphere of speech-making, debate, and comment”.

Mary Beard the Cambridge University classicist, cultural critic, and feminist traced the roots of women’s lack of power to Athens and Rome and to women’s silence. A woman’s power is directly connected to her ability to speak up. Speaking up is a challenge for many women. Sometimes women speak when they shouldn’t and sometimes they keep silent when they should speak up. To speak or not to speak, these were the questions we explored during the mentoring session.

Personally, this talk with Karin made me think about how the exclusion of women from power is embedded in our culture, but on the other side, it raised a modest hope for progress in freeing women from the victim mentality – the habit of recognizing ourselves as victims of the negative actions of others.

Of course, culture and traditions can be a cause of creating conflicting internal messages  and hinder our ability to speak up. But also it is the fear of being direct and being perceived as Beard writes “Athena, the goddess of wisdom “In the Greek sense she is not a woman at all,” she’s a warrior, which is an exclusively masculine role”.

To avoid this comparison we have the desire to communicate in a feminine way, i.e. to speak softly and indirect; we strive for harmony and don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, and we fear to lose face when making a wrong decision.

So often we lack the courage to stand by our convictions and be resilient and persistent in turning around a decision that didn’t work out as planned.

The word courage „heart (as the seat of emotions),“ hence „spirit, temperament, state or frame of mind,“ from Old French corage „heart, innermost feelings; temper“ (12c., Modern French courage) 

And if we are talking about speaking up – sometimes we just have that fear that paralyzed our body. No matter how talented we are and no matter how well developed our skills sets may be – all of that is lost when we are crippled by our fear.

Regardless of what contributes to it – culture, internal or external pressures,  the courage is what helps us to control our own story in our mind. The courage makes us able to identify opportunities and possibilities and tame those internal voices that are telling us – “You just can’t do it, you are not good enough”.

Many of us are going to encounter that fear and that is natural,  we just have to keep going even if we are afraid. This is what courage is. 

Put your heart in your words and dare to show up. These moments differentiate people who say they really want something but give up when it’s difficult or it is not something that others expect from them, from those who stay committed and believe not only in themselves but also in their dreams. These moments are when you are willing to get rid of fear and be courageous and write your own story.

Author: Larisa Balanovskaya

businesstalkme.com

 

Pinella Bombaci at the Equal Pay Day Conference, Prague, April 2018

Businesstalkme.com: The intelligence of the hearts

Interview with Giuseppa (Pinella) Bombaci, Regional Coordinator BPW Europe 

Equal Pay Day raises awareness about the gender pay gap. For instance, in the Czech Republic, the difference of wages earned by men and women is around 22%. What factors do you think might contribute to that difference?

Pinella Bombaci: As everything in our lives, the pay gap, in my opinion, rooted in our culture. If you’d take a historical perspective, you would see that women were the ones who always took care of families, while men were working and providing for them. For hundreds of years, this order put women in a position of dependency on men.

Pinella Bombaci: If you’d look at the present moment – you’d see that women continue to undertake a greater share of unpaid caring duties within households, and are therefore more likely to work part-time or not work at all.  And while the men’s jobs are paid at a higher rate, women’s share of the nation’s wage bill is even less than is implied by the pay gap.

But, step by step, women change this situation. They are finding the strength to rebel and oppose stereotypes. We, at the BPW, are supporting our members and women not only in EU but also in Africa and Asia. In many of those countries, there is not only a huge pay gap, but women experience discrimination and are denied equality.

Do you think that’s the women’s role as the “primary caregiver” is necessary to change (or it’s likely to change) – and if such a change might produce some benefit to everybody?

PB: In my opinion, it is not necessary to change, or abandon this role. I think that this is really important that women maintain the role of caregivers. We, women, have the intelligence of the hearts and we can share it with our families, in the workplace, and in the society. The heart intelligence is what gives us the ability to be real, present, connected and heart-directed in every area of our life. With this, we can experience greater levels of performance, creativity and ultimately greater satisfaction in life.

But, the role of caregivers can’t limit the movement of women’s empowerment. And I think that where the change really comes from – is from the government. There should be a will to make the change, there should be an interest in creating opportunities for women, to support women in their roles in the workplace and in the society. This support will allow women to maintain their role of caregivers, without sacrificing other parts of life. It will allow them to keep sharing the power of love, which everyone needs: men, children, all people.

