The International - March 2024

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MARCH 2024 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM SUPERWOMEN: STRENGTH TRAINING GIVING BACK
international ISSN 2596-5220 MARY HOLROYD: A LIFE OF INSPIRATION, FAMILY, NORTHERN GRIT, AND LEGACY!
the
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DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND TORTA
GENDER EQUALITY

CELEBRATING WOMEN ALL MONTH LONG...

DDEAR READERS

As we marked International Women's Day on March 8th, it sparked a profound reflection with our team here at The International. Why limit the celebration of women's accomplishments to just one day when their journeys are ongoing stories deserving of continual recognition? Departing from tradition, we've embraced the entirety of March to spotlight the diverse experiences of women worldwide.

VOICES OF STRENGTH

This issue is our pledge to amplify women's voices, stories, and triumphs. Each article is unique, weaving a vibrant tapestry that honours women's resilience, creativity, and determination from around the globe.

While picking a favourite among many compelling narratives is tough, one article holds a special place in my heart. In our bumper issue during December, I shared my mother's sudden passing and the challenges of being an international, separated from family at a time of grief. Today, I honour her memory by recounting her remarkable journey, symbolising countless women who brave new frontiers in search of a better life.

NORTHERN SPIRIT

My mother embodied strength, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit. Leaving her roots in the UK as a young mother, she ventured into the unknown, driven by a determination to forge her path in a new country. Her story echoes the struggles of many women who defy norms, transcend boundaries, and shape their destinies.

Our family often spoke of "northern grit" - a resilience passed down through generations. It's this spirit that propelled my mother forward despite adversity.

She taught us the value of hard work, dreaming big, and returning from setbacks.

Her legacy extends beyond our family to the lives she touched and the mark she left on the business world. Like many entrepreneurial women, she navigated challenges gracefully, forging ahead with courage and conviction. Her journey inspires women to break barriers and challenge expectations.

CELEBRATING THE FEMALE SPIRIT

As we celebrate International Women's Month, let's honour the pioneers and unsung heroes—the women rewriting their stories with resilience and determination. Let's celebrate the dreamers and entrepreneurs who turn adversity into opportunity.

In the spirit of empowerment, we invite you to commemorate International Women's Month—a time to celebrate achievements, advocate for equality, and create a world where every woman thrives.

As we journey together, let's honour the past, celebrate the present, and pave the way for a future where every woman's story is valued and celebrated.

Happy International Women's Month!

Love,

MEET THE TEAM

EDITOR & FOUNDER

Lyndsay Jensen - lyndsay@the-intl.com

MANAGING DIRECTOR & PARTNER

Kenneth Macalpine - kenneth@the-intl.com

CONSULTING EDITOR

Conrad Egbert

GRAPHIC DESIGN

The International

WRITERS TEAM

Ophelia Wu; Alexandra Beck; Mariano Davies; Monika Pedersen; Sara R. Newell; Michaela Medvedova; Natasha Liviero; Heather Storgaard; Natália Šepitková; Luke Hannon; Rikke Skak Harboe; Dominic J Stevenson

COVER PICTURE

Weigh-Less

SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM

Head of SoMe

Shivangi Singh - shivangi@the-intl.com

SoMe Ambassadors

Michaela Medvedova; Aina Masood; Ane-Sophie Custura; Terumi Mascarenhas; Leslie Noygues; Shelly Pandey; Shivangi Singh; Ritika Jain; Pavlos Tsiakoumis; Sakib Akhter; Rashmi Jadhav; Shaeema Zaman

SALES

sales@the-intl.com

The International is published online 12 times a year. This issue was published on 13 March 2024.

Notice: The publishers regret that they cannot accept any liability for error or omissions contained in this publication. The opinions and views presented need not necessarily reflect those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek special counsel before acting on any information contained herein. All rights reserved. No part of this publication or contents thereof may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without written permission from the publishers. Published by and © 2021 The International ApS. Registered in Denmark / CVR Number: 39118181

EDITOR & FOUNDER

THE-INTL.COM

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Lyndsay
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HOW MARY CHANGED LIVES

AS WE CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S MONTH, WE HONOUR THE LIFE OF AN EXTRAORDINARY FEMALE INTERNATIONAL ICON - MARY HOLROYD, TRAILBLAZING BUSINESSWOMAN, PASSIONATE HEALTH AND WELLNESS INDUSTRY PIONEER, LOVING MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER.

"SHE HAD A way with people – she believed there was no reason not to be your best, be it by losing weight, studying, or getting fitter. She made people feel they could be better and inspired them with her belief in them. That was her gift. She inspired others to believe in themselves."

That is the best way to describe Mary Holroyd's impact on other people's lives— through the company she founded, Weigh-Less, which helps people lead healthier and happier lives, or in her personal life.

SMary sadly and unexpectedly passed away at only 76 years late last year. Her life was so full of accomplishments and passions that they could easily fill up three lifetimes. This month, we honour her as a symbol of resilience and courage, and through the touching accounts of her daughters, Trasi Holroyd-Curach and our editor, Lyndsay Jensen, we pay tribute to her journey of triumph in the face of international relocation. Mary's legacy reminds us to embrace change with fortitude and pursue our dreams with unwavering determination. Her story is a testament to the power of perseverance and the boundless possibilities that await those who dare to embark on their own paths of adventure and discovery.

DRIVE TO BE BETTER

Born and raised in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, Mary was born to Irish Catholic parents - and growing up Irish and Catholic wasn't easy in the 1950s and 60s. She and her five siblings went to a Catholic school, and as the majority of other British kids were Protestant, the family got bullied a lot. As the oldest, Mary grew up a fighter, learning

to stick up for herself and protect her family.

She already worked a paper round while in school to financially contribute to family costs and left school early, at 15, to get a job at a factory to help even more. But this also bought Mary her first car - and instilled in her the drive to be better and work hard to improve herself and her circumstances. It's no wonder that in no time, she worked her way up in the factory.

After giving birth to her first daughter, the foundation for another life-long passion was laid. While pregnant, she was overweight and had high blood pressure - which today would be categorised as preeclampsia. So after her first daughter was born, Mary decided to lose weight with a slimming organisation. Her interest in nutrition was sparkedand never left her. So, in addition to her own journey, she became a lecturer.

OUR JOURNEY TO SOUTH AFRICA

A few years later, the industry in the north of England began to collapse, and there was a big recruitment drive for skilled labour to move to South Africa or Australia. Mary's husband applied to both countries and was offered a position in Durban, South Africa. He flew over there to start their new life a bit in advance, and Mary, now with a sixyear-old and a nine-month-old, followed him to South Africa on a three-week-long boat journey from Southampton to Durban.

Trasi, Mary's older daughter, vividly remembers that once they reached the Cape of Good Hope, the journey got quite rough. Everyone was in their cabins, nauseous and sick. But besides that, it was a very fun trip. Mary had her hands full with two small

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PHOTOGRAPHS WEIGH-LESS TEXT MICHAELA MEDVEĎOVÁ
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children, but luckily, the ship had a lot of entertainment for them. At the end of a three-week journey, a set-up house was already waiting for them in Durban.

To kids from Yorkshire, South Africa looked heavenly. Even though their part of Durban was quite an industrial area, it was next to the sea. With palm trees and beaches, it felt like they'd landed in paradise.

Of course, the social situation in South Africa in the 1970s was far from paradise. But Trasi remembers that it was difficult to know the actual situation. With no Internet, no free-speech television, and no satellite TV, people were relatively ignorant about what was going on in the apartheid country— everything was censored.

