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  • 08 Feb 2015 10:51 | Armelle Loghmanian

     We, men, are not like muses
    The power of inspiring

    By Alessandra Spalletta


    Bernard De Monès

    Writer and poet

    Bernard, you have dedicated most of your life to experimenting with new languages and finding new ways of playing with words. 
    In 2009, you decided to quit France and go and live in Syria. Since then you have devoted yourself to reading and writing poetry. I’ve read your poetry and I find that there is a lot of irony in it. Your way of playing with words is intriguing. You are referring to typical French expressions as well as to onomatopoeic words  invented by yourself.

    Can we say that you are creating a new poetry style and inventing new forms of storytelling?

    I wouldn’t talk about irony, but rather about humour. Many years ago, I started writing poems in which I played with words and used humour which I found very enjoyable. I was inspired by the “Oulipo French writers group”. (1)
    Later on I started adding new elements to my poetry, such as emotions and music. I feel now that word musicality and word association is really what matters to me. It is not for nothing that people say that a poet “sings” the beauty of a woman or that a “troubadour”   embodies passionate poets and musicians. Can we talk about a new style of poetry? I would say that every writer has his own way of doing poetry and the peculiarity of my style comes, certainly, from this way of playing with words, mingled with humour and music. 

    What importance do you give to the women described in your poetry? Are women your inspiration, your muses? 

    I like thinking that all women are muses. Where would we be, poor little men, without women? Women are also an important source of love, they love being loved. Love for life, love for the others and love for the world. All this “love” is the essence of a woman’s love, i.e. the love we give to a woman as well as the love a woman gives us. One day I saw a landscape made of smoothly rounded hills and I told myself: the earth is like a woman’s body!. 
    It would be interesting to know how female poets talk about love and about their beloved man. Men, on the contrary, are everything but muses, rather they are tactless!

    Many of the women you describe in your poetry are “warrior women”, women who love fighting. Is this the kind of woman you like most? 

    Only occasionally I have met women who love fighting, especially in Syria where I came back for the second time and I remained three years. At the same time, I love women who have a certain character and a strong personality, surely not the docile or accommodating kind of women. Yet, this is not an easy thing and love is not a panacea for everything, rather a struggle and a way to achieve new things on a daily basis. Love is also made of ups and downs. Indeed the love you find in poetry talks about pleasure and suffering, passion and despair. 
    The most important thing is to maintain our own love for life and for our friends. Friendship in particular is one of the most important feelings you might have, a feeling that may last for a very long time. 
    Women are not an artistic creation for poets and not even for me. I wonder whether this means the same for painters, sculptors, filmmakers, publishers and serial writers. 

     You lived some years in Syria and in 2012 you had to quit the country because of the revolution. You met a lot of friends there and you talked to many Syrians. 
    What is the condition of women in Syria? Can we speak of a typical model of woman or are there many different types of Syrian women? 

    I have had many contacts with Syrians and I had the opportunity to talk to many women friends. I used to meet them in cafés or restaurants in the old town of Damascus. Though it is difficult to establish real contacts with Syrians because of the many constraints linked to the traditional clan structure and to the very old and strong traditions, most of the women I met were living outside their families. These traditions are even stronger when it comes to relations between men and women. My women friends were all well-educated, as in the western style, and they had all studied and travelled outside Syria. 
    In Syria, women consider themselves, first of all as Syrian women, and only then as belonging to the Arab culture and civilization, at least this was how it was before the revolution. Apart from religion, Syrian women have shared the same traditions for 2000 years and we can find the same traditions in the whole Mediterranean area. 

    Syria has been able to safeguard its cultural and religious diversity for many centuries. It is a real crossroads of cultures, religions and ethnic groups. A country when Muslim women have lived side-by-side with Christian women for a long time. How did you experience this coexistence?  

    An interesting element to point out is that people in Syria hardly speak about religion in their daily life. It is not a taboo or an interdiction, it is just like this and it is part of the traditional culture. People never ask other people what religion they belong to. Since people don’t talk about that, the coexistence between women from different religions doesn’t really cause any problem. When you meet somebody in Europe you never ask them what religion they belong to. So the same thing happens in Syria. Syrians first of all consider themselves to be Syrians, and then they are Arabs in that they are bound to the Arab culture, language and traditions.  
    Another thing is the interaction between women and men. To give you an example, when I was living in my house in Damascus and I would go on my terrace for one reason or another, all the women in the nearby houses that I could have seen by mistake, would hide themselves. In general, women are only allowed to go on the terraces of their houses to hang out the laundry. Another example is when I used to go and visit some of my friends, the men would gather in one room to discuss and drink tea, while the women stayed in another room or in the kitchen. 

    To go back to poetry, do you think that women have an important role in poetry or other literary genres?

    Indeed, I believe that in general women play a very important role in literature. Women are important muses inspiring love. A writer needs special emotions to trigger his own inspiration, and who better than a woman who we love can give us this? We should go back to reading our old great poets, they have all written poems about love, they have all sung about the grace of women, their beauty, their charm. Every woman is a mystery that we try to understand, though without ever succeeding. 

    Can you tell us something about gender relations as seen through the eyes of a poet?

    Adam and Eve must have asked themselves the same question about gender relations! Relations between women and men are just human relations. It is definitely better when they include a positive emotion and a bit of affection. Even when it is friendship, there is always a bit of love mingled with it. 
    But often when love comes into a relationship, passion and desire might baffle it. The problem today is that people are not able to take responsibilities and risks anymore. Most people are likely to start a love story only if they know in advance how they can come out of it. Eternal love, love that people promise to each other doesn’t exist anymore. Like in a consumer society, most people are likely to get rid of the “object” of their love and replace it with a “new one” when they split up and their love story is finished. This is not really a romantic epoch anymore!

    In your poetry you are highlighting the dream dimension, and the “troubadour love”, but you also refer to real life. How do you define poetry today? What is the value of poetry in our society?

    It is true that I write about traditional poetry, I don’t like contemporary poetry so much because I can hardly hear music in the words. I write mainly for myself and for the pleasure it gives me. But I also write for my friends, for family members or somebody I care about. Sometimes, I would like more people to read my poetry because this gives me the possibility to connect with them and share ideas. But being published on a larger scale is not my ultimate motivation. 
    Unfortunately, today poetry is less and less read and understood by people. Book stores don’t display so much poetry on their shelves because they say it doesn’t sell so much, and there is few television programs talking about poetry. Those people who are still fond of poetry, and do their best to promote the value of it, are unfortunately confined to a small circle of people.

    Do you think there is a way to safeguard and revive poetry in our societies? 

    When I was a kid, and I was at school, we used to learn poetry by heart. Thanks to that, we learned to recognize the rhythm and musicality in the words and to write beautifully. At that time we used to learn poetry, literature and history altogether. 
    Now schools are mainly a place to learn a craft, a profession. Poetry is less likely to be taught in schools and young people have lost the pleasure of reading, and in many cases they read hardly any poetry. In the Middle East poetry has still great value; everybody is capable of saying and singing a poem just because they learn it at school. In the western culture, the entire education system should be changed, although this is unlikely to happen and we must remain realistic. 

    Who is Bernard De Monès in his everyday life? Are you the person who shows some features of your personality through your writing, essentially a person with great sense of humour, or are you somebody who takes life seriously? 

    Indeed, I am a person who uses a lot of humour. I never took life so seriously, I’ve always felt the need to escape when things would start getting serious. 
    At the time I was still working, I couldn’t help making a joke from time to time to improve the atmosphere between colleagues. This was a way to say that we are all serious but we should not forget that we just have one life and it is beautiful. 
    Later on, I made the decision to take some time and space for myself, and go to Damascus and live alone. In this way I thought I could enjoy my creativity and find more inspiration. But this only represents a part of my life. This feeling is not to be confused with solitude and isolation, the same feeling we frequently encounter in our societies where people often feel abandoned and don’t live happily alone nor with the others, a feeling often leading to depression. Unfortunately this phenomenon is growing.   
    The other part of my life is the one I like sharing with the others, with my friends - who I enjoy partying and drinking a glass of wine with. A true epicurean ideal!

    How do you see the role of the women managers through the eyes of a poet? 

    With the coming of feminism many women have become more emancipated and a large number of them today occupy high-ranking positions in the professional sphere. Nothing wrong with that, but this doesn’t have to happen to the detriment of their femininity, as a result of having to bear the weight and pressure of a society which is still strongly permeated by machismo.

    How do you see the evolution of women’s role in our societies?

    This is a million-dollar question! Women do basically everything that men do except for work which demands high physical strength. It is necessary though that men and women remain complementary to each other, with their intrinsic qualities, in a perfect balance of sweetness and strength, sensitivity and love.

    Which are the features that women should never lose?

    The best answer is the text of Christian Bobin in “Le Très Bas”(2): "Les hommes ont peur des femmes. C'est une peur qui leur vient d'aussi loin que leur vie. (…) Qu'est-ce qu'une femme? Personne ne sait répondre à cette question, pas même Dieu qui pourtant les connaît pour avoir été engendré par elles, nourri par elles, bercé par elles, veillé et consolé par elles. (…) Les femmes sont la vie en tant que la vie est au plus près du rire de Dieu. Les femmes ont la vie en garde pendant l'absence de Dieu, elles ont en charge le sentiment limpide de la vie éphémère, la sensation de base de la vie éternelle. Et les hommes, ne pouvant dépasser leur crainte des femmes, croyant la dépasser dans des séductions, des guerres ou des travaux, mais ne la dépassant jamais réellement, les hommes, ayant une peur éternelle des femmes, se condamnent éternellement à ne presque rien goûter de la vie et de Dieu. Parce que ce sont les hommes qui font les Eglises, il est inévitable que les Eglises se méfient des femmes (…).
    I believe that the difference between men and women is not always linked to gender but it is rather a difference of roles. A man cares about his role(s) within society. Women are often lost in the love they are eager to receive from others and they care less about social roles. Luckily gender differences can be surpassed.  A man who is able to come out of his shell and overcome his fear of women is definitely able to break out of expected social role(s), and he is likely to not believe anymore in those roles, and in the hierarchies, established by law or custom, which inevitably forge gender differences. 