We, women, have the intelligence of the hearts. The heart intelligence is what gives us the ability to be real, present, connected and heart-directed in every area of our life.

Giuseppa (Pinella) Bombaci, Regional Coordinator BPW Europe

In your opinion does it become easier or harder in some ways for women in the workforce? Are women better at bargaining on salary or flexible hours?

In a sense, it became easier, because of availability of educational programs. For example one of the cornerstones of the BPW clubs is the Personal Empowerment Program, which supports women in developing their leadership potential and motivates them to focus and reach their goals. One of the modules of the program is teaching women negotiation skills, necessary not only when they enter the workforce, but throughout the career – ability to negotiate flexible hours, better salary and benefits.  One of BPW associate Conny R Montague will present and give the workshop on the Art of Negotiation in the workplace in the next symposium in Wien. It is very important that we not only theorize about problems and the reasons why these problems exist but show practical ways to solve them, so participants can learn skills they need to tackle these problems.

Harvard University, Henry Lee Professor of Economics Claudia Goldingwrote about “quiet revolution”.

The term defines a change in how young women perceive the courses their lives are going to take. Their perceptions of their futures, their own aspirations, began to change. And so their expectations about being in the workforce. The “revolution” started in 1968 in the US.  Now it is 2018 – Do you feel like we’ve seen progress?

(“The ‘Quiet Revolution’ That Transformed Women’s Employment, Education, and Family,” American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 2006)  

PB: When I say that women are step by step changing the tradition, it is to say that there is this quiet revolt. When I talk to young women, I see how different they are in comparison with women of my generation. Today, women become citizens of the world, not limited by countries of their origin. They embrace life without borders of prejudices of religion, nationalities or political systems. And I am sure that we all realize that the more open we are and the more we work towards our dreams, the better our future becomes – without wars, prejudices and religious intolerance. This is exactly what Equal Pay Day Women to Themselves Conference in Prague with 1.400 women attending the event, shows us – the progress is real.

What is your role in the BPW Europe?

Giuseppa (Pinella) Bombaci is the Regional coordinator of Europe, she coordinates the network of the biggest associations of Business and Professional Women of the world:

  • thirty-eight countries
  • sixteen federations
  • twenty-two clubs
  • eighteen thousand members all over Europe.

She oversees the implementation of the action plan developed by the BPW International by the clubs and federations; plans and participates in the organization of BPW meetings. For example the next  Presidents Meeting – BPW Europe  and the Young BPWSymposium in Vienna April 27– April 29, 2018

PB: I ensure that there is always a clear and constant flow of communication both internal and external. I arrange coverage of the BPW events, and I am fully involved in the everyday process of organization of these important events. Even though I have been used to a heavy workload since the time I worked at the Ministry of Finance, but it can’t compare with the workload I have at BPW!

But, working for BPW is my passion. I admit, it is a lot of work, but it gives me tremendous satisfaction as I see the positive impact it has on lives of many women. It also allows me to meet and build relationships with amazing people from all over the world.

Currently, my focus is on the implementation of steps that will support BPW clubs in the eastern countries. For example,  later this year, in October I will be in Moscow attending the 25th anniversary of the BPW Russia. This is going to be a big event with the members of Moscow and St.Petersburg clubs coming together. I cordially invite everyone to join and help us celebrate the anniversary!

Giuseppa (Pinella) Bombaci is an active member of the BPW Club Livorno, Tuscany, Italy since 1993. In 2017 Pinella was elected BPW Europe regional coordinator, member of the BPW International Executive. She is the author of the new Constitution and bylaws of Fidapa BPW-Italy. In her impressive professional career, Pinella served as the regional director of Tuscany and Liguria and was co-director in Rome. She is a Professor of the administrative law of the High School of the Ministry of Economy, Italy. For her outstanding professional commitment, Pinella Bombaci was rewarded with the honorary title of “Commander of The Order of Merit of the Italian Republic”.