STAND ON YOUR OWN TWO FEET

New beginnings, especially in a new country, are always hard. Mary had difficulty leaving her close-knit family, especially her mother and father. The difference in the culture of South Africa did not make it any easier. Making friends with the locals was challenging: local Afrikaaners, a very proud people, still harboured some resentment towards the British because of the past history between the two nations. At that time, Afrikaans was the second language of South Africa, so she naturally gravitated toward the inevitable expat bubble with fellow expats from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Scotland. Mary didn't understand the situation in the country at the time, either. The concept of segregation was naturally very foreign to her. She'd only seen someone who needed help losing weight, not their race.

It did not matter to her that she had to shift her life to a brand-new country. She wanted to continue the work she'd been doing in the United Kingdom. But they never answered their phones when she contacted the same organisation she'd worked for. So she thought: you know what - I'll start my own group!

Even though she didn't realise it then, as soon as she opened her first group, only a few months after they landed in Durban, her company, Weigh-Less, was born. The only capital she ever asked from her husband to start it was 10 South African Rand - or a few Danish kroner. Now, it's a legacy business that pioneered many areas of the wellness industry, from revolutionary eating plans to the first electronic scales.

This independence of hers is something Mary passed on to her daughters as well. She instilled in them that they were in control of their destiny. Lyndsay, Mary's younger daughter, remembers that their mom always taught them to stand on their two feet and make their own way. Not a lot of girls were taught that then.

Trasi looks back on growing up and being exposed to all aspects of running the business—helping with packing stock, answering phones, and even assisting their mom in groups. Now, she is running the company.

NOTHING LESS THAN CHANGING LIVES

In 1975, Mary started the first group with eight members, but in no time, it gained momentum - and she ended up with 13 groups, having to recruit group leaders to help her. And the business only grew and grew, giving her a personal network as well. Having worked side-by-side for over 40 years, many were Mary's life-long friends. Even today, Mary’s Group Leaders are her second family, which she held dearly close to her.

Everything that Weigh-Less is was based on what Mary, a formerly overweight person, would want from an organisation like this. She knew how it felt to have a weight problem and was passionate about making sure other people didn't have to feel the way she felt. She knew that weight problems affect not just a person's health; they impact self-confidence, motivation, and how others see them. All Mary wanted was to change people's lives.

Her focus was always on the people she was helping, but luckily, she didn't escape the spotlight and received, among other recognitions, an interesting award - Marketing Man of the Year. She was the first-ever woman to win it, and quite funnily, Mary had never formally studied marketing or business. Her lack of formal education never held her back. But as a challenge and a passion project in one, she subsequently went on to do her MBA. Because of her family's financial situation when she was younger, going to university was never an option for her. So now, she was making up for it and taking the opportunity to study something she'd always been passionate about. That's just in terms of formal education, of course - otherwise, there was never a time when Mary wasn't reading books and trying to acquire more knowledge.

Besides being an avid reader, she was also an enthusiastic traveller, loved the gym, and even became a catechism teacher at her local

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"MARY'S LIFE IN ITSELF WAS FULL OF INSPIRATION, AND THERE ARE LOTS OF LESSONS SHE INSTILLED IN THOSE CLOSEST TO HER: BELIEVING IN YOURSELF. NOT WASTING A MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE AND NEVER DOING ANYTHING IN HALF MEASURE. BEING BOLD AND FIGHTING FOR WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO YOU. NEVER COMPROMISE YOUR VALUES. NEVER HANGING ONTO REGRETS AND GRUDGES, AND INSTEAD, LOVING WITHOUT RESERVE."

church for a while - applying her signature passion to everything she'd been involved in.

A question inevitably comes to mind: How did she manage all of this? She lived purposefully and meticulously planned everything in her diary.

A GREAT ROLE MODEL

That allowed her to be everything she was passionate about in her business and still be a mom, making her a great role model in the eyes of her girls. Even though she was busy and worked long hours, she created unforgettable memories for the family—picnics, beach trips, trekking, and family moments simply made into memorable occasions.

But while she was also quite a strict parent, that sort

of went out of the window in her role as a grandmother. With her, it wasn't just a case of going for a visit and watching a movie. She took her grandkids to the museum, theatre, sewing lessons, modelling lessons… When one of her grandsons got into football, Mary made it her business to know exactly what was happening in the football world so she could always have entire conversations with them about the specific players - and even knew more than they would at times. With her relationship with her grandchildren in Denmark, the time was spent with them at Christmas every second year. Mary loved visiting Denmark and had many conversations with her oldest grandson about Vikings and enjoyed the history of this culture – she was a pretty cool grandmother.

Mary passed away peacefully at the age of 76.

Her life in itself was full of inspiration, and there are lots of lessons she instilled in those closest to her:

Believing in yourself. Not wasting a moment of your life and never doing anything in half measure. Being bold and fighting for what's important to you. Never compromise your values. Never hanging onto regrets and grudges, and instead, loving without reserve,

That's the maxim she followed and the life she built: bold, confident, and full of passion.

Mary did a lot of things in life, but one.

She simply never did anything half-heartedly. THE-INTL To learn more about Weigh-Less, feel free to visit their website or follow them on social media.

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HOW YOUR PERSONAL BRAND WILL LAND YOU YOUR DREAM JOB!

TALENT ACQUISITION PROFESSIONAL LUKE HANNON SHARES RELEVANT TIPS AND HINTS IN YOUR CAREER SEARCH.

PHOTOGRAPHS UNSPLASH TEXT LUKE HANNON

BBUILDING A PERSONAL brand is the most important action you can undertake to land your dream job.

I should know - it's the reason I have the job I do now. Before I started consciously building my personal brand, my career was going nowhere. Like it or not, everyone has a personal brand of some kind. You have a personal brand. It's inescapable. Still, very few people know how to actively and consciously craft their brand to lead them to success and their dream job.

I will teach you.

WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

Personal branding is defining and promoting what you stand for as an individual

In a crowded job market, it's a way of making yourself stand out from the crowd. It includes everything from your experience, your expertise and values. It's the image that you create around yourself that colours how people perceive you. In short, it's what people think about and say about you when you're not there.

It's always good to have a few weapons in your job-seeking arsenal. A solid personal brand is like having a nuclear weapon.

THE POWER OF A PERSONAL BRAND

Creating a personal brand is, without question, the best thing you can do to find a new job.

Building a strong personal brand opens up so many avenues to you that it's astounding. Instead of desperately trying to catch the recruiter's attention at your target company, it will mean that they're the ones contacting YOU.

In short, it increases:

 Your visibility

 Your network

 Your credibility

 Your control of your image

It can have the power of a force nine hurricane if you know how to use it to find a new job.

HOW TO BUILD A PERSONAL BRAND

Always remember your personal brand is exactly that: personal

So, the first step is to evaluate your skills, experience, expertise and values. You need to clearly define what makes you, you. Now, armed with this information, you need to find a platform. With over 1 billion users and a reputation as the professional network, the best place to begin building your personal brand is Linkedin.

It's now time to start writing.

Posting often on Linkedin is the most surefire way to increase both your visibility and build your credibility. Use the self-evaluation of your skills, experience, expertise and values to guide you when writing. Always write about what you know. If you're a software engineer, write about the challenges you can solve with your technical knowledge. If you're a student, write about your experiences in Denmark and the lessons you learned. Pick 3-5 topics that you know about well and then start writing and

iterating on what performs best,

The key here is to make it authentic - make it your voice.

As famous playwright Oscar Wilde said, "Be yourself - everyone else is already taken."

A common mistake people make is that they think they can build a personal brand in a vacuum. What do I mean by this? I mean that you can't just post and pray that someone will see it and instantly want to hire you.