    (1) Oulipo French writers group (Oulipo stands for Ouvroir de Litterature Potentielle)

    (2) Christian Bobin: Le Très-Bas, Gallimard, 1992
    Although the original version is in French we have provided an English version: “Men fear women. It is a fear which comes from as far as than their life (…). What is a woman? Nobody knows how to answer to this question, not even God who knows them very well because he was conceived by a woman, he was fed, nourished, cuddled, watched over and consoled by them (...). Women represent life which is very near to God’s laugh. Women take care of life during the absence of God, they have a vibrant feeling which recalls the ephemeral life, and the basic perception of the eternal life. And men, who cannot overcome their fear of women, while thinking to get over it through seduction, wars and many other activities, are still not able to fully overcome it. These men having an eternal fear of women, condemn themself to nearly know anything about women, nor enjoying any aspects of God and life. Indeed, it is men who build churches and it is inevitable that churches mistrust women (…)”.

    Short Biography
    Bernard de Monès was born in the Toulouse region in 1945. After studying history, in 1968 he specialized in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, and more particularly on Palestine. 

    He published his first book, “Démystification du sionisme”, in 1969. 

    After living three years in Damascus for his studies he came back to Paris, where he got married and started his career in the building sector, where he remained for 32 years. 

    In 2008, after a difficult period in his professional life, he stopped working and he started writing again. He wrote his second book, “Discretionnaire” and he decided to retire and live in Damascus. 

    In 2012 he wrote three new books “Mots-cœur moqueurs”, "Le temps dans tous ses états" and "99 raisons de foutre les puristes à la poubelle". In the same year, he was compelled to quit Damascus because of the war.

    Bernard de Monès is the author of various blogs. One of his blogs, “Semelle de Vent” http://semelles-de-vent.blog4ever.com/articles has a large number of followers and this is where he collects a number of articles, blogs, videos and photos on the Middle East, in particular Syria.

    Contacts Details:
    Bernard de Monès

  • 19 Oct 2014 11:20 | Armelle Loghmanian

     Take your business English a step up in a week time! 

    By Ana Escarpenter


    Ana Escarpenter

    Strategic & Operational Tourism Marketing 

    & Events Manager

    Last July I had a chance to take part in one of the “Intensive Business English” courses offered by Abbey Communication.
    It proved to be a very nice experience, professionally and personally. 
    Many thanks to Alex and Sarah, the directors, and the friendly team of experienced teachers. 
    Thanks as well to PWI for introducing such opportunities through the PWI Brussels network.

    Have you ever had the idea of brushing up your business English but never knew where to go or where to start looking for a course suited to your busy professional and private life? 

    I found what I needed at a UK-based specialist provider of personalized intensive Business English language training,
    At Abbey Communication (1), the directors of the school have put together a smart, wide choice of courses based on weekly modules in very small groups or in one to one training sessions. 

    Before arriving they ask you to fill in a form describing your knowledge level and your learning objectives. This is very practical not only for you personally but also for your employers, since it allows them to define the purpose and the desired outcomes of the training.
    Upon arrival, objectives in hand, a brief conversation with the Directors of the training center helped us redefine the objectives before briefing the team of teachers so they could understand them, look for supportive tools to be used during the training and keep focused on them. On the other hand they were incredibly flexible to adapt to any new need that comes along during the learning process, which is great and admirable.
    During the week I was there, we were 3 students of quite different levels and therefore I had private lessons, in the mornings with one teacher and in the afternoons with another one. Their approaches were very different, yet extremely enriching, from the more classical listening and comprehension exercises to the problem solving analysis in a ‘coaching’ way. I even took pictures of the results of some of exercises, so illustrative and simple all of a sudden they appeared right before my eyes!
    One of the particularly friendly characteristics of the course were lunch times. Each day a different teacher took us, the students, to a local pub, isn't that a great idea? I discovered the local places and dishes in town while getting to know my school mates as well as some of the other teachers.
    After a full day of intensive learning, once home, another type of learning experience took place. Mine was in the garden, enjoying the sounds of the water running down the river with a glass of gin&tonic in my hand, while chatting over the most varied issues with my welcoming host couple. Could not be more British, could it? 

    In terms of accommodation, I was offered all types of possibilities including family stays. If you plan to go, do not hesitate for a second to choose that option. The training center directors know everyone in town - by the way the town is Malmesbury, pronounced Malmssss-bury, only two syllables (lesson 1 of day 1!) -. They match students with the most suitable family according to both parties' hobbies and interests. My hosts were a super friendly and caring couple with very interesting lives, so we were never short of conversation subjects.
    I really loved the week there. Malmesbury is a charming little town in the Cotswolds (an area in South Central England containing the Cotswold Hills) (2), not far from Bath and Bristol - mandatory tourist visits during the free time in the week-ends -. 
    Where does it get its charm from? Just google some images of Malmesbury and you will see for yourself. A small medieval town, easy to familiarize yourself with during the week’s course, with a lovely green pastoral area that makes you think you are in the setting of Shakespeare's Mid-summer night, a well preserved abbey - hence the name of the learning center - and a local museum. So the great news is that everything is in walking distance! 
    One lunch time after eating I visited the abbey, and to my surprise I saw that some of the treasured objects displayed inside were 'Made in Belgium'. And what were they? Four precious bible volumes from the X century.
    So what is the successful recipe of this language learning center? Personal approach, tailor made programs and a fantastic team of very professional women that understand your needs.
    I fully recommend such an experience to improve your business English!


    (1) Abbey Communication

    (2) Cotswolds

    Short Biography

    Ana Escarpenter

    Strategic & Operational Tourism Marketing & Events Manager

    Ana Escarpenter Strategic & Operational Tourism Marketing & Events Manager Ana Escarpenter has 20 years’ experience promoting tourist destinations and organising events both for the public and private sector. After her Masters Degree in European Tourism Management (Madrid, Bournemouth & Chambéry Univ.) she started her journey in Barcelona working for an international marketing consultancy firm whose clients included several national tourist boards. She moved to Brussels to work on a tourism project for the European Commission. She was then offered a position to represent the interests of the tourism ministry of Catalonia, Spain, in the Benelux countries. She then moved back to Barcelona for an period to manage the Brussels-Wallonia tourist office for Spain. Recently she has acquired new skills in digital marketing, among others, to help the meeting industry choose the most suitable technological tools that can guarantee innovative, effective and successful events.

    Contacts details
    Ana Escarpenter 


    GSM +32 476 500406 

    Skype: Ana Escarpenter


  • 26 Feb 2014 22:07 | Armelle Loghmanian

     Virtuous-eclectic or Neo-realistic?  
    - Profile of a Berlin Painter in Brussels -
    An interview by Rita Nasini


    Bettina Kusel

    Co-founder of Artists.B.Collective and Triologcompany

    Member of DaVinciArtAlliance Philadelphia 2006, MainLineArtcenter

    Bettina, could you tell us briefly about yourself, your origins, your culture and your family background?

    I was born in 1965 in East-Berlin. I had a happy and quiet childhood; I lived before and during perestroika as a student and experienced the fall of the Berlin wall. Then I was a university teacher during the "cleaning" of the public organisations in Eastern Europe.
    It was a period of change where a lot of new businesses sprung up like mushrooms. But at University there were 10 times fewer staff members for two times as many students. And everybody suspected everybody else of working for the secret services. There were a lot of Control Commissions which controlled almost everything and everybody. I spent more time filling out control-forms than preparing my real work.

    Later, I moved to Paris and to Luxembourg to work in controlling in the European Social Fund before becoming a full-time artist in 2003. I had the opportunity to move to Philadelphia in 2005, joining my husband who worked there. And I was immediately integrated into the vibrant artist community there, making a lot of friends amongst them and having a lot of exhibits.

    What artistic movements influenced your artwork when you were in Philadelphia?

    I was strongly influenced by Gerhard Richter, I love almost everything he painted, and David Hockney, who had his first Philadelphian Exhibition just two meters from where I held mine, years later.
    I like Warhol, who apparently never had a solo-show in his life-time in New York (I read that once), I like experimental artists like John Cage.
    There are so many great artists. Unfortunately, two years later we had to move back to Europe to take care of my parents-in-law and ended up in Belgium.

    How did you integrate into the Belgian art world? What challenges did you face?

    The Belgian art-world is very different from the American one. In Philadelphia you feel immediately, if you are doing right or wrong, the art lovers and art dealers don't judge you on your past or your former successes, they only consider what they see, which is great! In my experience, the American public is mature and they don't easily follow trends or fashion (I mean in art, especially painting), and they only listen to their own tastes and needs. That is great and as a painter and artist you have an immediate feedback.

