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December 2017

Monthly Newsletter of the Professional Women’s Association of Rome

Maria Rita Genco


PWA is an international hub in the heart of Rome where ideas and values, tradition and innovation, diversity, culture and professionalism meet and intersect. On our journey into the future our travel companions are respect, ethics, and a sense of social responsibility.


Q: A midterm assessment? A: On the right track... We at PWA set some goals to be achieved during this year. I’d like to highlight some of those achievements in this seasonal message to all our members and friends. First of all we registered quite a profound turnover of our membership, gaining many newcomers from abroad and from different professional fields. Thanks to the fresh and lively atmosphere we were able to create in PWA, we received a lot of new contacts from social media and word-of-mouth. A new world is gravitating around our Association, characterized by young professional women seeking moments of experience exchange, true value, enrichment and, why not − fun. We also rallied an amazing audience at our conferences for the 1st quarter: reaching an increase of 48% average growth in participants. We sincerely thank those who always reserved a spot at our monthly venue, spending with us hours sharing ideas of personal and professional growth. Our Programming activities addressed audiences with tangible interest and already appointed new trend topics speakers for the new year. Commencing 17th January we’ll talking about “Social Business” with Eugenio La Mesa − Adjunct professor in social entrepreneurship, strategic marketing, digital marketing & social media at John Cabot University and Speaker at ASVI Social Change. And there’s plenty more in store... We renewed our long-standing partnerships with Rome Business School and John Cabot University. These two well known institutions confirmed their trust in PWA as a valuable environment for their students and professors, for sharing and nurturing new opportunities of learning and developing competencies and expertise. These partnerships enable our members to freely join some of their academic offers. We continue to develop relationships with other well established associations such as Commonwealth Club of Rome and AICR (American International Club of Rome). Having goals makes the world go round; our personal aspirations can be driving forces in our life. We will celebrate common and personal achievements at our Christmas party: we will always take time to celebrate when we achieve an aspiration. No matter how big or small, accomplishments should be celebrated, also to reinforce efforts as an international network to move forward in our future quests. Through our indomitable Board and Team, we aspire to achieve more over the next months, but nothing will make us feel more on top of the world than accomplishing a longsought goal for the common benefit. PWA president Valentina Ferretti


Ivana Madonna editor newslettereditor@pwarome.org Valerie Baxter Newsletter Consultant

in this issue

2 4 6 8 10

Letter from the President - Fulfilling Aspirations PWA Christmas party What Are Your Aspirations? Maria Rita Genco − The Welcomer Doing an Aspirational Thing... The story of Paola D.

12 Our life Aspirations 13 PWA Mentoring Program 14 Too Feminine or Not Feminine Enough - Recap of November Conference 15 PWA ConneXion at the Chorus Cafe

4 8 10 14

15 3

Thursday, 14 December 2017 at 20.00 hrs

Baglioni Hotel Regina Via Vittorio Veneto 72, Rome

THE PLOT We will award the Glitter Man and Woman crown our WINTER QUEEN the first tap of the Woman of the Year Award & celebrate together and do the Secret Santa Exchange


THE DINNER COCTAIL Insalata di riso venere, verdurine e calamari Insalatina di pollo speziato con ananas e germogli di soia Tartare di salmone marinato e ananas con sedano croccante Caprese in trasparenza *** Lasagnetta di verdure su passata di pomodoro e crema al basilico Paccheri ai crostacei e carciofi fritti *** Panettone delle feste con salsa al mascarpone *** Vino – selezione dello Chef Acqua minerale

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by Hanna Suni Marketing Consultant www.hamedesign.com When was the last time you sat down and thought about your aspirations and the goals you would like to reach in your lifetime: those in your professional life as well as in the personal sphere? Every now and then it is a healthy exercise to check your compass and make sure you are heading in the right direction.

Writing a so-called bucket list can be helpful when trying to reach your goals. It can be a simple piece of paper that lists the 10 − or why not 50 − things you’d like to do or accomplish while alive. How good does it feel when you get to tick those items off one by one? There are also several apps that help you do it in a digital format. Try Bucketlistly or BucketList 127!