Can it work? Yes. Is it likely? Not at all.

LinkedIn is a social network. The key word here is "social".

The next step to build your brand and find the job of your dreams is to start networking with recruiters, hiring managers and the company page for your target companies. By strategically building your network like this, you will be able to get on the radar of the decision-makers at your target company and enable you to show them your skills, knowledge and experience.

Do this, and you will massively increase your chances of landing your dream job.

So start building your personal brand today and watch your career prospects blossom.

Stay tuned for next month! THE-INTL

“It's always good to have a few weapons in your job-seeking arsenal."

LUKE HANNON SENIOR TALENT ACQUISITION PARTNER

Luke is a Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at SYBO Games, the company behind the smash-hit game Subway Surfers. Based in Copenhagen (by way of London)!, he has been working to make SYBO grow. He spends his time finding the best talent that the games community has to offer!

He is always keen to build relationships by bringing passion and enthusiasm to the recruitment process. An advocate of Employer Branding, Luke works with the talented people at SYBO to let the world know how great a place it is to work.

When he's not hiring awesome talents for SYBO or cycling (he does live in Copenhagen, after all!), he's busy reading his favourite books and channelling his inner Hemingway as a writer!

@Luke Hannon @ Hannon Recruits @ hannonrecruits

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FEMALE STRENGTH FOR DISABILITY RIGHTS

LIN HONOUR OF International Women's Day, for this issue, we decided to highlight some of the most inspiring female disability activists and two major women's advocacy groups of today - but also look into the history of female disability activism.

WHO PAVED THE WAY FOR THE WOMEN OF TODAY?

History is full of inspiring female activists - we chose to highlight Judith Heumann, one of the most influential figures in contributions to the rights of people with disabilities.

Considered the mother of the disability rights movement in the United States, Judith advocated for rights for people with disabilities both as a protester, grassroots organiser and policymaker. Judith lost her ability to walk after contracting polio when she was two. Initially denied access to schooling because of her disability, thanks to her parents' fight for her right to education, she went on to attend university and earn a Master's.

In the 1970s and 80s, she went on to successfully sue the New York City Board of Education after they denied her a teaching job because of her use of a wheelchair; she organised a 28-day sit-in at a federal building to enforce crucial parts of the Rehabilitation Act along with a fellow disability advocate Kitty Cone; and was a co-founder of one of the first global disability rights organisation that is led by people with special needs, the World Institute on Disability (WID).

In the following decades, she moved her influence into policymaking, serving "as the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services in the Clinton Administration from 1993 to 2001. 20022006, she worked at the World Bank as their first Advisor on Disability and Development. In 2010, Heumann became the first Special Advisor on Disability Rights for the U.S. State Department.

While the legacy of Judith Heumann is seen as the greatest influence on the disability justice movement, other female activists (like Marilyn Hamilton or Harriet McBryde Johnson) have made their mark, too.

WHO IS TAKING UP THE MANTLE TODAY?

We wanted to highlight the activities of these 5 women who are advocating for others with disabilities in the present day:

Emily Ladau is an American disability rights activist and writer. Born with Larsen syndrome, a genetic, physical disability, her advocacy for disability rights began al-

ready at the age of 10 as she appeared in a few episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about what life with a disability looks like. On top of published work across many publications, in 2021, she published a book, Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be An Ally, and is a co-host of The Accessible Stall Podcast. You can follow Emily here

Nina Tame, a British counsellor and disability mentor, was born with spina bifida, because of which she ultimately started to use a wheelchair in her thirties. She is using her extensive social media following to talk about disability, highlight the issues disabled people face, and break outdated stereotypes. You can follow Nina here.

Imani Barbarin, an American writer, speaker, and disability activist with cerebral palsy, launched her blog Crutches and Spice to discuss her experience. Creating dozens of trending hashtags, she's been using her social media platforms to promote the discussion of the issues and experiences of people with disabilities. You can follow Imani here.

Molly Burke is an American writer, digital creator, and activist for people with blindness. As a child, she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare degenerative eye disease that causes eventual blindness, and lost most of her vision at 14. She started her public speaking journey at age five and has since given speeches at the United

MICHAELA MEDVEDOVÁ comes from Slovakia and moved to Denmark 3 years ago to study for her Master's degree. She says living in Odense is the perfect city for her because it's not too large to be intimidating, but still exciting! She works at Umbraco as a Magical Copy Whisperer and started a podcast with her friends - @humans.of.sdu. She loves watching and talking about movies, Harry Potter, karaoke nights (even though she can't sing to save her life), and pub quizzes (winning them, to be specific).

Nations and the World Economic Forum in Davos. Molly became the first blind content creator with a million followers on social media, pioneering an online space for the disability community. You can follow Molly here.

Sinéad Burke is an Irish writer and activist, well-known for her 2017 TED talk Why Design Should Include Everyone. Born with achondroplasia, in 2020, she founded her company Tilting the Lens - "a consultancy that asks, 'is this accessible?'. We start conversations in every room to address inaccessibility. We design with Disabled people, not for Disabled people. We craft solutions to intentionally build an accessible and equitable world." You can follow Sinéad here.

ORGANISATIONAL SUPPORT

Among others, these two major human rights organisations are operating on the intersection between gender and disability:

One of the focus areas for UN Women, the United Nations organisation delivering programs and policies for upholding women's rights, is specifically the rights of women and girls with disabilities, as they can "often experience profound discriminations. This can lead to lower economic and social status; increased risk of violence and abuse, including sexual violence; gender-based discriminatory practices; and limited access to education, health care (including sexual and reproductive health), information, services, justice, as well as civic and political participation."

The organisation recognises that a gender-neutral approach to disability inclusion can perpetrate these discriminations. They aim to establish active participation and consultation from women with disabilities and their organisations.

The second organisation we wish to highlight, Women Enabled International, focuses on improving the situation of women with disabilities across 5 key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender-based and sexual violence, participation and inclusion, discrimination, equality, stigma, and stereotyping, and accountability and access to justice. Through legal advocacy, collaboration with partners, working with the United Nations to shape policies, and building inclusive movements, they are working towards a "world where women and girls with disabilities claim human rights, act in solidarity, and lead self-determined lives."

Do you have questions about this topic? We'd love to hear from you! Please write to us at lyndsay@the-intl. com THE-INTL

ANNA PAWLOWICZ is the founder and CEO of HumanKind, a consultancy focused on driving disability inclusion in the workplace and in our society. Anna’s mission to foster disability inclusion started with the birth of her son, who lives with a disability due to a rare genetic condition.

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PHOTOGRAPHS UNSPLASH TEXT MICHAELA MEDVEDOVÁ / ANNA PAWLOWICZ

SUPERWOMEN: MINDSET AND MUSCLES

EMBRACING THE MINDSET AND MUSCLES FOR STRENGTH AND VITALITY.

A

ATTENTION LADIES! I know that strength training (weight-lifting) is often considered a men’s fitness regimen, but the benefits are incredible for women, too! Luckily, these days, many more women have become advocates for building and/or maintaining muscle mass, especially as we grow older - and let me tell you, that you really want to change the “I will get bulky” to “I will get stronger and be able to carry my grand-kids” mindset and here are some of the reasons why:

Incorporating 2-3 sessions a week of strength/resistance training will give you these many superpowers:

#1 INCREASED BONE DENSITY

Bone density declines as women age, especially following menopause. Lifting weights puts just enough stress on the bones to cause them to strengthen. This can prevent osteoporosis, which mainly affects many women as they age.

