Women, money and gender equality

Investments into one’s self always pay off

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.

“I value investments that help me to grow further,” says Drahomíra Mandíková, member of the board and head of Corporate Affairs with Plzeňský Prazdroj. “The most meaningful investment that I have ever made was when I decided to go back to school after having graduated economics and start from the scratch in studying communications. I owe where I am today to this decision, which was perceived as an investment at that time. Yet it brought me far and it is the key for my feeling of accomplishment today,” she says.

Cristina Muntean is a Romanian national who moved to the Czech Republic 14 years ago. A former journalist, she switched careers in 2010 when the economic magazine where she was working was closed. “I had the decision which way to take. I decided to change professions; I left the media world and moved into corporate communications and executive development,” she says. Today Cristina is a trainer, mentor and coach of communications, emotional intelligence and leadership for company executives across Central and Eastern Europe. “The most significant investments I made for the last eight years were into my education, so I could develop new skills and settle comfortably in my new professional identity. It was totally worth it,” she adds.

Loredana Popasav is also Romanian; she settled in Prague in 2012, after a 19 years career in media, advertising and marketing in Bucharest. Loredana is a transformative coach at The Simplified Mind, a coaching practice, co-creator of The Human Potential Academy NGO and organizer of Understanding the Human Mind conference. As such, she recognizes the value of meaningful investments into self. “I invest into myself every day. Sometimes it’s sports, learning something new, studying, sometimes it’s something as simple as a manicure, the cream that I use, the dress that I wear, the smile. Myself as a whole is what I have to work with and the better I am, the more I understand, the more I can give to my clients or to my students. Therefore, investing in myself feels natural; it’s part of my job as a human being.” she says.

“I haven’t seen purchasing books, sports or clothing as investments into myself until recently,” says Nicole Erdmann, a German national who moved her family to Prague to follow her career and take over the Property and Expansion management for IKEA in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. “I already know that if I am doing well I have a much better feeling that will positively influence my family, colleagues and friends and they will also feel much better with a better balanced and happier Nicole. I am working hard, so I should also benefit from what I have achieved and re-invest into myself,” she says.

“Life was good to me, so I need to be good back to life,” says Kateřina Zapletalová, member of the board of Moser, the Czech glassworks that are one of the conference corporate partners. “I am investing into myself regularly, mainly into sports, education and regeneration,” she notes.

Women who want a chance to meet the ladies above can join them for a panel discussion within the Equal Pay Day conference. Further valuable names such as Her Excellency Barbara C. Richardson, Ambassador of Canada, Lenka Bradáčová, Chief Prosecutor of the Czech Republic, Sari Brody, Global Director of Diversity and Leadership IKEA Group will hold keynote speeches during the conference as well. Furthermore, Cristina Muntean, Loredana Popasav, and Kateřina Zapletalová will be holding speed mentoring tables on Saturday, April 14th. Time for women to come together, open to sensitive topics, share and hold each other’s back on their journey of growth seems to have arrived to Prague and it’s here to stay.

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