If you have a hard time listing your aspirations, or better yet, finding the means to reach your goals, a coach or a mentor might be of help. Nowadays it is easy to find a coach/mentor, both locally as well as through online channels. PWA also offers a mentoring program and I was thrilled to be part of it in 2015-16. The program really helped me find new ways to reach my professional goals and I warmheartedly recommend it!

If you really want to reach high and make a difference in the world, join a group or community that will encourage, share and promote your aspirations. I am part of the ART-community lead by author and futurist Dean Van Leeuwen and it is remarkably exciting and enlightening to learn about the other members’ aspirations!


The power of positive role models Although we should not aspire to become other people but reach the best versions of ourselves, it is good to have role models to look up to.

1. Be authentic. You cannot grow if you are not true to yourself. You have to be honest with yourself about what you are passionate about and who it is you really want to be, despite critics and naysayers. 2. Have vision. People’s dreams perish for lack of vision. Without having the idea in mind of who you want to be, you will not know where or how to aim for it. Keep your vision top of mind as you reach each milestone to motivate you to push forward. 3. Embrace a never-give-up attitude. Curveballs will forever be coming your way as you pursue your dream. You might have moments when you want to throw in the towel because you just can’t keep fighting all the challenges and setbacks you encounter. But you have to push through and realize you really do have everything you need to reach your full potential. 4. Remove the naysayers and self-doubt. Most people settle for less. And many of those same people will also convince you to settle for less. That’s when that self-doubt invades your thoughts. You might have moments when you no longer believe in your dreams—you have to push aside those moments, people and your own self-limiting beliefs. Always move forward. 5. Believe in yourself. As author Richard Bach once wrote, “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.” So no matter how discouraged you might get at times, you must know that if you can dream something, then you will always have everything in you to make it come true. You just have to believe in yourself and your abilities to achieve what you set your mind to.


Maria Rita Genco

TheWelcomer by Ivana Madonna, Newsletter Editor


aria Rita Genco has a creative personality, with abundant imagination and inventiveness, which enable her to perform many different activities and solve difficult problems. Her extrovert, communicative spirit is contagious and easily stimulates enthusiasm. She has a capacity to take on various projects in rapidly changing contexts. With the energy required to overcome obstacles, Maria Rita’s reliable self discipline helps her to maintain


efficiency. It is child’s play for her to transform ideas into practical actions with initiative and decision. When she was only 18 years old with three classmates, Maria Rita started her own cultural association “Noi, Voi, Loro” (Us, You, Them). To animate their roman evenings they invented many cultural activities in which several members eagerly participated. She is also particularly fond of the times during which her drama classes

led to a brief but intense amateur theatrical experience in a self managed company called “la Taverna dei Tarantolati” with which delightful summer evenings were spent in small villages and in winter nursing homes for the elderly. Professionally starting out as an English and French interpreter and consultant for the law courts of Rome Tribunal, Maria Rita then turned her attention to business administration in an Iranian investment bank SEPAH. But her communicative spirit got the upper hand when she moved on using her people skills to a front office position and foreign office as department head of Banca Antonveneta. Her scrupulous side, conscientious and dedicated to whatever she sets her mind to for a time finds her a job as assistant to Engineer Mario Lojoli, an evaluator of Organizational management for Quality control and certification. From there, ITALCONSULT SpA chose her to select international candidates for recruitment in its engineering company. Subsequent to an assistant secretarial role in various departments of FRT Federazione Radio Televisione in Rome, since 2013 Maria Rita coordinates and supports the secretarial, administrative and personnel offices, plus the study centre of Confindustria Radio & Television. On the fun side, if you’re thinking of having a party, it would be a good idea to ask Maria Rita to organize themes for your friends with entirely new board games often of her own invention.