    In Europe, this is not the case. My experience is that first of all, you need to have a name, a past, an "artist’s resume", to come from a famous Art School, and last but not least, you have to have a style (and only one!). I feel that Europeans don’t trust their own instinct, they prefer to follow official trends, they believe what is written in journals and they listen to art critics.

    Art critics and gallery owners like talking about the sufferance and the struggle of artists in their life and about the act of creating art. Here, in Europe, to be credible as an artist you have to “suffer”. Someone who lives a happy life can barely convince people (neither gallery owners, nor collectors) that they are a “true” artist, it is not "sexy". "Poor" is beautiful. Success is regarded with suspicion. Fortunately, not every art lover and not every gallery owners is like this. And in Belgium art may open doors.

    The biggest challenge for me was to restart again from almost zero, and to make friends again, to learn how things are organized here.
    I learned that half or more of the art world live from subsidies and funds, where it is extremely time-consuming to introduce a demand or a project to be supported by a public investor.

    Could you describe your painting style?

    My style could be described as virtuous/eclectic. I have tried and still try a lot of different things. I have also had success with abstract and with "classical" paintings. I love both: oil and drawings and it depends on the subject, which material I choose. 

    Bettina Kusel at work

    Our world is full of new materials and matters and as an artist I can't only stick to the classics, I have to look forward and try new unexplored directions. This is what an artist does, doesn't he/she?

    My style could be described best as "neo-realistic". I like it, when people still recognize things on the canvas and when they have a bright smile while looking at my work.

    Which events you are organizing in the coming months?

    I’m working with several artists around a project about love and life, to be seen in May 2014 in Düsseldorf (Germany) at 4WändeMaire (www.4waendemarie.de). Another project is about religion, where I work together with the German writer Chrisptoph D. Brumme (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christoph_D._Brumme), which will be shown at the end of the year.

    Moreover, I'll exhibit in a showcase “Gallerie du Prince” in Brussels in spring. And I will continue working with Triologcompany in a beautiful and poetic performance ( http://triologcompany.blogspot.be/).

    Short Biography

    I was born and raised in East-Berlin and my artistic expression is related to this identity; coming from the East and living in the West. Having experienced the cold war as a child, and the perestroika as a teenager, the prohibition in the USSR and the destruction of the System as a graduate, the changing place of women in the society, and the respect for environment… has left me with a critical mind-set about almost everything which is more and more visible in my artistic work.

    Initially coming from music (I spent 13 years at a conservatory playing violin and alto viola, and performing both as a solo and in an orchestra, playing free-jazz and texting for "die Räuber" produced on Radio), I then, under the influence of my parents, studied serious matters such as economics and history, marketing and management at Humboldt University Berlin, ESCP Paris, Buck's College High Wycombe, GB. Finally I successfully completed my PhD in Economics.

    I then worked in an ad-agency and taught Economics at Humboldt-University, then followed research in several groups, even in a group for the reform of the educational system in France, and then became an external controller of the European Social Fund in Luxembourg and only then I become a full-time artist.

    Contact Details

    Bettina Kusel

    - Artist
    - Co-founder of Artists.B.Collective and
    - Member of DaVinciArtAlliance Philadelphia 2006,

    email:  bettina.kusel@gmail.com


    Disclaimer -     
    Any views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of <company name>, nor do they constitute a legally binding agreement.
  • 02 Nov 2013 18:33 | Armelle Loghmanian

     "Can the implementation of female executives in organizations reduce corruption?"
    Would the Lehman* Sisters guarantee ethical leadership?

    By Ulerike Strubbe & Gudrun Vande Walle

    Gudrun Vande Walle

    Assistant professor in Governance and Ethics at Ghent University.

    Ulerike Strubbe

    Master in Public Administration and Public Management at Ghent University


    Since 2007 there has been a lot of speculation in the media about the probable causes of the economic crisis and the initiators of fraudulent decisions who contributed to provoke that crisis. 
    One of the suggested explanations for that crisis is perfectly reflected by catchy headlines in the media: “If only it had been Lehman Sisters or “With women on board today’s economic crisis clearly would look quite different”. These headlines state that we have to search for an explanation in one specific direction: the top-management of the companies related to the economic collapse was considered to be the catalyst of the economic crisis. These companies had one thing in common: the leaders were men
    Some female experts tried to elaborate this idea that male leaders were responsible for the economic breakdown. They associated men with characteristics such as greed and personal gain, egocentrism and risk taking. Women were rather associated with ethical attitudes such as care, altruism and caution. 

    This hypothesis of the risk-taking male and the careful female leader was strengthened by well-known fraud cases of the past such as Enron, Lernout & Hauspie, Worldcom and Parmalat. All these companies were directed by men.   

    Based on the hypothesis that the bank crisis, as well as the above mentioned fraud and corruption cases, were initiated by the unethical attitude of the male top management, we set up a small research project. 
    The aim was to answer the central research question: Can female leaders decrease the risk of unethical behavior? 
    We tried to get a grasp on the perception of experts around the hypothesis that female leaders implement ethical business practices. 

    Before illustrating the results of our research we will first say something about the scientific literature about “Women and Corruption” we have used.

    A first key area in the literature regards the distribution of corruption among women and their degree of corruption. For example:

    • The policy advisory report ‘Engendering development’ of the World Bank (2001) was the first initiative that stated the implementation of women as a powerful force against corruption.
      Although the World Bank report had an important practical impact, their view ‘more women, less corruption’ was not so innovative.
      The pioneering studies focused on the relationship between gender and corruption were the ones by Dollar, Fisman and Gatti in 1999 (3) <<Are women really the fairer sex?>> and the study by Swamy, Knack, Lee and Azfar in 2000 (4) <<Gender and corruption>>.
      In both studies the conclusion was that involving more women in public life lead to a decrease in corruption.
      Both studies based their idea on psychological and sociological researches on typical characteristics of women, namely their helpful behavior (Eagly & Crowley, 1986), their less selfish character (Eckel & Grossman, 2008), their focus on collective interests and their higher values of integrity.
    • Data by Women’s Economic and Social Human Rights’ (WESHR) and International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) showed that the entry of women into public life had a positive effect on the reduction of corruption. 
      Moreover, due to these results some countries decided to hire more women in public organizations. Examples were the traffic police of Mexico City and Lima. By replacing male traffic cops with female colleagues the authorities hoped to reduce street corruption. (Esarey & Chirollo, 2012, 

    “The fairer sex” or not? And at what level does corruption occur?

    Other researchers had more doubts about the explanation of the correlation between gender and corruption. We can classify their considerations at macro, meso and micro level:
    • Macro – An initial doubt was based on the changing political climate. Democratization creates societies that are more open to diversity, more transparent and less corrupt. These democratic values also penetrate organizations, which means that they also welcome more diversity. 
      As a result the relation between women and corruption is an indirect one via the democratization of institutions. (Sung, 2012; Esarey & Chirillo, 2012; Kolstad & Wiig, 2011; Jianakoplos & Bernasek, 1998; Schulze and Frank, 2003)
      It is “the fairer system” and not “the fairer sex” that explains the decrease of corruption.
    • Meso or organsiational level - A first explanation at the organizational level is based on the fact that women have difficulties in breaking through the glass ceiling in order to take leading positions in the organization. Corruption has been described as a crime that mostly starts at the top of the organizations. (Goetze, 2003; Appelbaum, Audet & Miller, 2003)
      Possibly that explains why women don’t commit corruption: they don’t have the chance.

      Secondly corruption is a crime that only succeeds with the support of a powerful network. This is certainly a fact for the large corruption cases. The few women that succeed in reaching the top of the organization are excluded from participation in the male networks. (Goetze, 2003)
    • Micro - A last explanation that undermines the hypothesis of women as the fairer sex has been identified at the micro level or individual level. 
      A first hypothesis is the low detection rate. Corruption is a crime that is hard to detect for the police and the judicial system. This is certainly the case for the smaller corruption cases at the lower level of the organization. Due to their non-leading positions in the organization women get involved in smaller crimes at the lower levels. Women commit corruption at the lower level of the organization by making usage of the limited opportunities they have. The statistics on Pink Collar Criminals are alarming. According to the FBI, male embezzlers have increased only 4% since 1990 while Pink Collar crime has increased over 40% during that time period. Hence, this creates a misconception that women are less corrupt.(Branisa & Ziegler , 2010)

      Another related hypothesis is that the same kind of crime, when committed by a woman, is punished harder. (Dodge, 2007) That frightens women and restrains them from committing crime.

    To conclude about the relation between women and corruption we can say that:
    • It is widely accepted by researchers that there is a kind of relation between the lower level of corruption and more women working in the organization
    • However there is less consensus about the reason why this is the case. Suggestions are the socialization, the lack of opportunities and the fear for harsher punishments. 

    Female leadership and corruption

    The question that automatically follows is: can we find a relationship between female leadership and corruption?
    Grand corruption is a crime phenomenon that is related to powerful people in top functions (Huberts, 2010) Small corruption cases in the organization often occur because the employees take over the attitudes of the leaders in the organization. (Vande Walle, 2011) Consequently to decrease corruption in the whole organization it is wise to focus on the leadership style.
    If the top manager has the characteristics of an ethical leader, this will seep through the whole organization. So the first question we have to answer is about the characteristics of an ethical leadership style. The ethical (also known as the transformational) leadership style:
    • Prioritizes the collective before the interests of the individual
    • Leads to transparency
    • Facilitates a two way communication, that respects the rights and needs of the subordinates 
    • Checks continuously if actions are ethical. 

