Council of Women Starts First Leadership Academy

According to the Council, there is a clear economic interest to develop and invest in active, positive and educated women who are building the new wealth of the country.

With the “Emotional Intelligence” module the Council of Women in Business started this week the first Leadership Academy, class of 2014/2015. The Academy is a project of the Council and represents a highly professional free leadership training program in six one-day modules over the year.

About 40 ladies, managers of small and medium-sized enterprises across the country and women holding middle management positions, underwent a selection process, carried out under professional assessment programs. It is interesting that among the participants there are representatives of the public administration.

“The Leadership Academy of the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria was welcomed with great interest by women entrepreneurs. We received more than 100 applications from all over the country”, said the Chairman of the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria and CEO of Siemens Bulgaria, Dr. Eng. Boryana Manolova at the opening of the Academy. “I strongly believe in lifelong learning. So I hope that after the completion of the training program every participant will take home ideas, practical guidelines and topics to consider that will help them in everyday business and in their personal development”, she added.

“The resources that the Bank invests in the ladies’ Leadership Academy of the Council of Women in Business are desirable and important, but I admit that the goal is not selfless and unreservedly altruistic. The truth is that we have a commercial interest involving that in Bulgaria there should develop ambitious, educated, smiling, positive and active women who would build the new wealth of the country. That is why we are doing whatever it takes to support their development. It is because no new wealth is created by administrative decrees and laws. It is created by entrepreneurs. We invest in them in order to ensure a wealthier and happier future for our country”, said at the opening Levon Hampartzoumian, Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit Bulbank. By an invitation of the Chairman of the Leadership Academy, Mrs. Boryana Manolova, he officially opened the Academy together with her.

About the participants in the first Leadership Academy

In the Leadership Academy, class of 2014/2015, there have been admitted women who have 3 or more years of experience on a management position, owners or managers of small and medium businesses and other, with a desire and initiative to develop their leadership skills for business expansion or for taking greater leadership responsibilities.

The application process involved completion of the registration form and submitting a CV. In the form, the ladies had to motivate briefly how the training at the Leadership Academy would improve their work, where do they imagine they would be after one year professionally, and to share their greatest success personally or professionally. “We were impressed by the cover letters of the candidates and by their desire and clear vision about how to develop professionally and personally”, commented the professional HR team of CEZ Bulgaria that had conducted the selection process. The company is one of the board members. About 50% of the weight in the determination of the participants in the first class was the selection model of Belbin Team Roles. The model focuses on key leadership competencies.

The first module of the Leadership Academy is a one-day training aimed at self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses. It is an intense and personally challenging seminar that reveals what it means to deal with changes through emotional intelligence – accepting of emotions and understanding the effects to which they lead. The next module in July is a systematic training “Business Model You”, which helps to optimize the most important business model of all – the participant herself. The participants in the Leadership Academy will be working with the Visual Canvas Model to analyze their own business model.

About the Council of Women in Business

The Council of Women in Business was founded by ladies on the highest management positions with proven experience in management and corporate culture. Among the Board members of the organization there are also Diana Maneva, CEO of Generali Bulgaria and CEO of GP Reinsurance; Maxim Meyer, Editor-in-chief of Manager magazine; Julieta Serafimova, General Manager of Grand Hotel Sofia; Vanya Minkova, Director of Human Resources, CEZ Bulgaria, Valentina Dikanska, CEO of BASF and Zoya Paunova, CEO of AstraZeneca Bulgaria.