Like many Italians, Maria Rita loves good food, and passionately prepares simple dishes, but never without at least one spice, herb, or wild plant aroma. “I’d put cinnamon and peppermint everywhere, but have to control myself” she confesses a little mischievously. “I love to entertain at home, not only improvised dinners but I’m also meticulous with particulars scenography is a pleasure I can’t renounce” She fits into her leisure time gardening, sewing, DIY and restoration of anything that takes her fancy, and loves swimming and walking. Maria Rita even pursues an unusual collectible: “bows”! It may come as a surprise to learn that Maria Rita also has a ‘soft spot’ for elderly people. “Yes, their stories, their adventures, each with its own fragility, but also accounts of strength and courage, from the difficulties and discomforts which we’ve never known. I’m fascinated by worlds so far from my own, flooded with adventures and emotions.” Maria Rita remembers marvellous years as a voluntary helper at the Home for elderly people in San Pietro in Vincoli, where she had the opportunity to meet wonderful people who’ve filled her heart and soul over the years. “They opened up themselves with their secrets, enriching me like nothing else. I think it’s the most beautiful gift to receive and to give.”Thinking of the the holiday season: “This is the time… giving your own time to listen to others is one of the finest pleasures in life.”


Doing an Aspirational Thing... the story of Paola D. by Valerie Baxter, Newsletter Consultant I met Paola on the beach in Santa Teresa di Gallura in Sardinia last summer, introduced by her daughter Charlotte 5 years old. As I watched her tend to her two little girls, I could see that she was oblivious to her surroundings, engrossed in her world of motherhood which appeared to consume not just her thoughts but also all her energy. We started chatting, cross-examining each other, comparing backgrounds and daily lives and as one thing led to another, Paola timidly began to confess her aspirations. Whilst I had just terminated my second mandate as president of PWA, ready for eclipse, Paola had yet to start her career - “as what?” she ventured dismally. She had graduated as an Architect with high hopes of entering into business as an interior designer, but an early marriage to a French marine biologist, two pregnancies close together, and the recent loss of her father had somehow driven her into a corner and thwarted her dreams. Without space for selfexpression, she felt unstimulated, unaccomplished, unappreciated; something was missing from her life. I vividly remember her coming with a friend the next day to the villa where I was staying with my boys. Under the shady boughs of Mediterranean pines overlooking a turquoise sea, we spoke about her fervent ideas to create objects from recycled materials: paper, cardboard, cans, jars, etc. We animatedly discussed how she


could develop her company logo and brand, start an online business and invent herself in an “on demand” project of low environmental impact, commercialising things for birthdays, weddings and party accessories, totally missing from her hometown. She could establish a brand identity, involve her friends to become her first clients, set up a Facebook page, Pinterest and other apps to spread the word, and find herself a laboratory space where she could express her creative verve with raw/recycled materials to her heart’s content. It was then that “Hoya” was conceived - her favourite flower, also commonly known as the “wax plant”to become her brand name and logo. Over the subsequent weeks we touched base frequently via phone or WhatsApp to sound out her ideas and experiments. Then, suddenly since September, total silence! Whatever happened to Paola? Well, the true story is that over these five months since setting her logo and brand HOYA she has succeeded in getting her husband on board with encouragement and help to find a suitable laboratory space (an abandoned house), a series of utensils and tools as gifts from friends and family - and commissions from her first clients! She has developed more interior design ideas from raw materials such as cement - the foundations of architecture, driftwood - elegant, imaginary figures inspired by the sea, and to complete her recycling - collections of discarded

wood cuttings from carpenters, molds from cans, bottles etc as doorstops against the swirling winds of Sardinia. Paola now has a clear idea of who and where she wants to be, and every spare moment is spent in creativity! She now identifies with writing on the wall recently discovered in Orgosolo sulla

terra, nulla fermerà la libertà del mio spirito − nobody can stop me now she says happily as she’ faces the music’ in the Christmas markets in Sardinia…. If you want to get inspired for your own aspirations, write to: paola.demarcus80@gmail.com

18th birthday party with ballerina theme Paola's elegant and unique cement art pieces for home decorations


