Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova inaugurated the Leadership Academy 2015/2016 of the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria at an exquisite cocktail in Grand Hotel Sofia. Ms. Fandakova who is the patron of this year’s Academy, received the honorary badge of the Council by its Chairperson Ms. Boryana Manolova, CEO of Siemens Bulgaria.
Guests of the opening event included members and honorary members of the Council, alumni from the first Leadership Academy, participants in the new class of 2015/2016, media, and friends to the ideas and objectives of the Council.
“Undoubtedly, we need strong women leaders in all areas and the Leadership Academy is an initiative that effectively works towards the development of such leaders. I am glad that many women from Sofia have enrolled at the Academy as the region needs their expertise and professionalism. I will be happy to give away the diplomas to the graduates of the second class after their year of training,” said Yordanka Fandakova at the opening.
“Today, women are undoubtedly the most dynamically growing economic power on the planet and no company or country can afford to ignore this potential. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the growth of women in business is a bed of roses. The “thorns” they face in their career development could be sharp and numerous, e.g. lack of opportunities for advancement, social prejudice, lack of conditions that enable women to combine their personal and professional lives,” said Ms. Boryana Manolova. According to her, the Leadership Academy aims to answer some of the most important questions asked by women managers around the world, e.g. how to find the right balance between personal and professional life, what type of leadership is bets, how to give and receive feedback effectively.
Ms. Manolova announced in advance that, in addition to the Leadership Academy, the Council is launching the country’s largest National Internship Initiative, under the patronage of the youngest MEP Eva Paunova. The initiative aims to empower young educated people to start a successful career in Bulgaria. Boryana Manolova also announced that early next year the Council will organize an international conference in Bulgaria under the auspices of Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.
The Leadership Academy is an annual highly professional training program, which is organized and funded by companies from the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria. The Academy is a project under one of the objectives of the Council, i.e. to offer accessible programs to promote the professional development of women in small and medium businesses and their rise to managerial positions. Those selected to attend the Leadership Academy 2015/2016 are representatives of various economic sectors: banks, information and communication technology, commerce, advisory services, manufacturing, construction, tourism, public administration, and others.
The Academy is funded entirely by companies from the Council and is completely free to participants. Its six modules, led by professional trainers from UniCredit Bulbank, are aimed at developing leadership skills, encouraging initiative and the entrepreneurial spirit of modern women to expand their business and take on greater responsibilities. Members of the Council of Women in Business and the Management Board of the organization join the training and continue to help and guide the participants in the Mentorship Program.