    Now we know what ethical leadership is, we have to explore whether there is a typical female leadership style that is consistent with the above principles. 

    The leadership style that is related to women in literature comes close to the characteristics of ethical leadership. (Muchiri, Cooksey, Di Milia, Walumbwa , 2011; Bass & Avolio, 1996) Women in a leading position are said to take over the leadership style that is closest to their gender characteristics. Women are educated to be soft, sweet, honest, helpful, supportive … . These characteristics are said to be reflected in their leadership style. And these characteristics are very similar to those of the transformational leader.
    Given the fact that the female leadership style and the transformational leadership style are said to be very similar, we can form the hypothesis that the majority of female executives will spontaneously take over an ethical leadership style.

    Reflections from the field

    We submitted these above elaborated ideas to 12 experts in the field: experts in the field of corruption, experts with a specific knowledge on leadership and males and females in leadership positions.
    We interviewed three categories of people:
    • Four experts in investigating corruption cases: two private investigators, a police investigator, a magistrate. 
    • Four experts in female leadership: two female academics working on gender issues, a human resources manager and one consultant in leadership. 
    • Four leaders: a male and a female public sector manager and a male and a female private sector manager. 
    The central question of this research was: “Can the implementation of female executives in organizations reduce corruption?
    We approached the respondents with three different sub-questions reported below with their respective feedback:
    1. “Do you see a relationship between leadership and corruption?”
      Most respondents agreed that corruption occurs mainly at the level of middle management and top management in an organization. They explained it by referring to the networks of silence that protect leading managers, the success oriented culture at the top, the lack of fear of sanctions, the lack of social control, the bonus culture … . One corruption expert summarized these ideas by saying: “Corruption is not a gender problem but a power problem”.

    2. “Are women inclined to be involved in corruption?”
      None of the respondents working in a leadership position or in investigating corruption were familiar with cases of corruption committed by women. Some of them explained this by the absence of the opportunity: only a few women succeed in breaking through the glass ceiling. Most of the respondents related this lack of corruption to the female characteristics that are expected from women. Softness, respectfulness and altruism were characteristics named by the respondents. 
      A last reflection on the low percentage of women involved in corruption corresponds to the above mentioned hypothesis of ‘pink collar crime’. Because of their inferior social position women do commit corruption themselves, but in a roundabout way, in using the opportunities they have. One given example of pink collar crime was that women (be they a secretary, wife or concubine) influence male leaders to make corrupt decisions. 

    3. “Are female executives more ethical than male leaders?” 
      Around the connection between corruption and female leadership and whether women have a more ethical leadership style we can split the answers in two different categories: 
    4. a.    Some respondents confirmed that they perceive women in top functions as having a more ethical style.
      They explained that since climbing to the top was very difficult, women fear to lose their position again. This fear has an impact on their way of leading. 
      Another reason is the often vulnerable position at the top. They are permanently observed by their direct colleagues and also by the media. By applying the ethical leadership style they can probably become more socially accepted. 
      In short, the harder condemnation for female executives and the greater the fear of losing their position, the more likely it is that women will refrain from corruption.
      b.    The others explained that this ethical female attitude can quickly turn into a masculine attitude once they reach  a top function. 
      The second category of respondents thought that women are more ethical until they reach the top of the organization. Functioning in senior positions is a “tough world”. These respondents explained that female executives are afraid of being considered too soft by their colleagues. To survive in that male-dominated culture they conscientiously choose a masculine leadership style. 

    A crucial remark by one of the respondents was the impact of the critical mass. One woman leader in an organization, no matter how ethical she may be, will not make the organization more ethical. The rule of the critical mass says that women have to occupy a certain percentage of the board before their ethical attitude will have an effect on the organizational culture. For a change of mentality one third of the leading functions must be executed by women, and these women have to be ethical leaders and not have chosen a masculine leadership style.


    The question if female leadership can reduce corruption should be answered carefully. The respondents all thought that women are more ethical than men as long as we speak about the lower levels of the organization. There was less consensus about the fairer sex at the top of the organization. 

    First it is certainly not a fact that female leaders don’t commit corruption. Imelda Marcos, Winnie Mandela and Edith Cresson are only some famous examples of women in leadership positions who committed grand corruption. Based on the large literature review and the perception study we can say that the education of women and the way they are socialized in society can have a positive effect on the ethical attitude of women and indirectly also on their ethical leadership style. However people‘s attitude is determined by more than their gender. 

    Second there are a lot of examples of men in executive positions who use an ethical or female leadership style and succeeded in making their organization more ethical. That leads us to the conclusion that it is the feminine values (honesty, carefulness, transparency, …) of leadership, rather than the actual gender, that contributes to an ethical organization.

    For future research we suggest further exploration of which kind of mechanisms make a leader take a more masculine (risky, dominant, non-participative, …), or a more feminine leadership style. Is it the personaI socialization trajectory? Or is it the business culture of the organization? And does gender equality at the executive level play a role in that? This can help to understand how leadership styles have an impact on the efficient prevention of corruption and also on financial crises.

    Short Biography

    Gudrun Vande Walle gained a Law degree (KuLeuven - 1995) and a PhD in Criminology (UGent - 2003). She is assistant-professor at Ghent University (B), Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and member of the research unit Governing and Policing Security (http://www.gaps-ugent.be/en).
    Her research topics are corruption and anti-corruption policy in the public and private sector, gender and financial-economic crime and victimization and conflict resolution in the business context. She is also the local Research Correspondent on Corruption for Belgium (see: LRCC-network - DG Home Affairs – EC).
    She has worked in academia since 1997 first at Ghent University, department of Penal Law and Criminology and since 2008 at Ghent University College in Public administration and management.
    In January she started her Master Class Forensic Auditing at Antwerp Management School.

    Ulerike Strubbe is Master in Public administration and Public management. She has written her Master’s thesis about the effect of female leadership on corruption.
    At the moment she is studying for an advanced Master in International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of Antwerp.

    Contact Details

    Gudrun Vande Walle
    Assistant-professor at Ghent University (B), Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    Email: Gudrun.VandeWalle@ugent.be

    Ulerike Strubbe
    Master in Public administration and Public management
    Email: Ulerike.Strubbe@gmail.com


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    Disclaimer -    

    Any views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Ghent University nor do they constitute a legally binding agreement.

  • 28 Jul 2013 12:44 | Armelle Loghmanian

    The BCT – help on every aspect from pregnancy to parenthood

    Interview with Ginny Demoulin, President of the BCT, and Sandra Dreschel, Technology Coordinator (Vice President) of the BCT
    By Beverley Sinton

    Virginia Demoulin

    President of the BCT

    I was looking at your website and I see that the BCT in Belgium was founded 35 years ago.  Can you explain what the Brussels Childbirth Trust is and who are your members?

    The Brussels Childbirth Trust (BCT) was started 35 years ago by a group of British ex-pats and works along similar lines to the National Childbirth Trust in Britain.  Primarily we provide pre-natal and post-natal courses, but our activities have now expanded into more of a networking and communal role with coffee mornings and music and dance groups. We have also expanded outside Brussels with groups in e.g. Leuven/Leefdaal/Everburg, Ghent and Liege.  In fact groups are set up wherever and whenever people see a need and are willing to set up a group.  One of the more recent groups has been a divorced parents group.  Divorced parents often feel very lonely and rather vulnerable, and many end up going back to their original country, but this group provides support for its members in Belgium.  Although the BCT works in English, our members are drawn from all over the world. The BCT now comprises of about 1300 families which represent over 70 nationalities. 
    We also have a library at our main venue Imagine. It is a great resource with around 500 books and DVD’s on pregnancy, parenting and child development.  Recent projects like our Facebook page and group are making sharing info easier.  Members with problems can also consult the Experiences Register coordinator.  Our Info team furthermore collects members’ recommendations for e.g. hospitals, doctors, crèches and this information is very valuable and reassuring to newcomers.

    Sandra Dreschel

    Technology Coordinator (Vice President) of the BCT

    Can you give us some sense of how your membership has changed since the BCT was founded?  Do you think parenting in Brussels is easier now?

    Originally the BCT was founded by British people, and one of our original members (Jill Hawkes) is still on the board, but the organisation is now much more cosmopolitan, and last year 60% of the members were from non-English speaking countries.  Biggest changes are that many of the new member families are from Eastern Europe and increasing number of women go back to work after maternity leave.
    Parenting has changed, and it is not necessarily easier, though the general feeling is that Belgium is a good place for childcare.  Ex-pats, usually in Belgium without family and knowing no one when they arrive, certainly need a support network.  Usually the couple or family arrives in Belgium because of a new job.  Mostly only one of the couple (often the man) has a job and the partner/spouse needs to learn the language, take care of the home and children.  The non-employed partner usually has no social network which can be a big drawback in finding a job of their own, and the BCT helps them to find friends and some very important social support.
    Whilst BCT parents are often not native French or Dutch speakers, many of our children attend French or Dutch/Flemish speaking nurseries.  Our children often use the nursery language as their ‘play’ language, and happily switch between home and play languages.

    Do you only accept parents or do you also have a grandparents group?  What about step-parents and adoptive parents – do such people have separate groups or not?

    Membership of BCT is per family, and this includes the child’s carers.  In fact groups are seeing an increase in attendance by grandparents and nannies/au pairs.  We have social and support networks for e.g. adoptive families and single parents, and there is also an IVF network and a Twins Club. Many groups are aimed at the under-5’s and most families do leave once their children have started school.  However there are several ‘Lifers’ groups for long-term members and another one for families with older children, and some after-school meetings for older children. Some people continue as volunteers even after their own family has grown up.