Our life Aspirations by Christiana Montani Natalucci Community Director

What makes the difference in our lives? money? children? brands we wear? how far are our travels? Or perhaps none of these. We are born to expand our energy and transform into reality our dreams. These form our aspirations that together with love, are one the most crucial elements of life. Let’s try to understand better what the word “aspiration” means. The dictionary explains this term as: “Strong desire, longing, aim. A goal or objective desired. The act of aspirating, breath” This last meaning is interesting because it creates the link between the most vital and involuntary inner movement, breath and the outer world. I think that realizing our aspirations means honouring the divine energy inside us. If we dishonour our mission, we miss our aspirations, we negate a whole life that is an inside outside process. In eastern culture, through breathing exercises we discover our Self, connect ourselves with our true nature and


others. Breathing is the means to realizing aspirations; it is the fuel of dreams. The extraordinary film “Breathe” (2017), narrates how a wonderful, handsome first born from a rich and old style English family marries the girl of his dreams and realizes all his desires. Unfortunately, he becomes sick contracting polio and his respiratory capabilities are severely reduced. His life is violently broken. In order to breathe, he depends on a machine. In the new movie, Andrew Garfield plays a man paralyzed from the neck down. The story is based on the true story of Robin Cavendish, a trailblazing advocate for the disabled. Thanks to his inventive, supported by the love of his wife, they created together a wheelchair with a respiratory machine. This allowed them to live together again for decades since the disease appeared in their family. Creating space for our aspirations allows them to become concrete pieces of life.

GROW AND LEARN PWA MENTORING PROGRAMS PWA aims to accelerate the advancement of women in all professions, facilitate mentoring, and enhance our leadership role in the community. The PWA Mentoring Programs provide highly motivated individuals with tools for personal development, their careers and leadership abilities. Through guided activities and formal mentoring partnerships, it strengthens and expands our network of women. • by encouraging women to help each other through structured one-on-one mentoring so we can all succeed. • provides an opportunity for participants to learn and share through guided activities which develop practical, goal-oriented career and leadership skills. If you are a PWA member pursuing a professional career and are willing to make the commitment, you are encouraged to apply. Please note that this program is not in any way connected with job placement. As a mentee, you will have an opportunity to: • Learn how to establish and maintain professional mentoring partnerships. • Explore career options and possible paths toward your career goals. • Set goals and develop a plan to take the next steps in your advancement. • Receive useful guidance and honest feedback from an advisor who has “been there, done that.” • Make a networking connection with someone farther along on their career path. • Learn practical skills that can be put to use right away in advancing your career. By mentoring another woman, you will have an opportunity to: • Pass along the mentoring and support you received, or become the mentor you wish you had. • Share enthusiasm for your own career, and catch enthusiasm from another. • Gain perspective on how far you have progressed, and reinforce your competency and expertise. • Develop as a leader and learn by teaching others. • Help another woman to avoid mistakes, persevere through difficulties, and reach important goals. • Build a mutually beneficial relationship with someone who may be able to help you in the future. • Enjoy the success of others, knowing you contributed to making it happen. LEADERSHIP Every team member contributes to the success of an objective. When you are adept at teamwork in both support and leadership roles, you will more easily advance to better jobs and executive positions.

By improving your skills as a team player and leader you will: • Enjoy fun activities and share your enthusiasm for growth with others. • Learn to effectively contribute to the success of a team. • Learn to lead, motivate and organize individuals and teams. • Develop career skills in event planning, public speaking, and written presentations. • Gain self-confidence as a leader in business. • Build and strengthen your professional network. • Contribute to increasing the presence of women in the professional community. PROGRAM OUTLINE & TIMETABLE Apply by January 7th — begin with Mentoring Session A Apply by July 31st — begin with Mentoring Session B Mentoring Session A: January 15th – Jun 30th Mentoring Session B: September 15th – November 30th APPLICATION & PARTICIPATION CRITERIA • PWA Membership: You must maintain membership to the PWA throughout participation in the program, and have started or be planning a professional career. If you are not currently a PWA member, please join right away. Contact our Membership director at membership@pwarome.org or see our website for details. • Registration Fee: New participants accepted into the program pay a one-time Registration fee of €25 (mentors excluded). Participation Fees: BIG SISTER €20 monthly (9 months) or €162 in advance (10% discount) Participation Fees: CARPE DIEM €40 monthly (9 months) or €324 in advance (10% discount) • Email Access: You will need regular (at least once per week) email access to communicate with the PWA Mentoring Coordination Team and your mentoring partners. • Internet Access: You will need regular internet access to interact with the PWA mentoring program. You may need to view or print the program materials in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. • Commitment to Mentoring, Career Development, and Leadership Activities: It takes time and effort to build mentoring partnerships and learn new skills. During the two Mentoring Sessions of your Choice (BIG SISTER or CARPE DIEM), we require a minimum of two communications per month, via email, Skype or telephone, with your mentoring partner. • Confidentiality: All parties are asked to respect sensitive personal information shared by mentoring partners. • Commitment to the entire program: It will take you 9 months to complete the PWA mentoring program and graduate. You are expected to commit to the entire program without interruption. At end of program term (December) you will receive recognition of your mentoring journey achievement.