#2 INCREASED MUSCLE MASS

Muscle is vital to human movement, so maintaining muscle mass as you age can help prevent injury, improve your range of motion and assist in daily functions like walking up the stairs or carrying your groceries to and from the store. While some women fear that strength training will make them look “bulky,” it won’t cause you to bulk up. It will simply increase muscle mass and improve body composition.

#3 WEIGHT LOSS HELP

You may not believe this, but strength training can help with weight loss. Just like cardio workouts, strength training burns calories, which can help you achieve a caloric deficit. Strength training also increases excess post-oxygen consumption (EPOC), which occurs when our body continues to burn excess calories for hours after exercise. How cool is that?

#4 IMPROVED SLEEP QUALITY

It has been noticed that those who regularly resistance train experience better, unin-

terrupted and deep sleep. And we all know how a good night’s sleep can affect our overall well-being - and a good recovery will be increasingly important as we age.

#5 BOOSTED ENERGY LEVELS

Exercise causes the body to release endorphins, which boost mood and energy. You may feel that you get this from an intense cardio class. However, prolonged cardiovascular exercise can deplete the body’s energy stores. On the other hand, strength training can be completed in 30 to 60 minutes, leaving you with more energy to power through the day.

#6 BETTER FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH

Women, like men, need functional strength to accomplish everything that needs to get done in a day. Resistance training improves strength in crucial areas like the core, legs, lower back and upper body, enabling you to get more things done without feeling fatigued. And I mean, it can be day-to-day things, like carrying your toddlers, building up a closet or simply reaching for stuff in the taller part of the closet.

#7 REDUCED STRESS LEVELS

Cardio exercise has been a well-known source of stress relief for AGES. However, research shows that resistance training can also help with stress reduction.

It has been shown that women are more likely to experience physical symptoms of stress than men, such as headaches, shoulder aches and digestive issues. Reducing stress will help improve your mental state, overall physical wellness, and confidence.

#8 CONFIDENCE

I would like to especially highlight this last one, as it’s not a secret that the media has a lot of ideas as to what a woman’s body should look like, and while many will focus on purely aesthetic goals by giving advice on fad diets and excessive cardio, strength training focuses on functional goals, such as increasing resistance, mobility or speed. This shift in mindset can improve body image in women — plus, aesthetic changes tend to happen with weight training, even if they aren’t the main goal!

So, ladies, take all this with you to your next workout and gain one superpower after another by lifting some heavier weights! I promise you that it will be worth it. THE-INTL

"INCORPORATING 2-3 SESSIONS A WEEK OF STRENGTH/RESISTANCE TRAINING WILL GIVE YOU MANY SUPERPOWERS."

ALEXANDRA BECK

Alex is a Swiss/Brit mom and wife who has lived in Copenhagen since 2009. She switched from corporate life in communications to the independent life of an outdoor personal and group fitness trainer. She coaches people of all ages and fitness levels to find fun and consistency in movement through individual and group workouts. Delivering entertainment and spreading group fitness magic is her superpower. Alex encourages you to high-five her if you see her in the capital!

@alexbeck.fit

@alexbeck.fit

@alexbeck.fit

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PERSONAL TRAINER & NUTRITION COACH PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS TEXT ALEXANDRA BECK

MOVING TO DENMARK FOR LOVE IS NOT A WALK IN THE PARK

NAVIGATING THE DANISH LANDSCAPE: CHALLENGES FOR ACCOMPANYING SPOUSES.

PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS TEXT LUISA GEITMANN-MÜGGE

WHEN IMMIGRATING TO a new country, most people find it easier to integrate and make meaningful connections through being part of an organisation or pre-set group. Often, this is their workplace or university environment. When it comes to accompanying spouses - who often enter the new environment without being immediately tied to such formal organisations - finding community outside their family or relationship can be challenging.

WWhether you move together as a couple or join your partner in their home country, moving for love often creates more challenges for one of the partners than for the other. Many accompanying spouses are living in Denmark and taking on the challenging journey of finding meaningful personal and professional connections.

It is not unusual for accompanying partners to struggle with affirming and reinventing parts of their identity after moving to a new country, as they might feel like they've fallen into a vacuum. Having left most of their family behind and often pushed pause on their career, accompanying partners rely on their intrinsic motivation and individual networking skills in their search for community. This is especially true for the period in their immigration process where they have not yet found a job or joined other spaces fostering connections, which can be highly exhausting.

FINDING YOUR PEOPLE

If you've ever been looking for a job in Denmark, you have probably been told you need to network. As well-meant as this advice might be, it is seldom followed by concrete advice on how to do this magic networking.

Their partners head off to their often demanding and time-consuming first weeks at their new jobs or study programmes - which come with built-in networking opportunities - and many accompanying partners are left to figure out how to navigate through new challenges and hop across several unexpected hurdles from the confining comfort of their couch.

Rachele moved to Aalborg with her partner, who had been accepted into their dream study programme. The couple has since relocated to Copenhagen. Rachele recalls holding a positive view of Denmark and being optimistic about her employment prospects as a trained architect before moving here. After all, coming from Italy, "a country where it's so clear that unemployment is a problem, I was hopeless. And then you move to a country that is clearly doing better. You think getting a job is easy, but then all these obstacles show up, and you're unprepared for them". She adds that adjusting to the networking culture in Denmark has been something she continuously needs to put a lot of effort into, as she describes herself as a rather introverted person and explains that while "there is definitely more (job and networking) opportunities in Copenhagen, at these networking events I am mainly meeting other jobseekers - most of them internationals". While she stresses that she enjoys meeting other internationals who can relate to her situation on multiple dimensions, it becomes clear from her remarks that she is not convinced that these are the kinds of networks that will bring you closer to your dream job.

Kati, who recently moved to Aalborg to be with her Danish partner, expands on this sentiment. She mentions her partner's father's good intentions to utilise his extensive professional network to her benefit. "He knows a lot of people, but unfortunately, it doesn't really overlap with my skills". Even though Kati describes her home country, Finland, as even more tight-knit than Denmark, she has not been able to build the same personal or professional relationships around here and has, therefore, not fully utilised either of her two professional degrees.

Not being confident in using Danish or plainly preferring English adds another dimension. Mathilde, who moved to Aalborg to join her partner who had immigrated to the country as a teenager, describes that, even though she speaks Danish at work and is relatively confident in it, she prefers to have international friends with whom she speaks either English or her mother tongue: "When I meet with friends, I want to relax, and I can't fully do that when I have to speak Danish - my third language".

SHIFTING DIRECTIONS

Compromises are critical, especially with couples where both partners want a career outside of the house. This holds true whether you are living abroad or not.

What is unique about accompanying partners is that it isn't rare for them to shift career direction to make the circumstances work for them, too.

Being faced with work cultures and labour market demands different to their home country, accompanying spouses often choose to follow a career path which departs from their previous experiences or goals. This can be short-term, e.g., taking on jobs to make ends meet, or a more long-term commitment to a new career, like taking on a new education.

As Kati has not yet landed a job in the game development industry, she took on a remote freelance job to contribute to the household financially. What differentiates the two: Rachele couldn't see a future for herself in Italy and has, since moving to Copenhagen, completed a master's degree outside of architecture. Kati, on the other hand, has a more positive outlook on her job opportunities in her home country: "I've actually done some game testing for a big gaming studio there. So maybe if I had stayed in Finland, I might have gotten something through there. Also because two of my friends were there".

It is these cuts of professional ties and the immediate lack of new ones in the new country that can have a significant impact on not just people's career prospects but also their self-perception.