    Do you find that most of the people involved in the BCT are mothers or are Dads equally active?  Do you have any special activities for fathers?

    BCT meetings are still mainly female, simply because it’s still mainly the mums who stay at home, at least for a while, when a new baby arrives. Dads do try to be involved but most are working during the day.  Some groups organise evening and family activities.  There is a dads support group and a very popular soccer workout group. Also some dads get involved with us as volunteers on a project basis e.g. IT consulting, graphic design, photography or they help at our various events. This is of course invaluable support for us and makes the BCT a concern of the heart for both parents after all.

    One of the problems I found raising a family in Belgium was that our wider family were far away and not available for baby-sitting (or looking after my kids in the holidays).  Do you have any schemes to cover these needs?

    Although the BCT doesn’t organise anything in this regard, our groups are very inventive. Some local groups, for instance, have set up baby-sitting circles amongst themselves to support each other. Our playgroups may organise sessions during the holidays, depending on member availability. In addition, the BCT is a huge information resource regarding all aspects of family life in Belgium. Whether it’s our Information team that holds databases of crèches and general info on childminding or other members who recommend stages, crèches, babysitters etc.
    We can surely help our members to navigate their way through the jungle of childminding in Belgium. And some members have even found their ‘Home from Home’ support network within the BCT.


    I think the most difficult time for a parent is when the little ones are sick.  Do you know of any organisations offering home care for sick children whose parents still need to go to work?

    If children are sick we usually recommend contacting the mutuality with whom they are registered, who often have nurses available.  Sometimes through the BCT you know a Mum from the local group who can help in an emergency, either with a sick child or with taking another child to or from school or day-care. Some of our local groups even set up cooking support for several weeks for families with an ill child at hospital and younger ones at home. As I said, our members are more or less all in the same situation and the ideas of how best to support each other are endless.

    I know you already have a printed magazine – what sort of subjects do you cover?  I see you are also going to have an online newsletter – how do you think this will be different?

    Our magazine ‘Small Talk’ is very highly popular with our membership. One reason for it is surely that all contributions come from our members. In a nutshell, Small Talk provides a window into family life in Belgium. We’re featuring topics such as pregnancy and birth, life with a baby but also many aspects of parenting from the very young age up to teenage age. You can find latest information about services and events for families in Belgium. There are life style articles, book reviews, craft ideas for kids, recipes, the very popular members’ birthday greetings and of course news about the BCT, our activities and groups, services and the events agenda. A whole column is dedicated to our volunteers with regular interviews, special thanks and welcomes on roles and projects and current volunteer opportunities within the BCT.
    The new e-newsletter will be aimed at non-members, partner organisations, companies and whoever is interested in the BCT as an organisation. We’re going to inform about our public events and activities, organisational news and will probably feature specific topics that we’re dealing with and that might be of interest to others, too. This could be parenting, new media but also volunteering. The last is obviously part of our identity as an organisation and is therefore of special importance for us.
    I notice you have workshops and courses.  What sort of subjects do you cover?  Are these only for members or can non-members also attend?

    Besides our prenatal courses that we are running throughout the year, we offer information sessions for people who are looking for general info about pregnancy and birth in Belgium. These ‘Pregnancy in Belgium evenings’ are open to everyone.
    For our members we run regular ‘BCT Talks’ on family and life-related topics. This can be one-off events or a series of sessions. Experts in their fields present and discuss a subject. Recent talks were held on topics such as parenting, financial planning, business start-ups and introduction to Emotional Freedom Techniques. 

    How do you see the BCT changing in the future?

    One of the biggest changes is that most families now have two working parents so there are more social and playgroups on Saturdays, and even a mums Sundays afternoon group.  There is also a Working Mums group, which meets from time-to-time in the evenings, and several groups organise nights out. The BCT will continue developing services and groups that cater for full-time working parents to address the needs of our members.

    We also have noticed that, as more women are now going back to work, there are fewer people with the time to be volunteers. Because part-time employment is hard to find in Belgium, a number of parents start their own business and/or try to work from home.  It also seems that some of the multi-nationals have stopped sending employees over to Europe for a couple of years only. In the past, volunteering was often regarded as a ‘job’, but now we need to work harder and review our own structure to maintain a full team of volunteers.

    Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?

    The BCT is primarily a network for families with small children, but the word ‘childbirth’ should not put people off – all families new to Brussels are very welcome even if they are not planning to have any more children.  In fact, many of the new members are families with a toddler who are hoping to network with other families in their region.  We have a very wide circle of people in the network with a wide range of interests. But all have something in common: they meet each other to share experiences, circumstances and/or lifestyle.  This makes the BCT one of the largest international communities in Belgium.

  • 19 Apr 2013 00:48 | Armelle Loghmanian

     An authentic insight about the role of a diplomat’s spouse 

    Interview by Rita Nasini


    Claire Villaume

    Head of the administration in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Claire, what do you consider as your role, non-institutional, as the wife of an Italian diplomat living abroad?

    The role of an Italian diplomat’s wife is quite different according to the post, the position and the office of her husband. For example, when it is a multilateral post, that is to say an embassy to an international organization like the Italian Permanent Representation to the UE in Brussels, where my husband is working at the moment, her role is less important and visible than when it is a bilateral post (an embassy to another State or a consulate), because there are fewer social events, it is mainly office work.

    In fact, a diplomat’s wife plays an important part in what we call the “representation” side of the work of her husband, which consists in attending cocktails, diners, and all sorts of events and also organizing them at home. Moreover, if her husband is the chief of the diplomatic representation, her work is even more fundamental.
    But beyond these differences, I consider my role as very important for my husband, even if it is not formalized, but results from tradition. In fact, in my husband’s salary, there is an amount allocated for a spouse, but it is not linked with representation, since all the spouses (men and women) of Italian civil servants working abroad receive the same percentage, even if they do not have to carry on this activity. I think that like the other diplomat’s wives, I am very helpful to my husband, because since he works a lot, it would be very difficult for him to organize this side of his work. Besides, when we arrive in a new country, there are a lot things we have to deal with like looking for a house to rent and moving into it, taking care of a lot administrative formalities, etc. (in the Italian system you do not receive any support by the Administration for this kind of efforts. It takes time and energy which my husband does not have, because his time is taken by his work which is completely different every time he changes post. It really is a team effort.

    In your experience, since you have met women from different cultures from all over the world who have followed their husbands abroad, can you see any differences or similarities between their experiences and yours?

    Like a lot of women I have met since my husband became a diplomat 15 years ago I gave up the idea of a career, which I could have had in the French civil service, so that I could follow my husband. In fact, I have noticed that in almost all the cases of couples we have known with international careers (in very different fields like diplomacy, teaching, banking sector, international organizations, etc.) it is more often the woman who gives up her job, which is often as good as her husband’s, to follow him and raise the children.
    Most of the women I have met are very skilled and had a very good job before marrying, but did not succeed in keeping it when they decided to start a family with a man with an international career. Besides very few managed to find a new job after spending a few years looking after their children, or if they did, the job was not equal to their skills and university degree. As far as I am concerned, I have found a good solution. After four years without working I passed an exam to work as an administrator in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so now I am an Italian civil servant, which enables me to be on leave when my husband is posting abroad and to work in the ministry when he comes back to Rome. Moreover I can apply for the vacant positions in the diplomatic representations abroad. So even if I do not work when we are abroad, unless I succeed in taking a vacant position, I have a job and I keep it. So at a psychological level it is really better than before. Of course I am sure that I would have got a better job and salary if I had stayed in France, but I am happy with my situation and quite fortunate in comparison with most of my female friends, who gave up their job and do not work at the moment. Needless to say, it was my husband who encouraged me to follow this path since I had not considered participating in the competition which was organized, a few years ago, for the appointment I currently hold.

    Claire, how do you feel every time you move to a new country, leaving behind your family and friends dear to you?

    In my opinion it is the most difficult part of my life. Of course, there are a lot of “material” problems related to the moving, but as far as I am concerned I am used to dealing with them. On the other hand, the human aspect is far more difficult to cope with and the loneliness is quite present in our life. When my husband and I arrive in a new place, we do not know anybody; our family is far away, so we need to create a “family” of friends and acquaintances. For me it is a matter of mental survival. The problem is that we have to do it quickly because we never stay more than four years in a place knowing that in a short time we will have to leave all the people to whom we have become attached. As you can imagine it is not easy at all, and it is even more difficult if you have children, because they do not understand it. As a matter of fact it is always when we really feel integrated in a place and we have reached a good balance, that we have to leave. This is a really bad moment, because we are overwhelmed by a feeling of loss, especially if the country we leave is far away and we know it will not be so easy to keep in touch with our friends.

    A positive aspect of our life in Brussels is that we have met again a lot of friends/acquaintances we had not seen for a long time, since it is a city where a lot of people want to work because of the presence of the European institutions. But this possibility is quite exceptional. To sum up, I would say it is like I have the impression I have lived very different lives with very few things in common: my husband and my furniture. It is a very strange feeling: sometimes I wonder if I really lived in such-and-such a country.

    What do you consider as being your most wonderful mission abroad in the role of a diplomatic wife?