NOVEMBER CONFERENCE: Too feminine or not feminine enough Recap on November Conference by Sabine Schuh, Programming Director

During our last conference leadership expert Paul Vanderbroeck explored how women make it to the top and what qualities they need to stay there. He shared that according to the Global Gender Parity Stalls in 2017, at the current rate of progress, the global gender gap will take about 100 years to close (compared to 83 last year!) and that it is estimated that the workplace gender gap will not be closed for approximately 217 years Although these statistics are astonishing and male CEOs still represent the great majority, there are both historical and recent examples of women who have been able to overcome the existing barriers by leveraging their


femininity. According to Paul Vanderbroeck the key to success is authenticity and to communicate and strengthen the values and wisdom of female leadership. As author of the book Leadership Strategies for Women, Paul’s passion is to help leaders and high potentials to achieve clear and ambitious goals and to support organizations to become more productive by leveraging female talent. His background has made him a powerful coach, consultant and speaker and besides being a coach at IMD and INSEAD he teaches Leadership at LUISS Business School.

PWA November ConneXion at Chorus Cafè

PWA hosted a lovely ConneXion on Thursday, 30th November at Chorus Cafè with event sponsor Jeunesse who presented their cosmetics products and treatments. 15

PWA Year 2017/18 Event program


e th e da tes

conferences conneXions dates to be announced

special events March IWD June Summer Party Check out www.pwarome.org 16

January 17 February 21 March 21 April 18 May 16

New Members Welcome!

We would like to welcome Florencia Barbieri as member who has recently joined our Association. PWA is a place that grows with each member, therefore we are looking forward to enjoying PWA together with you!

Make sure to take advantage of all that PWA has to offer, from our monthly events to scholarships and Expert Resources, from the Mentoring programs to TimeOut Professional TimeBank. If you’d like to join, visit our website and contact MembershipDirector@pwarome.org .

2017-2018 PWA Board and Team members President Valentina Ferretti President@pwarome.org Vice President & Legal Advisor Adriana Tempesta VicePresident@pwarome.org Secretary Maria Grazia Panessa Secretary@pwarome.org Treasurer Lisa Rosen Treasurer@pwarome.org Programming Director Deana Binah Programming@pwarome.org Membership Director Gerlie Saura MembershipDirector@pwarome.org Social Director Rossella Castaldo SocialDirector@pwarome.org Sponsorship Director Cecilia Bersani Sponsorship@pwarome.org PR Director Skaiste Rucyte PR@pwarome.org Newsletter Editor Ivana Madonna NewsletterEditor@pwarome.org Webmistress Rossana Scazzocchio Webmistress@pwarome.org Community Director Cristiana Montani Natalucci Community@pwarome.org Media communications assistant Karima Hassa Media2@pwarome.org


Our In-Kind Donor

PWA Professional Women’s Association is a recipient of a Google Grants award. The Google Grants program supports registered nonprofit organizations that share Google’s philosophy of community service to help the world in areas such as science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy and the arts. Google Grants is an in-kind advertising program that awards free online advertising to nonprofits via Google AdWords.

Our partners and sponsors

Profile for Professional Women's Association of Rome

The People We Are December 2017  

The monthly online magazine of The Professional Women's Association of Rome

The People We Are December 2017  

The monthly online magazine of The Professional Women's Association of Rome


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