Author: Larisa Balanovskaya

businesstalkme.com

 

Tatana Gregor Brzobohata

Businesstalkme.com: Sharing the beauty of life with others

Tatana Gregor Brzobohata is the winner of Miss World. She is the one and only Czech who won this title. She is also one of a few founders of non-profits in the Czech Republic who support the elderly. For many years she has been working in a field that is apparently not attractive for other nonprofits and volunteers in the Czech Republic.

Her Foundation Krása pomoci supports projects that help seniors living alone and experiencing social isolation. The foundation provides social services, such as personal assistance, care service in homes of seniors, and runs programs for their social integration. The Foundation raised 30 million Czech Crowns to aid senior citizens.

Tatana’s work has been praised by the United Nations, where she represents Czech Republic’s non-profit sector. Tatana is the Ambassador SDG’s(Sustainable Development Goals).

I attended her presentation at the Equal Pay Day conference where she was talking about women working in the non-profit sector in the Czech Republic, the gender pay gap, and the importance of promoting gender equality.

I want to support women and their activities. I believe that women have the power to change the world for the better. Sharing experience and knowledge are important for inspiring women and enhancing their self-confidence. It is my honor to share what I’ve learned. I believe that life rewards those who love life and have the desire and determination to work and care for others around the world.

I thought Tatana’s work is an example of a real-life application of Viktor Frankl’s philosophy.

Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, he discovered a magic formula for becoming successful and living a healthy and happy life. He actually had ha practical prescription on how we can find the meaning in life:  (1) by doing a meaningful work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by having the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering and finding something positive about it.

“For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.” 

― Viktor E. FranklMan’s Search for Meaning

There is a real benefit of doing a good deed, of being immersed in something positive, of having a focus on something really beautiful that we are trying to create.

Author: Larisa Balanovskaya

www.businesstalkme.com

 

13.4

Why do we go conferences?

Have you ever considered for what reason you are spending all that money and time? Of course, you can list  “7 reasons of why you should go” – like learning new tips and tricks and having networking opportunities, but it can’t be only for that. Because  - really everything is available online. For tips and tricks, there are blog posts to read, for learning, there are online courses to take, for connecting with your peers there are Facebook and LinkedIn groups to join – and you do it all at your leisure…

But, no matter how convenient the digital world is, it can’t be compared with the real-life experience of the interconnectedness of people. The power that conferences have is to create this experience that allows us to transform.

Why? Because we want to change. Transformation is one of the human desires.  We want to become wiser, better, more equipped, more accepted and more at peace. When we get together, united by this purpose, we make our own transformation possible.

When we are closely connected, not just by technology, and we share our worldviews – something wonderful starts to happen. We learn by real examples, we get a deeper understanding and we find more and new ways to catalyze the change.

Come and learn from others and give back – share your knowledge, idea, something that matters to you the most. The reason is to look at the world not from an individual perspective but from the perspective of all of us – and it’s in our power to make it a better place.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Loredana Popasav 2018

Loredana Popasav: The paradox of feelings and money

Money doesn’t equal happiness. Despite what people say.  Despite advertisements that simply tell us that we will be happier if we make the right purchase. And because money can buy us lots of things we somehow fall into the trap of believing that money will also buy us a sense of security and comfort, that they will make us at peace with ourselves. Will they really?

So let’s talk about money, or more specifically, what money can’t do – give us a sense of security or comfort.

Money is a human creation so you don’t have to carry your goats to the market and exchange them for the nice iPhone. Everybody is talking about money, you hear more about money than you hear about people. We put our happiness at stake for the amount of money we would like to earn, or the money we lost. We, innocently, think money creates feelings, or a sense of security. But money – coins, bills, checks, bank statements, are completely neutral and have no power whatsoever to give you, or anyone else in the world, a feeling, whatever that feeling might be – good or bad. Money can’t give you neither grief, or anger, or security, or comfort, or happiness, or peace of mind. But sometimes, it seems like money does give us a sense of security, or comfort, or lack of it. We have all experienced these kind of feelings, or many other variations of these feelings. The pay rise, the yearly bonus, the 200Kc bill you find in your spring coat pocket that makes you feel you’ve just won the lottery. Now, that 200Kc bill, or the pay raise, has no power to give you any feeling. It can’t give you a good feeling or a bad feeling. That feeling is created by thought, thought in the moment, that feeling is not created by money.

