Between the 16th and the 19th of September, we were present in Madrid as PWN Istanbul’s Board of Directors. Leadership examples were spoken around the concepts of ‘Balanced Leadership’, ‘Cooperation’ and ‘Agility’ in this meeting where more than 200 participants, together with PWN Global city networks and institutional participation, gathered.
As PWN Istanbul (Professional Women’s Network), we have been appreciated with the success of the institutional structuring we achieved in a short period with 250 members and 11 corporate partners at the level of Federation in 2 years… We are also very proud.
In the first part of the meeting, we met leaders of foreign and large corporate Spanish companies in Spain. In this article I would like to share some of the outstanding messages of several speakers I have selected in the meeting and of course my own impressions.
Fuencisia Clemares, Sales Director of Mobile Technologies at Google Madrid office, shared anecdotes from her life and described success criteria according to her. She grew up in a family of four brothers and told her how this was helped her to understand men and fight in business. According to Clemares, there are three basic elements present in her success;
1- Make your mind and your behavior: Clemares stated that she believes success is due to his sense of being able to do, and that success comes not because of luck, but because of his behavior.
2-Work-private life balance: Clemares emphasized that the balance can be achieved through the delegation, emphasizing the importance of team confidence and breeding, and underlined the need to be ready for the survival fight. She explained that she knew women who married within a hurry to have children and refused career opportunities according to probability calculations.
3-Your energy level: Clemares tells that you can balance your energy by doing sports and sparing time for your children. Watching and getting to know yourself, deciding what to do to relax, planning then going ahead are also helpful things to conserve your energy.
Many speakers spoke about the concepts of energy balancing, sharing, contributing to society and asking for support in the meeting.
One of the speakers that impressed me was British Ambassador Simon Manley. In terms of balanced leadership, he looked at his own frame to see how we could get the support of men. He emphasized the need to create awareness among men and to ensure them that they have different roles too. He shared the view that some of the men rejected all the feminine themes in fear, and some ignored them without notice. In addition to his role as ambassador, he highlighted the value of his role as one of Britain’s best lawyers’ husband and the father of his child. He stated that the embassy is constantly communicating about ‘balanced leadership’ and that it is a prominent theme in its processes. He added everyone working in the embassy went through an education of “Unconscious Bias” (I do not know how to translate this, but can be described as Prejudice), and this is a requirement of diploma, not equality.
The topic of Unconscious Bias must be thoroughly dealt with in some of the leadership development programs too. It is not possible to create change in behavior without awareness.
In the second part of the meeting, we had the opportunity to see the best practices by discussing them in depth by dividing them into groups. I chose Innovation and Executive Development.
In the group of innovations, they tried to explain how the innovations in the digital world provide added value to the lives of their customers through the three interesting entrepreneurial identities of women. After 3 years, they had left professional duties and wrote success stories by turning to different jobs.
One of them is Sofia. Sofia Humia is actually a journalist. After the crisis, she lost his job and set up her own business. While continuing to work on communication, she merged with Google. She now runs the Campus Madrid project for Google. Goal; to encourage innovation, to provide environment and support that will enable entrepreneurial, intellectual people to imagine their ideas. Entrepreneurs come together here, they do not pay any fees. They attend meetings, receive the training they need, and benefit from mentors. At the end of similar support in London, Sofia told 2,000 new jobs arised in just 2 years. Campus Madrid is very new… It opened in 2015 but the expectations are great. Sofia ‘Silicon Valley’ is not a place, it is a concept, perception; innovation and entrepreneurial behavior, and that Campus Madrid and Google have created an environment for new start ups. Campus Madrid, created within the University, has no Google ad anywhere in the field, the goal is to bring together creative, intellectual people who will create innovation. Nobody asks if you’re an entrepreneur. Google just wants people to think big, solve problems, solve social problems. Entrepreneurship and ‘a community of givers’ is the key to economic development.
At the meetings I have attended for the last few years, more ‘Sharing Community’, ‘Social Entrepreneurship’, ‘Balanced Leadership’ and ‘Innovation’ concepts are being talked about instead of ‘Competition’. Moreover, these concepts are expressed not only by non-governmental organizations but also by companies with foreign capital and governmental institutions.
The last meeting I attended was the Executive Forum. PWN Global is signing an important initiative. As a global network, for more professional women in management boards, around their city networks they provide support for co-operation, social network, speaking for visibility, publishing articles, etc. activities. The program has already selected 20 female members. Joseph Leyun, CEO of Amrop, and Ian Joseph, Managing Director of Russom GMS which is preparing independent members for the Executive Boards of important non-profit organizations in particular, sharing their experiences in the process of nominating candidates to the board of directors. The meeting, which was designed as a network meeting and a workshop where the experiences and problems were expressed, was quite impressive. As Istanbul network, we are in the group of designing the Executive Forum program. I’ll be in more detail for sharing this program soon.
The most motivating and inspiring thing for me at the end of the 3-day meeting was to come together with female professionals and NGO volunteers from different countries. From time to time we have criticized the disruptions in the organization and we said we would do better, but I think the greatest added value of making this organization in a country in Europe is diversity. You watch and communicate with pros, volunteers from many different countries. As a part of the European Union, they are not so different from each other anymore. If we did the same logistics organization in Turkey, the content would be perhaps more professional and impressive, but I am not sure that we could bring together such various profiles who do not know each other until then.
Madrid is a very pleasant and lively city itself. The streets are alive. I do not want to go into much detail because Madrid deserves a separate travel article.