The other 364 days…

Published 5 March 2015 in:

Photo: Catarina Axelsson/MFA

Success. What is it really about?

One of the female entrepreneurs addressed that question in her contribution during our Women’s Day-event in the Swedish Residence this morning. Not necessarily to achieve something very special. Rather to do what you really want to, to do what you are passionate about, to be what you are. I liked that a lot. I was inspired by the discussions today, not only because they once again illustrated the potential for growth through gender equality but also on a very personal level.

The messages conveyed dealt with courage, openness, flexibility, emotional intelligence, networking capacity. Characteristics needed – and clearly demonstrated by many, many female actors in the economy. Not least the ones present in our Residence today.

We organised this in partnership with Institute of Public Affairs (ISP) and the Women’s Congress (Kongres Kobiet) – a cooperation that over and over again is proving to be just excellent. We were happy to have the Chairperson of Stowarzyszenie Kongres Kobiet, Dorota Warakomska, and the journalist Eliza Michalik as very effective moderators. And to have Minister Małgorzata Fuszara and Deputy Speaker Wanda Nowicka in the audience.

Our guest from WINNET in Sweden, Britt-Marie Torstensson, presented the concept of Women’s Resource Centers, which is now developed in a Baltic Sea Region-context, and Dr Ewa Rumińska-Zimny who is deeply engaged in this work stressed the fact that in this way there is a system established in Sweden for support to female entrepreneurship.

We had a similar event last year – on stereotypes and how to break them. And as last year the interest was almost overwhelming. My colleagues told me that we were in total around 120 people present today.

Women’s Day should not be about flowers but about real issues. Challenges like the gender pay gap and gender based violence. Opportunities like the potential for growth available in the process of more women entering the labour market (could be 12 per cent according to OECD). And like the energy coming out of discussions like the ones we held today.

Women’s Day yes. But the 364 other days are what really counts.