Cheers to Women in Leadership

0

Before switching fully to Tallinn Fashion Week with its fresh updates on Estonian fashion design, I felt nostalgic for one flashback post. Recently I had an honor to be a guest editor in the American Chamber of Commerce Women in Leadership group, trying to inspire the fellow ladies with articles, videos and stories that inspire me as a communication executive, as a woman and as a lifestyle and fashion blogger, from cognitive decision making to design inspiration for business and gala events.

All this made me think more deeply about the topic of women empowerment and how it all started for me. Well, the Women in Leadership movement is something that has been very close to my heart for years. I remember that moment, now some years back, when as a Public Affairs and Communications Manager for Coca-Cola, I had women empowerment topic as part of my yearly activities plan and at the same time was looking at some case studies that other countries had made about it. “So not fair, I thought, they build education centers for women entrepreneurs in Africa and fight for voting rights in some closed societies in the world, but what am I supposed to do here in Estonia, where women are pretty educated and self-conscious, where women are government ministers and run companies, how am I able to contribute in a meaningful way?”

But soon I discovered that our problem here is of different nature and we are not quite so well off, as it might seem. And I am not talking about the gender gap in terms of equal salaries or executive positions held – though there’s, of course, a problem too -, but most of all about the self-perception and expectations towards women in our society. To summarize it shortly, we are expected to be superwomen – brilliant and always advancing in our professional careers, managing family life perfectly, having several university degrees, looking not worse than Gisele Bündchen or Kendall Jenner and at the end of the day, if needed, go home and do some painting job or floor repairing, if necessary, as there’s the general DIY fascination. And do you know what was the saddest thing about it? These expectations were so deeply rooted in our minds that we, women, were the cruelest jury towards ourselves.

I feel that there has been a great deal done about WIL education in Estonia since that time, AmCham events being one great example of it, but there’s still a lot to be done with our own self-esteem boosting and women empowerment. The outdated thinking models need to go and we need to realize that sometimes it is ok to be just women with all our strengths and weaknesses.

So this week I would like to dedicate to all wonderful ladies, historical or present time, and to their courage to remain themselves.
Thank you, AmCham, for the honor!

Cheers!

Evelin

Cover photo: AmCham Estonia
Other photos from a Coca-Cola shooting that started the topic for me: Laura Nestor

Tags: , , , ,