GET YOURSELF HELP

For many, moving to Denmark as an accompanying spouse comes with unexpected challenges and pressure to adapt to a new culture and find a fulfilling career.

Of course, it can be of enormous help to have a partner who is more familiar with the Danish language, systems and culture. However, whether or not that is the case for you, building your ties to Denmark will benefit you personally and professionally. As a first step, all interviewees emphasise the importance of getting together with people who can relate to your experiences. Connecting with others in a similar position might not be a one-way ticket to your dream job, but it will help you feel less isolated. Why not join others in the marathon run that networking in Denmark appears to be?

If you were reminded of some of your own experiences while reading this article and live in the North Denmark region, the Spouse Space programme run by the International House North Denmark might be right for you.

Not in North Denmark? Don't worry - many municipalities and international houses across the country offer programmes to assist accompanying spouses in finding a job in their area. THE-INTL

11 MARCH 2024 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM

WASTE AND RECYCLING IN DENMARK LEADING THE WAY FOR RESPONSIBLE RECYCLING!

PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS TEXT MARIANO ANTHONY DAVIES

IIN DENMARK, IT has become a powerful attitude of mind to recycle as much waste as possible and to be as environmentally responsible as possible. The municipalities are responsible for providing waste bins and collecting sorted waste from properties as well as for providing recycling stations where sorted waste can be placed in appropriate containers.

Danes who live in residential buildings will most often find waste containers in their backyard and the local landlord will have detailed information on how to handle household waste. For Danes who rent their home, waste handling is included in the monthly rent and for those who own their homes, they pay an annual fee to their municipality.

In most areas, citizens are required to separate their daily household waste. Typically, waste containers are provided for glass, paper, carton, plastic, electronic waste, batteries, dangerous waste, and where relevant, even organic garden waste. Furthermore, some municipalities also have municipal collection schemes for waste that cannot be handled together with general household waste – for example, old furniture and broken fridges.

WORLD’S FIRST LAW ON RECYCLING

In 1978, Denmark introduced the world’s first law on recycling, stating that at least 50 % of all paper and beverage packaging should be recycled. This was the first step in a journey towards becoming amongst the top recyclers in Europe. The next step was introduced in 1989, where the Statutory Order on Waste was implemented in Danish law.

This law formalised the fact that Danish local authorities have extensive legal grounds for self-determination. This means that local authorities, to a certain degree, have the right to take initiatives within the area of waste management and separate collection for recycling. Naturally, this is under the condition that the local authorities work towards common national goals presented in the national waste management plan in force at any time.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WASTE COLLECTION?

Local authorities are currently responsible for collecting all household waste as well as all industrial waste for incineration and landfilling, while industrial waste for recycling is separated at source and collected and treated on general market conditions. Most types of recyclable wastes are reprocessed abroad, but many Danish enterprises, private and public, separate and pre-treat the waste before it is exported. All waste is primarily collected and transported by private companies.

Nevertheless, there is no such thing as the “Danish way” of collecting household waste for recycling. However, overall requirements specified in the Statutory Order on Waste state that it is mandatory for the local authorities to introduce:

 Collection schemes for paper and cardboard (settlements with 1.000).

 Collection schemes for recyclable glass (settlements with 2.000).

 Collection schemes for recyclable metal and plastic packaging waste.

There is no requirement that these fractions are collected separately, but the majority of these fractions must be recycled or in

"IN 1978, DENMARK INTRODUCED THE WORLD’S FIRST LAW ON RECYCLING, STATING THAT AT LEAST 50 % OF ALL PAPER AND BEVERAGE PACKAGING SHOULD BE RECYCLED."

some cases prepared for reuse, which makes separate collection the preferred option of the municipalities. Due to stricter demands for higher recycling rates, separated waste is increasingly also collected via door-to-door collection. In some municipalities, a kerbside collection system is also established for bulky waste, which can include glass, cardboard and metal waste.

With respect to bio-waste, there is no legal requirement for (separate) collection, but many local authorities have established separate collection of garden waste. Organic waste is a focus area in the latest National Waste Management Plan.

COLLECTION AND DEPOSIT SYSTEM FOR BEVERAGE PACKAGING

The main legal act in the Danish legislation is the Statutory Order on Waste, but the Statutory Order on a deposit for beverage packaging from 2001 has also had significant influence on the rates for waste collection and recycling in Denmark. More specifically, this Order has made room for a deposit-return system for beverage packaging, which today is one of the most efficient collection systems for beverage packaging in the world. Despite an increase in one-way packaging for beverages, the collection rate remains stable at around 89 %.

The main goal today is to ensure that the grocery trade is paid for sorting the constantly increasing volumes of different types of beverage packaging. As a result of this collaboration, Dansk Retursystem (Danish deposit & return system) was founded in 2000.

Dansk Retursystem is now a privately-owned company, and it was granted the exclusive right to operate the Danish deposit-return system until 2019. THE-INTL

MARIANO ANTHONY

Mariano has over 40 years global experience as a bus iness executive. He spent ten years with KPMG, so far thirty years with British Chambers of Commerce (while also running Oxford Business Services ApS). He is a British citizen, who grew up in Kent, went to boarding school in Sussex and has a British university education. He has been married to a Dane for over 45 years and has held over 150 official anti-Brexit speeches since 2016. He both speaks and writes Danish without difficulty.

oxford-business.com

12 MARCH 2024 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM

DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND TORTA

A NATURALLY GLUTEN-FREE CAKE THAT COMBINES ROAST ALMONDS AND DARK CHOCOLATE FOR A SIMPLE YET INDULGENT DESSERT, PERFECT FOR THE EASTER TABLE.

PHOTOGRAPHS

& TEXT: NATASHA LIVIERO / PEXELS

DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND TORTA

MAKES 1 X 23CM CAKE

INGREDIENTS:

130g ground almonds/almond flour

175g butter

200 chocolate

4 XL eggs

150g castor sugar

20g Kahlua liqueur/10g vanilla extract

Pinch of cream of tartar

Cocoa/Icing sugar for dusting

METHOD:

1. Set oven to 1500C.

2. Line the bottom of a 23cm spring-form cake pan with baking paper and then grease the sides and bottom of the pan.

3. Roast the ground almonds in the oven until lightly golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl. Increase the oven temperature to 1800C.

4. Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.

5. Roughly chop the dark chocolate into 5-8mm pieces.

6. Separate the eggs and whisk the egg yolks together with 75g of the castor sugar and Kahlua/ vanilla extract until thick and light in colour.

7. Fold in the almonds, melted butter and chocolate.

8. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar for a few minutes.

9. Add the remaining 75g castor sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, until all the sugar has dissolved.

10. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

11. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 50 — 55 minutes.

12. Cool the cake in the pan.

13. Dust with cocoa (or icing sugar for extra sweetness) before serving.

14. Store at room temperature in an airtight container. This cake lasts well and tastes even better a day or two after baking.

NATASHA LIVIERO - PASTRY CHEF

Natasha is a pastry chef who is South African by birth and Croatian by blood. She spent many years working for a wellness publication but did an about-turn at the beginning of 2020 when she joined a culinary school to fulfil a lifelong dream to study patisserie. She’s passionate about European patisserie and loves spending time in the kitchen experimenting with recipes (while quibbling with her fe-line friends), and is always on the hunt for interesting new cookbooks.

natashaliviero

13 MARCH 2024 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM FOOD ART

A DANISH EASTER

EASTER DELIGHTS IN DENMARK: A CELEBRATION OF SPRING!

PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS TEXT DOMINIC J STEVENSEN

TTHE STRUNG FAIRY lights, lanterns, and candles of winter have given way to the array of colourful eggs hanging from twigs, branches, bushes, and trees in Danish gardens across the land. They also adorn tables and other shelves inside. There are other Easter-related decorations, too – many bunny-shaped or floral. The cold is slowly easing out of its winter jacket, and the shift is now clear. It is a sign of the spring, what everyone has been waiting for, stepping out from the bubble of semi-hibernation. Skies are less troubled, bluer, clearer, though the unpredictable is always nearby, and never more than in early spring.

Easter (påske) signals light, hope, a different kind of warmth –the return of the sun. It drives people outside, and the focus shifts to those havens they love so much – their gardens. Where before all that mattered was the importance of our homes and the cosy indoors, where we would spend most of our time, we would now turn our attention, and a great level of care and attentiveness, to our gardens – and to the playgrounds and parks and outdoor life. We would concentrate on what grew there that had previously been greys and browns and muted, drab colours, the lifeless, stationary, grim glory of winter, and bask in the sunshine that would come eventually.

Easter, a gateway to spring, less about religion than it was in the past, was celebrated in Denmark in simple and elegant fashion. Observed traditions remained, children had some days off school, and the whole place stood still for a moment. If you were religious, you went to church, if you were not, you revelled in a little down time with the family regardless, or perhaps went on a rejuvenating break somewhere abroad. Somewhere hot, I heard people often saying they needed. The Danish climate was compelling, though, and not to be escaped from.

The local church holds another memorable service for the family, decorations could be found everywhere (in houses and gardens, popping up in unexpected spots), and a sense of occasion pervades the streets, the neighbourhood, as a shift in mood to match the arrival – or imminent coming – of spring becomes evident. Naturally, families reunite after several months of working, retreating to home amidst the outside gloom, and enjoying the cosiness of indoors.

So, Easter is an annual event worth celebrating together. Easter flowers, eggs and bunnies, cheerful, bright, and colourful decorations, and a long weekend to enjoy together (not dependent upon which day of the week it falls a la Christmas). Treasure hunts for children are also a common event at this time of the year, one that truly feels like a much-needed break. Children revel in the opportunity to have some fun unique to the occasion, though it often feels as enjoyable for the adults – watching and witnessing it all – as anyone else.

There is an Easter brew (påskebryg), as ever there is for any standout celebration of the calendar year (or just any day of the week ending in ‘day’), and a special Easter dinner (påskefrokost).

While lamb is, as in other countries, a dish typical for this time of the year, the chief cuisine of the season is based on the muchloved Danish rye bread and several possibilities constructed on top – such as meats, liver paste, cheese, and perhaps something fish-related will find its way onto your rye bread. After all, this is a country with the sea everywhere.

Then, there is the good old paper and scissors magic of gækkebreve, cutting all manner of symmetrical delights, meaning kids can be occupied, busy, and productively creating their very own decorations for the occasion.

Finally, I have discovered a concise list of Easter films – for both adults and kids – to check out from this year henceforth. A good seasonal movie can enhance the experience no end!

The Easter period, as ever, includes Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday. While these days are all public holidays, planning can ensure that you avoid shops being shut for the food and goodies you might have had your eye on for the magical weekend.

I wish you a wonderful window of eggs, togetherness, and warming, bluer weather taking us into spring and beyond. THE-INTL

DOMINIC J STEVENSON

WRITER / MUSICIAN / ARTIST

Dominic J Stevenson is a 3-time published author and the creator of the Literary Portrait / Visual Artwork project. He comes from Nottingham, England (Robin Hood land) and is a husband and father. He is a writer, musician, and artist. His writing has been published on many platforms - both online and in magazine format. He has lived in Denmark since 2022, in several European countries before that, and has recorded one album as Vincent Bella (The Dark Side Pulling At Us) and speaks fluent Spanish. He is enjoying learning Danish, albeit rather slowly. He loves the arts (music, film/ TV, literature, impressionism and more), tennis, football (Nottingham Forest FC), travel, languages, laughter, and Lego.

Dominic J Stevenson

14 MARCH 2024 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM

WHAT IS A FOREIGN SPOUSE?

CHALLENGING STEREOTYPES: THE REALITY OF FOREIGN SPOUSES.

A FOREIGN SPOUSE IS…

A freeloader. A burden.

A luxury. A woman?

TDanish politicians have said or insinuated everything since I met my Danish husband seven years ago. While it's insulting, and much of it plain populism aimed at gaining nationalist maybe-voters to cross political lines, the most perplexing thing about it is that this picture painted of the imaginary 'foreign spouse' is usually a female one. A woman who has moved herself, battling with a new culture, yet only seems to be seen as a pariah by the people who have dreamt her up as a crude caricature. On the other hand, men moving to their female partner's country, why they are brave, novel, and modern! How generous of them to leave their families and careers for love.

Good, liberal, kind friends have told me they don't think it would be right if any random woman a Danish man fell in love with could just come and live here. I'm not sure a woman is random if she's important enough that her partner wants to bring her home with him, but sometimes I've stayed quiet in these arguments. I occasionally get backtracking, embarrassed replies a few minutes late – "We don't mean youyou're so well integrated, we forget you're not Danish! We treat you just as one of us!" The worst is when the statement hangs, and there's no retreat from the subtle, exclusionary nationalism. Then, my stuttering realisation that they don't really think I should be allowed here, alongside those hardworking, blonde, adonis-like Danes. Once, a not-so-kind one I hadn't really liked to start with went so far as to imply I would be muddying Danish blood by having half-Danish children. Thankfully, we've not seen or heard from him since.

At university, I got to study an obscure, hardly-attended class on Scottish migrants in Northern Europe- here were my people, getting out there in the world, even if they'd lived hundreds of years ago! But most of the seminars placed the magnifying glass firmly on men- the military, ambassadors, and commercial dynasties controlling the Øresund (admittedly, I did find the idea of foreigners controlling Danish borders entertaining). But where were the women? Well, if you looked for them, they did dot about too. A Scottish woman was arrested for being drunk and disorderly in 18th century Copenhagen (let's be honest, that probably happened

last week, too), letters from women who'd married Danish sailors and gone back to Jutland with them, and women who followed the Scottish army even when they ended up in far-flung regions of Sweden and Norway.

Clearly, female immigrants aren't just the blood-sucking foreign spouses the rags love to hate or the tragic 'we had to move to Malmø/Flensborg' stories in liberal newspapers. Yes, we are them too, or they are faces that are painted on to us. But women also choose to move and have migrated for as diverse reasons as men. Jobs, family, the pursuit of something new and happy- a woman might move on her own or actually be the one looking out for international transfer opportunities at work. I was undoubtedly dragging

my husband to Munich when we made that move back in our increasingly distant early twenties. He never really integrated with the Germans and certainly missed the coast and the luxury of free healthcare in Denmark and Scotland, but he did perfect the language well enough to use it for jobs in both of his home countries.

Celebrating international women this month is a good time to reflect on our place in society and show that we're far more than stereotypes. That includes all of us following careers, spouses or a simple, innate lust for the new and exciting that draws people abroad. We're here, like generations of women who have found themselves in Scandinavia before and from whom we can take strength and accept belonging. THE-INTL

"As we celebrate international women this month, it's a good time to reflect on our place in society and show that we're far more than stereotypes."

HEATHER STORGAARD WRITER

Heather Storgaard comes from Northern Scotland, grew up in Switzerland, and lived in England and Germany. She met her Danish and soon-tobe British husband back in 2017, and they now split their time between Central Scotland and Helgenæs, a peninsula in rural Eastern Jutland. Suitably for a Scot, Heather works with whisky, spending her time writing and translating, with a particular softspot for the up-and-coming world of Nordic Whisky.

