Women Act: The Future of Leadership is Female
Women Act, a Leadership Academy, was organized in Patras on 23 June 2022 with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. The event was a half-day experiential workshop on "Leadership and Personal Branding" that gave female participants the skills necessary to project a more concrete and assertive image in the public sphere.
Before the workshop, Member of Parliament Christina Alexopoulou delivered a keynote speech addressing gender equality and the significance of projecting a strong public image as a woman in the public sphere, whether in the political realm or any other aspect of professional life.
Following the introduction, remarks were made by Amalia Voulgari, the regional consultant of Western Greece, consultant mandated by the Regional Governor on social politics and social inequality, and president of the Western Greece Regional Committee for Gender Equality. Her address centered on local and regional initiatives to combat gender inequality and social disparities.
Eleni Siapikoudi, speaking on behalf of FNF, highlighted the foundation's critical work in promoting democratic principles in Europe and provided an overview of the projects funded by FNF concerning gender equality, diversity, and social inclusion.
Following the speakers, May Zanni, president, and co-founder of Women Act, presented the organization's work, emphasizing the concrete and active work done to support women in claiming leadership positions and participating in decision-making centers. Mrs. Zanni specifically mentioned the Women CANdidates program, which the U.S. Embassy in Greece funds. It is the first online platform in Greece that supports women who want to run for office. More information on the Women CANdidates Program can be found on womencandidates.gr.
Additionally, she introduced the W-action initiative, the first platform that connects women professionals to high-level conference organizers in Greece, allowing women to have a greater voice in the public sphere. She also mentioned the work done by Women Act throughout Greece through the various hubs the organization has established in various parts of the country, Patras being one of them.
After the opening remarks, Dr. Maria Gianniou, co-founder of Women Act, Empowerment & Leadership Coach, and Corporate Trainer, facilitated the workshop on "Leadership and Personal Branding." Participants had the opportunity to comprehend the significance of improved personal branding for women's empowerment. Dr. Gianniou facilitated a discussion on the value and utility of having a solid and concrete public image and invited the participants to consider why it is essential to consciously build personal brands as women and professionals in various fields.
In addition, participants had the opportunity to learn about the "Personal Branding Canvas" tool. This practical step-by-step guide assists women in building their brand and, as a result, their public image. After becoming familiar with the tool, participants were given the opportunity to work in groups to create a Personal Branding Canvas for a persona, applying the theoretical model to a real-world scenario and gaining a deeper understanding of the obstacles women face when creating their brand as leaders in their respective professional fields.
The final workshop session focused on the "Elevator Pitch." Participants discussed why having a professional elevator pitch is important and how it can help them become more assertive as leaders and agents of change. Dr. Gianniou outlined the fundamental components of an elevator pitch. Each participant had the opportunity to prepare and present their elevator pitch to the entire group, enhancing their communication skills and providing them with valuable feedback.
The session concluded with a summary of the key takeaways regarding women leaders and professionals and the significance of personal branding.