Work

PowerWomen Network: Why I am All in!

Co-Founder Lidia Bozhevolnaya on her reasons for co-founding the PowerWomen Network:
For many years I just didn’t get it. I could not understand why my female co- workers were talking about issues such as work life balance and being held back from getting promotions. I have never experienced anything like this myself and I felt alien to all these conversations, unable to relate.
Then, as I progressed in my career, things began to change. Some women around me started speaking about the proverbial glass ceiling and the struggle to get heard and be included in what seemed like mostly men-only discussions at important meetings and committees. When that happened, we usually got together for coffee (or a drink, if it was really bad!) to talk it through and brainstorm on how to deal with such situations. I experienced first hand the power of sharing and peer to peer coaching between us women, especially between women in similar positions. Men, for all their best intentions, just would not be able to understand or relate. This compelled me to get involved with mentoring younger women who were facing similar issues or were at risk of facing them in the future as they progressed.
I also began to attend different kinds of ‘diversity in general’ or ‘gender diversity in particular’ related events from time to time. Although I found some of them interesting, I can’t say I wanted to belong to any of those networks. They seemed too big, too impersonal, too generic. I relied on my own private network for support and was always keen on finding ways to expand it.
Fast forward to us launching PowerWomen Network tomorrow, what I am really excited about is that we want to be small. Size does matter, and in this case big is the opposite of good. We want to create and maintain meaningful and personal connections. We don’t want to go for super large scale and risk losing ability to establish close relationships. I truly believe in the support of women at similar levels in their career because we can relate to and help each other. I would love to help others and be able to rely on their advice to me. That’s the kind of network I am passionate about building.
I am looking forward to our official launch event tomorrow, and to making progress with our key goals: 1/ providing a safe, trusted environment for meaningful conversations among senior professional women, 2/ peer to peer coaching, and 3/ becoming a sought-after pool of senior female talent for board and C-level appointments.

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