WEP GCC Fellows Participate in a Round Table: Effective Women Leaders

“I don’t want you to lower your expectation, but I want you to lower your self-criticism.”  – Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of Sweden

Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) is in its full swing! As a part of BKMC’s Women’s Empowerment Program, WEP GCC fellows participated in a Round Table hosted in Diplomatic Academy of Vienna on November 19.

At this Round Table, Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger, Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, featured as a moderator at the Round Table.

Speakers were:

Lulua Asaad from UNODC,

Maggie Childs from Metropole and Austrian Startups,

Mona Ali Khalil from MAK Law International, and

Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of Sweden to Austria.

Lulua Asaad asked the fellows a critical question: “What does leadership mean to you?”

“It is important to have support from women within your network, while not neglecting the role of men.”

She also added that leadership is not about a position one is in, but responsibility leaders are capable of taking in their world.

Regarding women’s empowerment, Mona Ali Khalil said,

“Empowerment of women requires men who are enlightened and women who are willing empower each other.”

As an international lawyer, she stressed that gender parity policies should be actual actions rather than lip service and should effectively address sexual harassment/sexual discrimination issues that still exist everywhere across the sectors.

Minister-Counselor Helena Zimmerdahl pinpointed ‘transparency’ as an important trait of a good leader and said we must “speak up” for ourselves to make our voices heard.

Zimmerdahl also advised the fellows to

“look at yourself and your accomplishments from the outside” in order to empower themselves.

Maggie Childs emphasized the need for getting help from mentors, friends and other experts when necessary and said,

“You don’t have to know everything before you do it… It is lonely at the top. You need to have your private space and friends who just listen to you. Having those friends would make you feel less lonely.”

A follow-up workshop was facilitated by WEP Project Coordinator Viola Christian from the Ban Ki-moon Centre. The fellows were grouped into 5 and discussed advice and points made from the Round Table, which they created their own manifesto with.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

For more photos of the event, visit BKMC album.

BKMC Welcomes the Women’s Empowerment Program GCC Fellows!

“More than ever does the world need young female leaders like yourself to advocate for a sustainable future with a fresh and innovative mind,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon in his video message.

Together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a welcome reception for the fellows of the Women’s Empowerment Program GCC on November 11th, 2019.

“You will shine, and you will empower others to shine with you!” – CEO Monika Froehler

Co-chair Heinz Fischer warmly welcomed the crowd and briefly introduced the history of Austria as a former President of Austria, and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and Deputy Director Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger of the Diplomatic Academy also delivered remarks on the first day of the program. 

“In these two weeks, you will further develop your skill-set to make sustainable development happen and to empower women globally,” said Monika Froehler during her welcome remarks.

H.E. Ambassador Marafi from the Embassy of Kuwait participated in the welcome reception to welcome and congratulate all the selected fellows from GCC regions.

20 aspiring fellows of WEP GCC gathered from Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. They will be participating in a 2-week tailor-made program to advance their global potential to promote the Sustainable Development Goals and foster women’s empowerment.

 

Watch a video diary of WEP GCC’s first day!

 

WEP Asia fellows participate in a round table with women leaders

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global CItizens together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna hosted a Round Table: “Effective Women Leadership” for the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) Asia participants on October 2nd in Vienna, Austria. The event was moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and featured outstanding women leaders as panelists:

  • Lulua Asaad, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC
  • Selma Prodanovic, CEO and Founder of 1MillionStartups
  • Vera Strobachova Budway, Senior Coordination Advisor, Gender Section, OSCE
  • Helena Zimmerdahl, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden in Vienna

The event provided a secured space where the fellows freely shared their personal stories, discussed various challenges they are facing, and received advice from the senior women leaders. Critical questions were raised such as

“What is a good/bad leader?”

“How can we make men with closed mind listen to us?”

“How can we overcome the challenges we are facing?”

 

 

 

 

 

Prodanovic said that the WEP Asia fellows have already achieved so much and that it is important for them to reflect on what they have done to succeed and think about how to further amplify the efforts.

She said, “the fact that you ladies are here shows that you are among the top 1% that cares about women’s empowerment” and encouraged the group to “follow your inner voice, and do the right thing!”

Budway shared her motto and encouraged the aspiring young women leaders to be “open for new challenges.

She said that one can become an expert in anything that she desires and is passionate about.

“Take risks; don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zone!” 

Zimmerdahl also reminded the young fellows that they don’t have to be good at everything. She continued, “Go easy on yourself. You are very capable but do not have to do it all” and encouraged the individuals to create their exit strategy and work on it.

“Even if you have chosen a path, if it does not make you feel comfortable, don’t be afraid to change this path.”

 

 

 

 

Asaad said, “leadership is not only about leading but having an impact on society and on the people around us.” She also stressed that “leadership is also about being authentic and being true to oneself.”

She then added that “the network that we have as women and with women is so important as we are essential in promoting each other” but that “Gender equality is a responsibility for everyone: boys, men, girls, and women.”

In consequence of the round table, Froehler moderated a workshop during which the WEP Asia fellows came up with their own list of the most important elements for being a good woman leader.

The group created a manifesto that consists of total 16 elements with which they will further develop their leadership skills and continue to make changes:

  • Let me be wrong in my way!
  • Lower your expectations.
  • Be vulnerable; Embrace yourself.
  • Dare to delegate.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Make small steps and celebrate small successes.
  • Change is not easy, but it was your choice.
  • Amplify; Speak for yourself.
  • Raise your voice even ignored or interrupted.
  • Amplify the voice of another woman.
  • Teach boys and men about gender equality.
  • Share inspirational stories about other women in other communities.
  • Read a book that inspires you.
  • Share what you find inspiring.
  • Find a mentor and a supporting system.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

BKMC launches the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) Asia!

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna officially launched the Women’s Empowerment Program and welcomed the selected fellows from Asia tp Vienna on September 30th, 2019. Total 20 of the outstanding women leaders from Cambodia, Afghanistan, South Korea, and Mongolia were chosen to participate in the tailor-made fellowship training for the upcoming 2 weeks.

At the welcome event, Deputy Director Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger of the Diplomatic Academy said,

“the Austrian Empress Maria Theresia, a great  female leader herself, founded the Diplomatic Academy in 1754. She would be proud to see that today we are launching the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s Women’s Empowerment Program in the very institution that she built.”

The program will offer a unique opportunity to advance young international female global citizens’ potential to promote the Sustainable Development Goals and foster women’s empowerment in their countries of origin by training their communication skills, crisis management and mediation competencies at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.

“We received hundreds of impressive applications in the past months. You are the 20 Global Citizen Fellows that we have selected, and it is beautiful to see you gathered here today, already building international friendships and a network of change makers,” said the organizer of the program Viola Christian.

This fellowship training program will offer an environment in which young women can refine their ability to make sustainable change and grow their networks to become the leaders of tomorrow.

“In these two weeks,” said BKMC CEO Monika Froehler to the fellows, “you will further develop your skill-set to make sustainable development happen and to empower women globally.”

The fellows had the time to introduce themselves to each other and share their innovative ideas and initiatives to contribute to the sustainable development in our shared society.

Watch the video update of the WEP Asia on Day 1:

Learn more about WEP Asia: https://bankimooncentre.org/projects/wep

Photos by Eugenie Berger
Video by Angelika Lauber