@heatherstorgaard

15 MARCH 2024 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM

GENDER EQUALITY

WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATUS OF WOMEN IN DANISH SOCIETY?

PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS TEXT NATÁLIA ŠEPITKOVÁ

WWHEN THE DANISH journalist and activist Signe Wenneberg published a post on her Instagram with figures from The Danish Union of Journalists (Dansk Journalistforbund), which showed how many women were among the 20 most quoted in the Danish media, I was shocked. There were zero women among the 20 most cited experts and only five women among the top 50. It does not mean that women are not qualified enough. It suggests that they are discriminated against and not listened to. Signe also cited in her post statistics from Marianne Dahl from Boston Consulting Group, which showed that there is now a greater chance of becoming a leader in Denmark as a 40-year-old if your parents are criminals than if you are a woman. In Denmark – the country that we internationals regard as the best country with gender equality.

Signe Wenneberg also wrote about how many have threatened her for a long time for her public statements and published facts. "There is something very, very wrong in our little democracy when some men think that women who present facts should be bullied into silence," she wrote in her LinkedIn post at the end of January this year. Signe Wenneberg studied gender studies and cultural journalism. This gave her background to write about gender in the newspaper where she wrote then and since elsewhere. She stopped doing that after threats against herself and her family. So, how is gender equality in Denmark? Is it as good as we expected?

WHAT DO THE NUMBERS SAY?

Equality is based on the fact that women and men are equal, which means that women and men must have the same rights and opportunities. All the Nordic countries are at the top regarding equality. Denmark is the country in the Nordics that lags far behind in gender equality. While Nordic neighbours are all in the top 5 worldwide, Denmark ranks number 23 according to The Global Gender Gap Index 2023 rankings. It was even overtaken by countries such as Namibia (8th place), Lithuania (9th place), Rwanda (12th place) and Albania (17th place). It's astonishing.

Although Danish women have better life conditions in Denmark than in other European countries, it is still imperfect, and there is room for improvement. It must be said that women in Denmark are highly respected and seen as having equal status as men. Girls are raised to be independent and strong from a young age, without the need to stereotype male and female roles and prioritise the male career in the family. The number of employees in Danish companies should be gender-balanced; most likely, mothers in many companies have more flexible working hours. Up to 71% of Danish women have paid work

16 MARCH 2024 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM

outside the home, far below the OECD average (62%).

Denmark's parental leave policy is also among the most flexible in the European Union. Parents with children born on or after 2 August 2022 are each entitled to 24 weeks of maternity leave benefits after the child's birth. For full-time employees, 11 weeks are designated for each parent, and 26 weeks (13 weeks for each parent) can be shared. This new consolidation act brought working mothers a fantastic opportunity to return to the labour market as soon as possible if they wanted.

After all, Denmark is the top country in the world to be a woman, according to the 2023 Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Index. So where is the problem?

LEADERSHIP AND THE PAY GAP

Despite the increased efforts of Danish companies to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion, the representation of women in leadership positions has not risen over the past five years. According to Gertie Find Lærkholm, the author of the report about gender diversity in Denmark, women must advance at the same rate as men to change this. World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report showed that the representation of women in leadership has been flat over the past five years (2017-2021).

"70% of large Danish companies have set diversity targets, but so far, their efforts have not resulted in higher representation of women in leadership. Over the past five years, the representation of women in

leadership positions has stagnated at 27% – only one in four leaders is a woman, and this rate does not seem to be improving," Gertie Find Lærkholm wrote in the mentioned report about diversity in Denmark

Another problem Danish women have to fight in their careers is inequality with men regarding salary. Women are not paid the same as men, even if they do the same job. This is documented by a new large-scale study in the renowned journal Nature Human Behaviour, co-authored by Copenhagen Business School associate professor Lasse Folke Henriksen. The study shows the inequality in pay between women and men in 15 countries. According to the study, Danish women earn, on average, 7% less than men, even if they work in the same workplace and have the same profession and job. "Political efforts must always be about how to get more female managers, how to get more women into traditionally male professions and get rid of historically conditioned lower wages in traditionally female professions," Lasse Folke Henriksen says for Ritzau

#METOO AND #NEJTILSEXISME

Last but not least, Danish society also struggles with the issue of sexism and sexual harassment. The public debate in Denmark has echoed the international MeToo discussion and shed light on numerous MeToo experiences at all levels of society. In addition to #MeToo, they appeared on Danish social networks under the hashtag #NejTilSexisme (No to Sexism). But the fact is that it happened some -

time after the American MeToo Movement when the Danish TV presenter Sofie Linde talked about her experience on a TV show in front of the whole nation. Until then, the Danes pretended this problem did not exist in their country, maybe because of their "frisind"- a kind of freethinking and the fear of being politically correct and boring.

"One of the reasons why we haven't really seen this before is that many people said to themselves, well, we are an equal society, so therefore we don't have these problems," said former prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt for the magazine Time in 2020 . "But the idea of Denmark as a gender paradise is a myth. We're good, but we're not that good." As Denmark's first female prime minister (she held the office from 2011 to 2015), Thorning-Schmidt has also experienced firsthand the latent sexism that Denmark has long failed to acknowledge – everything from the media's fixation on her appearance to the kind of harassment.

Publication of experiences with harassment of Danish women, public outrage and a series of shock waves that have since reached the highest levels of power in Denmark has led to more significant efforts to secure a safe and dignified working environment. It was also reflected in the legislation. The amendment of the criminal law in December 2020 introduced the concept of consent within the criminal offence of rape. In other words, intercourse is now illegal unless one of the parties consents. The number of rape cases reported to the police increased by 40 percent after the new legislation took effect.

THE NEW SOCIETY WITH THE NEW GENERATION

Although complete gender equality hasn't yet been achieved in Denmark, Danish society highly values equal opportunities for women and girls. Good prospects for the future are also brought by the fact that in Danish families, there is a fair distribution of tasks between partners. Women are thus not overburdened with housework and raising children as in many other countries in Europe and the world. They can devote themselves to their careers, lei-

sure activities, and family.

In the spirit of gender equality, Danish children today are brought up in families, schools, and educational institutions. When political efforts and citizen initiatives are added, Denmark's future could be headed in the right direction regarding gender equality. However, men should understand that they are neither the stronger, smarter, or more capable gender. In short, women are just as good as them.

THE-INTL

NATÁLIA ŠEPITKOVÁ FREELANCE JOURNALIST AND WRITER

Natalia is a Slovak journalist based in Aalborg, Denmark. She has around 15 years of experience in journalism. Her experiences as an editor and a reporter were founded in Slovak magazines and newspapers. She was also working as a TV reporter, a TV moderator and a host in radio broadcasting. Part of her career included working with PR and marketing. Natália is also a content creator on her social media. Follow her blog www.mamavdansku.com , where she writes about life in Denmark.

@Natália Šepitková

@Mama v Dánsku

@Mum in Denmark

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KEEPING LEGACY THROUGH GIVING BACK

LLAST MONTH, I wrote about reaping what you sow metaphorically and literally through planting trees. This month, I want to share some wisdom I learnt from Buddhist teachings and mindful practices on how to keep a legacy by giving back. Sounds irrelevant? Not really.