    As a first posting, my husband was appointed as Italian Consul in Perth (Western Australia) from 2000 until 2003. In the spring of 2003 (the autumn in the south hemisphere) we received the visit of the most beautiful ship in the world, the 1930s Italian training vessel “Amerigo Vespucci”, which is the pride of the Italian Navy and an ambassador for our country. It was doing its first and last tour all over the world with a two-week stop in Perth. These two weeks have been the most wonderful and incredible experience so far in my role of diplomat’s spouse abroad. In Perth, there are a lot of sailing clubs and people owning their own boat. So to celebrate the arrival of the Amerigo Vespucci (it was coming from the Australian south-eastern coast, a very harsh trip below Australia for an old vessel because of the conditions at sea), my husband mobilized the whole Italian community of Perth and also many Australian people.

    As a consequence, there were almost hundred boats welcoming the Amerigo Vespucci (my husband and I were on one of them) and I can assure you that the sight of all these boats on the sea was magnificent.

    The 1930s Italian training vessel “Amerigo Vespucci reaches Perth, Australia

    The crew of the Amerigo Vespucci really appreciated it and told us that it had been the best welcome they had received during their tour. 
    The two weeks of its stay in the harbor of Fremantle (Perth) were incredible. As the highest representatives of the Italian Government in Perth, my husband and I got a lot of honors from the captain and the crew. Every time we got on board on the ship, we were saluted by the sailors and it was very impressive because we were rather young. We were lucky, because we got the privilege to be invited to he private headquarters
     of the captain, where we had dinner and danced and we attended several receptions on the boat. The cuisine was fantastic. I remember that in Australia it was impossible to find Italian cheese, ham, etc. because it was, and still is, forbidden to import them. But the Amerigo Vespucci had real Parma harm on board and they were allowed to serve it on board: what a treat!

    To help the young sailors recover, the captain decided to host a disco party on board. Through my husband we contacted a few Italian people, who worked in the fashion world and knew a lot of Italian and Australian girls. They danced all night on the ship and we assisted the beginning of several romances. When the ship cast off the moorings and left Perth, there were a few crying girls on the quay of Fremantle’s harbor.

    What are your views on this lifestyle and what are the pros and cons of your role?

    It is a lifestyle that a lot of people do not really know, and as a consequence tend to idealize. But from my point of view, it is not easy. As I explained before, every two to four years, we have to change country which implies a big change in our life. We have to get used to a new culture, a new language, new working conditions and we need to live amongst new people. We have to start a lot of things from the beginning. We feel that we do not belong anywhere and we are disconnected from our native countries, a bit like stateless people. I already talked about the human aspects, which are the most difficult part of the “job”, especially if there are children involved.

    But beyond the human side, there are also a lot of “material” aspects, which can jeopardize the solidity of the couple’s relationship. I read that moving is one of the biggest cause of friction and quarreling in a couple, so if you think we have to move every two-four years to places where we usually have never been and that can be very complicated because there are a lot of problems to solve, you can imagine the pressure that is put on the relation of the couple, which needs to be very strong to resist that pressure. If you add the eventual frustrations of the woman who had to give up her career, and in some cases has to raise her children alone, because her husband works a lot, you can understand why there are so many separated couples in this career.
    Furthermore the representative role of a diplomat can be overwhelming. In fact, the border between his private life and his professional life is tiny, especially if he is the head of the diplomatic mission (ambassador or consul), because he has to attend many events or to organize them. Contrary to what a lot of people think, this is not fun, but work and can become a burden. For all these reasons, it is really important to find a good balance inside the relationship of the couple, because at the end it is team work.
    Of course, there are also a lot of pros in this life. The fact that we change country and work very often can be a positive aspect, if we did not like the life we were leading. There are a lot of people, who are stuck in a life and a job they do not like and do not have any possibility of changing it. In our case, we know that if we do not feel well in a place, it won’t be the rest of our lives Of course the other side of the coin is that when we adapt really well to a place, we know we do not have the possibility to stay. Moreover we can learn foreign languages, discover a lot of different cultures and people in a deeper way than being a tourist,, even if it is never possible to do it thoroughly. This lifestyle opens our mind and changes our way of thinking and seeing life and the world.

    Short Biography

    Claire Villaume was born in 1976 in a small village in Lorraine, in the north east of France, close to Luxembourg and Belgium. She studied at Sciences Po in Strasbourg, where in 1995 she met her future husband who was an Erasmus student. In 1996-1997 she studied one year at the University LUISS in Rome as an Erasmus student.
    At the end of 1997, her future husband became a diplomat, so after taking her high degree in 1998 she decided to live in Rome with him.
    From 1998 to 2000 she worked in a small publishing house in Rome. 2000-2003: first posting abroad: the Italian Consulate in Perth (Western Australia). 2003-2006: second posting: deputy Head of Mission in Luxembourg. End of 2005: she passed an exam to become an administrative accountant in the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 2006-2010: she worked in the Ministry in Rome. On leave since September of 2010: third posting in Brussels.

    Contact Details
    Claire Villaume
    Mail: clairevillaume@yahoo.fr
    Tel. 0475771638

    Disclaimer -      
    Any views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nor do they constitute a legally binding agreement.

  • 06 Apr 2013 23:03 | Armelle Loghmanian


    By Author





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    Short Biography

    Name is tbios


    Disclaimer -      
    Any views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of <company name>, nor do they constitute a legally binding agreement.
  • 16 Jan 2013 13:12 | Armelle Loghmanian

     Multiculturalism: how women can contribute in developing models of integration 

    Interview by Alessandra Zocca


    Rita Nasini

    Entrepreneur and Member of “Club Donne d’Europa”

    Rita, you have been deeply involved in the topics of integration of different cultures in Europe. What has inspired you and still keeps you intrigued?

    Alessandra, I started getting really involved in these topics when, in 2000, I became a member of the “Club Donne d’Europa (Women of Europe)” in Ispra, in the province of Varese (Italy), where I stayed until 2008. In fact our family moved to Ispra when my husband took a position at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission.
    The “Club Donne d’Europa” was created in 1959 in Ispra, with the opening of Euratom research centre, the actual Joint Research Centre (JRC). In that period the spouses (mostly women) of the senior managers/executives, coming from the principal European capitals to work at this nuclear research centre, socialized together and created a web that would sustain them despite their daily difficulties. Now, by affirming the strong social character of the Club “Donne d’Europa”, the JRC included it in the “Family Network”, a network which supports its staff.

    At the beginning I was attracted by the various activities of the club, subsequently I was heavily involved in the organisation of conferences about multiculturalism, for example the one we organized on the occasion of the celebration of March 8th, International Women’s Day, an opportunity to participate and to discuss about topics of interest to all women: the social contribution of the female model. We were inspired by the 2007 UNICEF Report "The State of the World", in which they state that the “objective of the third Millennium is to promote equal opportunities and empowerment of women”.
    To untie the knots of gender inequality, women must fight to become aware of their rights and to recognize and defend the female model inspired by caring for others.

    Why still intrigued? Right now, with the Europe of 27 countries with different languages, religions and social diversity, I firmly believe it is necessary to support the different cultural realities through a path of integration, flexibility and multicultural education. European citizens will increasingly demand the ability to go from their own cultural identity to the understanding of other ones without fear and prejudices.

    Could you please tell us more about the “Club Donne d’Europa”? Its mission?

    “Club Donne d’Europa” has become an association legally registered with a Legal Statute approved on the 9th March 1999. In June 2012 the club changed its name in "Club Europeo Ispra (European Club of Ispra)”.

    The Club currently consists of 500 members, principally wives, husbands and partners of the management working at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. Furthermore, the parents of the students of the European School and local residents of Ispra are also accepted. 

    The mission of the Club since its origins has been and is to: 
    • Help the managers of the JRC and their families with services aimed at helping and improving their integration into a new social community 
    • Favour social encounter, the transfer of knowledge from different cultures in order to support the inclusion of individuals and their families in a context other than the one of origin 
    • Create a stronger cultural cohesion, develop and ameliorate the integration of the different members regardless of their nationality, culture and language.

    What are the main activities of the Club?

    The Club’s activities are all outside the sphere and the influence of political, religious or race discrimination
    For each activity a person is assigned, who is responsible for its organisation and provides all the information required, as a single point of contact.
    The main club activities include: 

    1. “Monthly Coffee”: the monthly Coffee is one of the most important activities of the Club where the members can meet and to discuss the new initiatives and possible issues. The Coffee is also a means to socialise and where the new members can meet up and get to know the organisation. Moreover, the monthly Coffee is a free space where the members can share their stories and testimonies of their lives in different cultural, religious backgrounds (for example, countries far from Europe like Pakistan, Mexico, Poland and the Arab Emirates)

    2. Languages classes: each year almost 30 languages classes are organised by the club. The most popular are the Italian, French, English, German, Dutch, Greek, Spanish and Russian classes. The classes are divided into different levels so that each member can find his/her way. The Italian class is one of the most requested from the new members just transferred to Italy. Moreover, there are conversations classes and classes dedicated to young mothers with their babies. The teachers are native speakers, and professionally experienced.