The only place that feeling of security can come from is inside us, it’s always been coming from inside us and it always will come from inside us. This is the game changer, knowing where to look, when we search for security. Knowing that the safety net is built in and it’s definitely not made of money. Every feeling in the spectrum is a creation of our own thinking in the moment.

What I’m trying to say is – money is an inanimate object, or number, that helps us trade for goods, products and services. Money can’t create feelings, because the only place feelings can come from is our own thinking in the moment. That sense of security that all of us is looking for and trying hard to pay for, is built in. It’s inside us. Money is just something that we get for our goods, products and services and something that we give for other goods, products and services. Money has nothing to do with our feelings. It’s our thinking that creates our feelings in the moment.

Why is this big, or important? Because understanding where that feeling of security comes from, opens up a whole new world of possibilities. When the pressure is off, we can see more clearly. We understand our value and the value of our good, product, or service. We see ways to improve and increase that value. We see when we are undervalued and we find constructive ways to correct that. We see new ways to create value, to get more for our goods, products, or services. We see with fresh eyes.

There is a joke that says “Best things in life are free, the second best things are very expensive” and we only need money for the second best ;-)

 Loredana Popasav for Equalpayday.cz

Trio Kijonkova

Simona, Margareta a Petra odpoví na otázku, Kde jsou peníze

Odpolední panel devátého ročníku konference bude velmi inspirativní. Tři ženy, které jsou úspěšné ve svém byznysu, nebojí se jít svou cestou a přijímat nové výzvy, povedou diskuzi na téma Kde jsou peníze?

Simona Kijonková je úspěšná česká podnikatelka, majitelka společnosti Zásilkovna. Pohybuje se v prostředí e-commerce a je zakladatelkou a majitelkou portálu Robeeto.cz, který sdružuje poskytovatele služeb a zákazníky, dále také akcionářkou v MYPS s.r.o., IT projektu specializující se na startupy. Za svou podnikatelskou a inovativní činnost byla zařazena do žebříčku TOP 25 žen Česka v byznysu 2015.

Margareta Křížová je mentorkou začínajících podnikatelů. Podporuje je při rozjezdu byznysu, v rozvoji firmy, ale i ve fázích rozvoje, či úpadku. Je Managing partnerem poradenské kanceláře CEAG. Její postřehy a komentáře si můžeme přečíst na blogu Z deníku investorky.

Petra Westerlaan Končelíková je zakladatelkou a prezidentkou wFundAcademy. Specializuje se na podporu vývoje podnikatelů, se zaměřením na ženy. Je výkonnou ředitelkou iCollege, jako spolumajitelka Node5 pomáhá Petra s budováním technologického centra pro začínající podnikatele a profesionály.

Celý program konference naleznete zde.

Trio Kijonkova

kulate_stoly_0

The best investment ever

„The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself…The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.“ This quote by Warren Buffett describes, in the best way possible, the main theme of the Equal Pay Day – Women to Themselves Conference featured today in Prague Daily Monitor

WOMEN, MONEY AND GENDER EQUALITY

Czech women are starting to discover that investments into themselves make sense long-term and go well beyond money. At the conference Equal Pay Day that will take place in Prague on April 13-14, 2018, money and its role in women’s lives and wellbeing will be the key topic for discussion. The conference is organized by Business & Professional Women, a Czech non-governmental organization that deals with women, gender equality and career growth.

Click here to read the full Article

Moderatori

Letošní ročník konference moderují Marie Petrovová a Tomáš Jindříšek

Na devátém ročníku konference Ženy sobě nás společně přivítají Marie Petrovová a Tomáš Jindříšek. Na pódium pozvou pestrý koktejl osobností a společně nás provedou inspirujícími a provokativními tématy týkající se otázky peněz, rovnoprávnosti platů a osobního rozvoje.

Kdo je Marie?

