You can go through anything if you have a purpose – EBA Her Story
Every life story can inspire endlessly, be an inexhaustible source of strength, motivation, and ideas. Especially when it comes to female leaders who change the country every day with their actions, projects, and talents. And yesterday at the European Business Association we held an evening about and for such women – “Her story. Women who change the country. “
The event was started by Olena Zelenska, First Lady of Ukraine. Ms. Olena greeted the participants and stressed the importance of female leaders in the country. She stressed that she was impressed by how fast the Ukrainian word for a female leader – “liderka” became commonplace. At the same time, female leadership is, unfortunately, not as common yet. And even according to the State Statistics Committee, only a third of management positions in Ukraine are held by women. Meanwhile, female-led companies are believed to have better financial performance.
Monica Walser, CEO of de Sade Ag, addressed each one in the audience and stressed that everyone there is an accomplished professional, so it’s important to believe in yourself. However, without a team and support, it is difficult to achieve something. After all, the environment determines each of us – the better people around us, the better we become.
Patricia Shmorgun Hawrylyhyn also addressed the audience and thanked her husband for his patience and harmonious effect on her work. And for Patricia’s achievements in science, she was awarded the Swiss Excellency award.
Then women in the academy, CSR, and charity sectors presented their stories.
Ella Libanova, academician, Director of the Institute of Demography and Social Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, shared her experience as a scholar. “Working as a scholar is happiness. And happiness is to have such employees at the Institute. In fact, academic work is the only way to satisfy one’s curiosity with state finance,” Ella joked. She also noted that the pandemic has changed everything, and in science as well. Unfortunately, it is currently difficult to imagine how we will motivate people to work. After all, remote employment is a great pity for the academy, because it is, first of all, live communication. And the pandemic was not as terrible as humanity’s reaction to it. And now it is difficult to imagine how humanity will come out of it. Moreover, there is a high probability that coronavirus will greatly increase inequality in the world.
Olga Rudneva, Executive Director at the Elena Pinchuk Foundation, spoke about the change in charity during COVID. “The crisis has given people the opportunity to try what charity is. And, by the way, most crises have increased the number of people who are interested in charity. After all, in a crisis, people urge to do something good, “- said Olga. And yes, maybe in the crisis the sum of donations can decrease but more new people come to support the charity. What does a portrait of a Ukrainian philanthropist look like? This is a woman, 35-45 years old, who has children and who is quite impulsive in making decisions (she sees the photo of the child, the call to action, and then goes to help). And thus, one life story can inspire many others. And it’s fantastic!
Maryna Saprykina, Head of the Center for the Development of Corporate Social Responsibility, referring to her 12 years of experience working with social projects in business, stressed that during the crisis people tend to trust a business more than public organizations, charitable foundations, or the government. And, surely, COVID has influenced the business. So, on the one hand, businesses began to invest and helped the country survive the first stages of the pandemic. On the other hand, unfortunately, the business has lost the strategic approach to social projects – for example, we still invest little in the circular economy. Although, we are already confidently moving in this direction. So, everything will work out. But we must not forget about the systemic vision!
We were very pleased to be a part of this event, as Oriflame has dedicated 55 years worldwide and 25 years in Ukraine to empower women to achieve success, reach incredible heights and change not only their lives but the lives of others for the better. Strong, successful, beautiful women inside and outside are what unite us with Her Story projects.
We truly thank the participants for a great evening. Special thanks to the co-organizer of the event – the Swiss Embassy in Ukraine and Partners – Oriflame and Grawe!