    3. Playgroups: Groups exist to help new moms and future ones.
      The club has a particular policy of welcoming new moms and future ones who are more sensitive to changes and show more difficulties in integrating into the local community. Meetings are organised to encourage these mothers to share their information and to solve their problems. The Play group, are meetings with activities and games for children under 3 years old and their mothers. Moreover, theme parties are organised at different times during the year.
      Outside the work hours activities such as yoga and gymnastics classes are organized for both parents and children

    4. The Gardening Group: once a month a group of members meet to improve and share their knowledge on the different type of plants, flowers, trees, etc. and to organize visits to the most beautiful gardens of the region

    5. Travel: trips are organized to show the beautiful countryside and to visit some Italian cities, exhibitions, museums and parks

    6. Charity activities: these markets are created in collaboration with charity organisation, such as the Comitato Insieme and with the Bazar-Mercatino of Christmas

    7. Sporting Activities: the organisation of these activities takes a big part of the Club’s time.
      They range from activities such as light gymnastics for the elderly, aerobics and modern dance for the younger, yoga and qi gong for those who wish a more relaxed and calm atmosphere, to stretching for everyone

    8. Conferences, seminars and cultural workshops: many cultural events are organized to meet experts in a wide selection of disciplines, who are willing to share their stories.
      Also workshops are organized to learn practical skills such as: “presentation techniques” and classes dedicated to fashion, decoration, singing, music, history, theatre and cinema.

    In 2006-2007 I personally spent a lot of time in organizing conferences on the theme of multiculturalism and cultural integration together with the Unit “Servizi Sociali (Employee welcome desk) of the JRC”. These conferences explored the theme of being welcomed into different communities and the possibility of developing specific models of integration.

    Rita, you also wrote a chapter in the book "The magic mosaic of inter-cultural"* about your experience with the club “Donne’Europa” …

    Yes, indeed, I narrated my experience as volunteer for “Donne d’Europa” in a dedicated chapter of this book edited by Giovanna Spagnuolo, researcher at ISFOL (an Italian ministerial institute for professional training and development). This book - sponsored by UNESCO -collects cases of intercultural integrations and the surrounding issues.

    Giovanna Spagnuolo was the speaker at some of the conferences we organized with the club, for example:

    • “Multicultural education and welcome models: at work, school and family” in October 2006.
      Inspired by the “European year of the professional mobility” in 2006, this conference drew the attention to the fact that professional mobility is an experience that changes the social and cultural dimension of the involved people and their families.

    • “The strategy of permanent learning and adults” in October 2006.
      The conference addressed the European Commission guidelines to support lifelong learning: Education and training are not only a means of access to knowledge, competence, qualification for the labour market, but also an effective way of social integration, they allow the individual to strengthen skills, to re-enforce the identity of the citizens, to give self-confidence and to create a network of relations.

    • "Intercultural and equal opportunities: the contribution of the female model" on 8th March 2007.
      The UNICEF report - mentioned previously- shows that the equality of gender and well-being of children go hand in hand, the close relationship that exists between the living conditions of women and living conditions of children: if women live fully and actively their lives, children grow up well, if women are denied equal opportunities in society the first to suffer are children.

    Rita, anything else you would like to share with our readership?

    Let me say, Alessandra, that the history so far written by the Club, through its experience in these 48 years, demonstrates the ability of the Club’s adaptability to the needs of the Centre and its ability to respond to requests that change over the years.
    The spirit and soul that animated the Club is founded on multiculturalism, tolerance, solidarity and mutual respect, always the most important aspects in the evolution of our society.

    I invite you to visit the website to learn more and keep up to date on its developments: http://www.clubeuropeo.it and on Facebook.

    Alessandra, in case my experience with the club “Donne d’Europa/Club Europeo Ispra” could interest some PWI Magazine readers in similar activities, I will be very happy to share it and to provide my suggestions.

    Short Biography

    Rita Nasini

    Postgraduate degree in European studies, Master in Political and public communication.
    Rita has worked and gained expertise in the following areas: professional training, language training for adults, learning technologies, organizational sciences, change management, sociology and labour law, human resources management, psycho-sociological analysis, recruitment, public and political communication, public speaking.

    She has been a Volunteer from 2000 to 2008 in the “Club Donne d’Europa” now “Club Europeo”.
    She has organized workshops and management conferences in partnership with JRC and Family network organizations:
    • 2006 “Educazione alla multiculturalità e modelli di accoglienza: al lavoro, a scuola, in famiglia” (multicultural education and welcome models: at work, school and family) Club Donne d’Europa, JRC Ispra Italy.
    • 2008 “2008 anno europeo del dialogo interculturale: il ruolo della ricerca, dell’istruzione e della formazione” ( 2008 Euopean Year of intercultural dialogue: the role of research, education and training ) in partnership with: Isfol, JRC Ispra, Club Donne d’Europa, Unesco, Comune di Ispra.

    In 2011 and 2012 Rita worked at the EU Commission.
    Currently Rita has initiated a challenge as an entrepreneur.

    Rita Nasini

    Disclaimer -     
    Any views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect tof the club “Donne d’Europa”, nor do they constitute a legally binding agreement.


    * Giovanna Spagnuolo, "Il magico mosaico dell'intercultura. Teorie, mondi, esperienze", published in 2007 by Franco Angeli Edizioni with the sponsorship of UNESCO.
  • 07 Oct 2012 02:17 | Armelle Loghmanian

     Living life on Purpose
    How to get more of what you want in your life

    By Gerry Murray

    Gerry Murray
    Founder & CEO of Wide Circle

    Ever woke up in the morning and said to yourself “I’ll be glad when this one’s over!” or been in a meeting thinking “I don’t see the point of this discussion!” or pondering “If it wasn’t for the kids and the mortgage, I’d be doing something else” and then wondering what that something else would be!

    Many believe that we’re reaching a crisis point in Western society as our focus on materialism over several decades has left us lacking any true sense of purpose. As we go from one corporate scandal to another; one war to another; one uprising to another and the future of our planet seems increasingly uncertain, people everywhere are starting to look for more meaning and purpose in their life. You might have gone to college wanting to change the world but today cannot remember what it was you wanted to change or be able to connect with that same drive and energy.

    Choices, choices, choices

    The inevitable question arises: ‘How do I go about finding or regaining my purpose in life?’ This is not an easy task for most of us because we are rarely taught how to do this for ourselves. In fact, certain terms prevalent in the workplace make it difficult for us. ‘Work-life balance’ is one such term. Recently, I heard someone talk enthusiastically about ‘work-life integration’, as those who lead organizations seek to find ways to leverage our constant online presence. If you flip these two terms you’ll discover you can alter their meaning. Try on ‘life-work balance’ or ‘life-work integration’ and notice how this alters your perspective. Your job and your career remain intact and your sense of what’s important shifts.

    Learning how to navigate the increasing changes in our lives comes down to the choices we make. In her latest book <<The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here>>, London Business School Professor Lynda Gratton says that we will need to actively make wise decisions and be able to face up to the consequences of these choices. Making decisions and wise choices is easier when we have a clear sense of purpose in our lives.

    Connecting with your purpose

    Exercise and practice are essential when we want to develop new skills. Sports people, musicians and artists all know this. Professionals, craftsmen and experts know this. Having a toolbox to help us gives us more choice and with greater choice comes greater freedom. So tools, or exercises, serve to increase our awareness and teach us how to take responsibility for getting more of what we want.

    The following exercise is an effective way to connect with your sense of purpose. It’s useful for exploring an area of personal development and you can easily test it out for yourself and notice what happens. You are guaranteed to always get some fresh insights. It can be applied to a whole range of self-development areas and we’re going to use it now in a specific context.

    You can also download an audio version of the exercise to an iPod or MP3 player if you prefer to be guided through it step by step. There are also some additional sheets and guidelines so you can lay the exercise out on the ground. Here is the link:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zjk8r0c8udtbnje/j4SsiFKAKj

    Neurological Level Alignment

    This is a powerful exercise to build your resources and congruence. It is best done with a guide who can talk you through the process. You can of course do the exercise in your head or on a piece of paper. However, it works best when you do it physically. Ideally, you need to allow 20-30 minutes of quiet time to complete it.
    Neurological levels separate what you do from who you are. You are not your behavior.

    Doing the exercise

    First, print out the six sheets of paper and download the audio file to a portable device.

    Think of a difficult situation where you would like to have more choice, where you suspect you are not using all of your personal resources, where you are not completely ‘yourself’. You can also use this for a situation where you’re doing something that somehow you used to enjoy and no longer get the same level of satisfaction – a situation in which you want to make sure you engage all your resources.

    Find a space where you can easily stand and take five steps backward.

    Lay out the six sheets on the floor in the following order:
    1. Environment
    2. Behavior
    3. Capability
    4. Beliefs & Values
    5. Identity
    6. Beyond Identity
    As you will walk backwards in the first part of the exercise, begin by standing at the Environment sheet with the others behind you.

    Start exploring the environment where you typically experience the problem. For example, at home or the office.
    • Describe your surroundings
    • Where are you?
    • Who is around you?
    • What do you notice particularly about this environment?

    Take a step backward. Now you are on the behavior level.
    • What specifically are you doing when you have this problem?
    • Think about your movements, actions and thoughts.
    • Pay attention to any inner dialogue that you typically have.
    • How does your behavior fit into the environment?

    Take another step backward. Now you are on the capability level. Think about your skills. In this situation you are only expressing a fraction of them.
    • What skills do you have in your life?
    • What mental strategies do you have?
    • What is the quality of your thinking?
    • What communication and relational skills do you have?
    • Think of your skills of rapport, outcome and creative thinking.
    • What qualities do you have that serve you well?
    • What do you do well in any context?

    Take another step back. Now you are on the next level. Reflect on your beliefs and values.
    • What is important to you?
    • What do you find worthwhile about what you do?
    • What empowering beliefs do you have about yourself?
    • What empowering beliefs do you have about others?
    • What principles do you strive to act on?