Marie pracovala téměř deset let v rozhlasovém zpravodajství, posléze se stala mluvčí Komerční banky. Řídila komunikaci v KB a pak také v GE Money Bank. Po třinácti letech opustila korporátní prostředí směrem k vlastnímu byznysu a vzdělávání. Od roku 2016 působí jako Managing Director ve společnosti Top Vision a je spolumajitelkou společnosti Osvobozená domácnost s.r.o.

bio

A kdo je Tomáš?

Tomáš se profesionálně věnuje marketingové komunikaci a internetu od roku 1998, pravidelně přednáší a publikuje. Je duchovním otcem projektu Zasedačka roku a spoluautorem projektu Ceskovdatech.cz.  Je spoluzakladatelem agentury Dark Side, kde působí jako managing partner. Mimo jiné působí jako předseda představenstva neziskové organizace Jahoda, je členem dozorčí rady asociace nadací a nadačních fondů Fóra Dárců a je spoluautorem prvního crowfundingového portálu pro neziskovky Darujspravne.cz.

bio

Moderatori

Stastna Lenka face

Three Characteristic of Prague’s most charismatic female leader

What are the personality traits a leader must have to turn a simple networking dinner into a World-Class Conference?

Equal Pay Day – Women to Themselves is the biggest empowering women’s conference in the Czech Republic. The conference helps thousands of women to develop their interpersonal and professional skills, such as leadership, mentoring, and conflict resolution, which are essential to any career. This year the event brings together 1,400  participants from the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, and Austria.

In this interview, I wanted to back up the story a little bit because I don’t think you can talk about the event without talking about the host. Please let me introduce Lenka Stastna, the president and the woman behind the Equal Pay Day – Women to Themselves conference, the largest event in its space.

Lenka’s Story

Lenka Stastna: I have more than thirty years of working experience both in business and corporate worlds. I started my career as a Senior Economic Advisor and a Deputy Head in a relatively large business, and after working for fifteen years in a private sector I moved to the banking industry. As the Head of Commercial Bank, I oversaw and managed several local branches, created dozens of new outlets and focused largely on sourcing deals and maintaining relationships with other businesses.

As for my educational background – first I studied Hotel Management and then furthered my education at the Prague’s University of Economics, which I graduated with a master degree. Later I earned an academic degree from two postgraduate studies in the USA. I always say that I started my education in a state-planned economy and completed it in a totally different political and economic system. I consider myself extremely lucky to have lived and worked through the main changes in economy, politics, and culture that my country has gone through after the collapse of the socialist regime in 1989.

 Do you really enjoy change? Usually, the opposite is true – we love progress, but don’t like change. Change is uncomfortable and we tend to retreat back into our comfort zone, so how can we see it differently?

LS: Change is the inevitable part of life and no matter how happy and attached we are to the present situation, life will always change. We are forever growing, expanding, and changing. I realized that the only thing I could do is to learn to let it work for me, that by observing the emergence of new trends, I can benefit from the change. I would define my life strategy is “Connecting the dots”, this is what always helps me to make better decisions both in business and in my personal life.

Would you then agree with Henry Adams who said: “All experience is an arch, to build upon”?

LS: Absolutely! I couldn’t agree more. One of the greatest things we can do for ourselves is to learn from every single experience we had. I see every experience as an opportunity to learn and I try to transform it into a practical lesson that will drive me to become better at everything I will undertake in the future. That means that I am in a constant process of learning new things. I learn from my past experience, from media, books and I learn from people.

All of my life I invest in my personal and professional development and I don’t keep what I’ve learned for myself – I share my knowledge and experience with others. It is a great honor for me to convey something of what seems to me to be beneficial to the others.

The sharing and supporting others give me a sense of purpose. It helps me to focus my time and energy on what’s really important and it motivates me. This is my “why” in the question of why I do what I do.

Sharing and supporting is the purpose of the Equal Pay Day – Women to Themselves conference. But how such events can help women to learn and develop skills necessary to get ahead in their careers?

LS. Well, we often say that we simply do not have the time to do something for ourselves. Because it is already a lot –  we are working, running a household, raising children, taking care of elderly parents… and the list goes on and on.. But, when we get together and get involved in a community of like-minded people, where we feel comfortable and confident to participate in discussions, build partnerships, learn and share ideas –  we grow, because we take part in a unique form of “real life training” that no school can offer.