    Take a step back again and think about your unique personality and identity. Remember, you are not what you do or what you believe.
    • What is your mission in life?
    • What sort of person are you?
    • Get a sense of yourself and what you want to accomplish in the world.
    • Express this with a metaphor – what symbol or idea comes to mind that seems to express your identity as a person? Use the phrase: “I am like…”

    Take a final step backwards.
    Think about how you’re connected to all other living beings and whatever you believe is beyond your life.
    Some people call this the spiritual realm. Spiritual should not be confused with religious beliefs. It can also be a personal philosophy that you have.

    Take as much time as you need to get a sense of what this means to you and connect with it. At the very least, this is about how you, as a unique person, connect with others. What metaphor or symbol would best express this feeling?

    Now, with this sense of connectedness, you can build a resource anchor for yourself. An easy way to do this is to squeeze your thumb and one of your fingers together at the moment when the feeling is most intense.

    Keep squeezing your finger and thumb and take this enhanced sense of who you are and who can be, with the metaphor and physiology that expresses it, and step forward to the level of identity. Reconsider these questions:

    • What is your mission in life?
    • What sort of person are you?
    • How would you enrich your metaphor or symbol of yourself?

    When you’re ready, step forward again to the level of your beliefs and values. Keep the resource anchor and physiology of the Identity level as you do this and consider these questions:

    • What is important now?
    • What do you believe now?
    • What do you want to be important?
    • What do you want to believe?
    • What beliefs and values express your identity?

    Keep the resource anchor and take this new sense of your beliefs and values and step forward to the capability level, keeping the previous physiology from the beliefs and values level.
    • How are your skills transformed and intensified with the greater depth?
    • How can you use your skills in the best possible way?

    Keep the anchor and physiology of the capability level and step forward to the behavior level.
    • How can you act to express the alignment you feel?

    Finally, keeping the anchor, step forward into your real present environment right now.
    • How is it different when you bring these levels of yourself to it?
    • Notice how you feel differently about where you are with this greater depth and clarity from your values, purpose and sense of connectedness.

    Know that if you were to bring all of this to the problem situation, it would change. How do you now feel connected to your sense of purpose?

    Each year Gerry Murray takes groups of people through a structured process so they can learn how to connect with their purpose and make better choices.
    Join us in January 2013 for “The Courage to Choose” when he will take you through this process and demonstrate the power of tools like this in action.

    Short Biography

    Gerry Murray is Founder & CEO of Wide Circle, a consultancy that works with leaders in organizations to enable them to bring out the best in their people so they can consistently perform well. They do this by providing services in three integrated areas: Communication, Learning & Change.
    Prior to founding Wide Circle in 2003, Gerry spent nine years at the world headquarters of DHL holding a variety of global roles in marketing, strategic planning, finance, investor relations, corporate communications and change. His early commercial experience was gained in sales and marketing management in the publishing & training industry.
    Gerry has a BA in French & Linguistics from University College Dublin, an MBA from Manchester Business School and a diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, where he also holds the status of Chartered Marketer.

    Passionate about learning and personal development, Gerry runs NLP Coaching Practitioner and Master Coaching Practitioner trainings in the Benelux and UK and organizes a regular NLP Practice group in Belgium called NLP-in-Brussels. He is a certified Trainer of NLP, a Master Coach and the ANLP’s (Association of NLP) ambassador in Belgium.

    Gerry is also a qualified music teacher and an award-winning musician. He has recorded several albums with the internationally acclaimed Irish/Scottish band, Shantalla.

    Gerry Murray
    Managing Director | Wide Circle Ltd
    54-56 rue de la Montagne, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
    T: +32 476 417 606


  • 29 Jun 2012 15:02 | Deleted user

    "Is your life set to delete mode?"
    By Geoff  Edward

    Geoff Edwards
    Life-coach and owner at The Success Coach

     Is your Life being Deleted by You?

    Our fast paced, high tech world competes for our attention with huge volumes of information - 200bn emails and 75 million blog posts daily, 500000 new books every year, 8bn web pages very minute, and it is not surprising when we hear statements from other people, such as “Are you paying attention to me now?”. Is it any wonder that we have developed short attention spans that operate in delete mode – in some cases, you may not even be taking notice of important people, places and events in your lives, so let’s hope it is not your actual life that you are deleting!
    By living in a world where there is a constant stream of information, our minds are tricked into believing that we need more of everything. You do however have choices and are able to limit that influence and determine what you let into your sight. You can choose what books you read, what movies you see,  which TV shows you watch and how you would like your life to be.

    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice - they somehow already know what you truly want to become. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, everything else is secondary.”Steve Jobs

    The following article highlights some aspects of our modern world that you may like to consider..

    Is this You?
    Life is filled with many opportunities. It is important for everyone to decide what is the correct path to take – this comes through consciously observing and reflecting on situations that may be unproductive, such as reading emails, facebook messages etc., during the middle of the night. The consequences of continuing this approach are a reduction in your quality of life and also, placing yourselves always under constant “high alert” and the stress that goes with it. 

    In the workplace, how many times do you notice people checking through emails or text messages on their smart phones? In recent discussions with clients, it has become apparent that while we all experience things differently, there are many situations occurring where important messages are being overlooked. And, because we can only focus on a few things at any given time however, your brain operates in delete mode and you only see the first sentence or, the product with the brightest colour, or the service with the most appealing message. This applies to email messages in the business world, or being overlooked by a friend in a crowd or, even nearby, due to pre-occupation in your mind with so many other things. You need to increase your awareness about when you could be operating in delete mode due to the overload of messages, as you may be missing an important event, or relationship opportunity in your life.  

    Why we Delete things
    All of our experiences in the world are mental and where your attention goes your mind goes. When you watch too much trashy TV, your mind becomes clouded. You DELETE information because your brain is overloaded from your experiences . People can get easily overwhelmed and therefore not "see" the clear choices right in front of them. There’s really no simple answer to that (except turn off the TV and the computer and go read a book, fly a kite, take a walk, etc.). I think ideally, you need to stop focusing on getting so much information, so quickly. It’s okay to miss some things. It’s okay not to put up a post about every breaking story as soon as it happens. It’s okay not to tweet everything you see or do. It’s okay not to have 5,000 friends.

    I think that instead of designing services that help us create more and more micro content, we should be trying to create and promote services that help us to filter the best of the more intelligent, thoughtful fare.

    What is your life about?
    Give yourself some time and space to get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media and the pressure. Take some time each day to go for a long walk and think. Whatever you do, move away from anything that distracts you from contemplating your life and where you want it to go. Ensure at this time that you are in the present moment, rather than the past or looking too much in the future. Remember that you can’t drive your life forward if you are always gazing through your rear-view mirror!

    Creating change in your life is an opportunity for further discovery about who and what you are meant to become and how you can contribute i.e. your life purpose. It is important to learn to know yourself and begin answering the big questions of life i.e. what inspires you, why you are here and what you are supposed to experience, learn and get out of this lifetime. After eliminating all distractions, consider the following:- what makes you feel great about yourself, what are your goals, who inspires you most? 

    Also, start and notice your thoughts, feelings and emotions. When you start looking “from” your thoughts or looking “in” your thoughts, bring your attention back to watching your thoughts. By distancing yourself from your thoughts, your mind will experience peace, your ego loses its power over you, which means that you become free from futile thinking, worries, and restless thinking. Awareness goes beyond thinking. 

    Tips for Change
    • Technology and relationships. Technology is intended to enhance your ability to collaborate, not replace the need for personal interaction. Leadership requires making a personal connection with people. Technology can’t do that. 
    • Listen more, speak less. Abraham Lincoln said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” 
    • Use a note book. A note book allows you to stay in the meeting, focus on the presentation or discussion and still capture any notes or thoughts you may want to refer back to later.
    • Live in the present moment. If you’re in a conversation, be in the conversation. Don’t let distractions pull you away from what’s happening right now. The email will still be there when the meeting’s over.
    • Never meet just to meet. if you are responsible for a regularly scheduled meeting and there is no real reason to meet, cancel it until you have a real agenda.
    • Have timeout. Reflect on your last holiday experience or time away and what you discovered, how you felt. Now is the time to add to and enhance your life experience.
    • Simplify your life. Take notice of all the things you did in the previous week and decide if you can achieve an even better outcome in a simpler way.
    As you can see, information overload is rampant. You need to combat this by simplifying and eliminating the information you receive on a daily basis. You can do this by focusing strictly on only that which you want to learn. After that, you should focus on turning your new understanding into real habit changes and creating a life that you truly deserve.

    Short Biography
    Geoff Edwards is an Internationally accredited Life Coach with over 25 years of coaching experience who can support you on your journey to success with results that last. 
    Geoff Edwards is a highly experienced Leadership/Executive Coach and Mentor who has the ability to transform individuals and create results that last. With Geoff’s extensive industry and business experience, he has been able to empower Leaders, Executives, Senior Managers, Business owners and countless individuals across a range of industries on a global scale for over 25 years. 
    Geoff is passionate about people’s potential - he ensures they overcome challenges to success through increased awareness and creating sustainable results. Geoff is the author of the book “The Success Coach” and he also shares his experience through articles he writes regularly in a number of publications.

    Geoff Edwards
    The Success Coach "Creating Value in People’s Lives"
    Telephone +613 97011537 Mobile +61419 106610
    Skype: coachingforsuccess
    Email : geoffedwards@bigpond.com
    You can find more information  www.geoffedwards.net

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