At one point, we all came across some foundation or institution in a person's name, honouring their work, discovery and dedication, etc, within a particular area. That is one of the most common forms of keeping a legacy through giving back. Most of the time, these foundations or institutions are dedicated to that person's life and work and continue to expand on it. For example, the Marie SkłodowskaCurie Actions fellowship programme of the European Union for young scientists wishing to work in a foreign country; the Mother Teresa Girls Home, run by the charitable organisation Sevalaya, provides poor and orphaned girls near the underserved village of Kasuva in Tamil Nadu with free food, clothing, shelter and education. Well, you don't need to be a prominent figure like them to be honoured, or you don't need such a figure to honour. You can start with your closest circle – friends, families, and people you admire or know.

How is it relevant to giving back? Donation. Donate to or volunteer for a particular cause, honouring that person's legacy. With that, you are contributing to a bigger pool of resources that benefits more people related to that cause. I'll share an example of my personal experience. Many years ago, one of my best friend's mother and sister both died from cancer within the same year. Witnessing how painful it was for my friend to go through the process and the grief afterwards, I set up a small amount of monthly donation to a cancer research fund in their names to honour their lives and hope other cancer patients will have better access to more resources, medical team and scientists can raise funding to make a breakthrough, and hence fewer people will suffer. Their friends and families won't have to bear that torture. It is a small act of generosity that keeps a legacy alive and is part of

a bigger giving back to society. You see what I mean?

You may wonder, 'and then?' Let's go back to the tree planting for a bit. You contributed to a particular project; the tree grows, the community benefits, and you and them reap the tangible and intangible rewards. By donating, volunteering, or advocating for a cause close to your heart, you are generous with your time, effort, resources and money. You're sowing the good seeds, or good karma or good energy, and remember, what goes around, comes around. So, all the good deeds will return to you eventually. But why does it matter what the cause is? It doesn't mat-

ter as much because a good deed is a good deed; an act of kindness and compassion is not going to be wasted, but the cleverness here is that when you choose a cause that's close to your heart, it automatically means that you care more about it because you sympathise and empathise with it, the group of people who share the same experiences, you feel them, you understand them more than the others, you can resonate with the suffering, and hence it gives you a more significant motivation to do more to help, and that generates a more

substantial effect and impact because you made it happen.

We are often drawn to certain things related to us in one way or another; if you offer your time and energy to volunteer and participate in that cause, you'll realise the people you're helping are actually helping you. Why? Because you learn a lot through your participation, you gain a deeper understanding and have more access to the resources needed quickly. So what does it mean? Not only are you honouring the legacy of someone at a cause that means a lot to you, but you are also supporting a community and accumulating experiences and resources for yourself in that specific area; you never know when it will be helpful to you.

For example, if you know someone who has a substance abuse issue and ends up homeless, you volunteer as a caretaker at a shelter for the homeless, you hear struggles and stories first-hand, and you realise how much one needs in life. It puts things in perspective, and you become grateful for the littlest things you have in life; the chance of you ending up homeless is almost zero because you already know how painful it can be, and you actively decided not to let yourself go down that road. If you had a relative who died of a heart attack, and you volunteer for heart disease or first aid NGO, you acquire the relevant knowledge that can potentially save your and others' lives. You become aware of the symptoms or warning signs and will probably go for more regular and thorough check-ups. Chances are, you can prevent this from happening to you and those around you. That's what I meant by reaping the intangible benefits, all because of your generosity to be kind. You're both honouring a legacy and spreading kindness.

If you're only donating money, the impact might not be as significant because you're paying someone to nurture the tree for you. However, you're still contributing to the more extensive network of groundwork, yet you don't see the actual fruit of the harvest. So, if you look at it this way, it makes sense, and in these modern times, we all need more kindness and compassion. THE-INTL

OPHELIA WU FASHION CONSULTANT & JOURNALIST

Like her hometown Hong Kong, Ophelia has a diverse background and upbringing. She moved to Copenhagen in 2019 after 10 years of living in London. Her fashion and journalism career began in 2007 at ELLE Hong Kong magazine, and later on as an online stylist at Net-A-Porter.com in the UK; she has worked with all sorts of creatives, brands and celebrities globally. She now works on everything fashion and communicationrelated. With her love of travelling and places her work brought her to, people she met from all walks of life inspired her to start her own business M for Minimal: a place to raise the awareness of going back to basics through conscious consumption and mindfulness with a touch of spirituality - something she has been practising since her teenage years.

@mforminimal.com

@mforminimal.mfm @opheliawu

18 MARCH 2024 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS TEXT OPHELIA WU

SPRING ENERGY!

MMARCH IS SYNONYMOUS with the start of a new season, Spring. Finally, the darkness of the winter months can be exchanged for the emergence of brighter and longer days. This brings renewed hope and inspiration to all.

SCHOOL ACTIVITY

It is the start of preparations for the last segment of the year at school. With school being over by the end of June, the Easter holidays, and many national holidays in May, there is a need to use the existing weeks in the most profitable way. In secondary school, the atmosphere is feverish, as there are only a few more weeks of revision and review before the start of the annual examination season. The pressure is on for both teachers and students.

The lower school focuses on ensuring students have covered the curriculum to be ready for their next grade level.

A LOVE FOR READING

A lovely way to approach firming up literacy is through 'World Book Day'. For many, it may just be a one-day event, but in some schools, it is a month-long activity to further promote the importance and joy of reading and writing.

The project involves a 'reading passport', which is a booklet to record the books read and share some aspects of them. Students can read books of any genre and on any subject area they enjoy. A competitive element can be introduced to spur students to read more and outdo each other! Students share their 'passports' with their teacher and a count is made of individual reading and the class's score. There are individual and class prizes to be achieved.

Activities such as story writing, book cover competitions, and actual book reviews are the core of the work.

The hub of a school tends to be its library, and never is this more apparent than in the lead-up to 'World Book Day'. The librarian is in his/her element, organising an enticing display of books and drawing up countless schedules so classes can come, browse, and exchange books.

The school foyer is key for showcasing the school's forthcoming book fair, book swap, and a visit by a children's author.

The finale is a 'World Book Day' assembly with all students and teachers dressed as their favourite characters from literature. There is a carnival-like atmosphere with a parade, and the absolute high point of excitement is the prize-giving ceremony.

The most inspiring aspect is that this fosters a student's love of reading, which is priceless in the age of social media and endless streaming!

MATHEMATICAL MAGIC

By no means so powerful, but still great fun is the celebration of Pi. The number π, aka "pi", is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, approximately equal to 3.14159. The magic is the fact that it is infinite and almost fantasy-like. Such aspects ignite curiosity in students, so a day of mathematical activities and dressing up as Pi is a fantastic way to bring the subject area into another realm. And there is also the need to eat some 'pie' to celebrate the occasion!

STEAM (SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ARTS, AND MATHEMATICS)

Through this amazing multi-discipline approach, students can be engaged in exciting projects involving the application of essential soft skills such as communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and reflection.

The projects are developed to suit age-appropriate curriculums. Thus, it is possible to use a particular theme, such as sustainable tiny houses and differentiate the types of activities devised to meet the requirements of different grade levels.

The project is an avenue by which students can explore the materials needed to construct the house, where the materials can be sourced, the associated costs, and the most environmentally friendly and practical way to transport them. Then, there is the design of the building, the purpose of the home, and the need to consider the location and nature of the surroundings. In addition, there is the heating system, light, insulation, and furnishings that need to be developed for a limited space.

The project can become huge, so time parameters and target goals must be established and kept to!

TIME EVAPORATES

A fascinating and rich learning experience can help students prepare for their future world by removing the usual time constraints of set lessons. It is easy to see how the days disappear and the end of the academic year arrives again! THE-INTL

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi

https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/STEAM-science-technology-engineering-arts-and-mathematics

"A lovely way to approach firming up literacy is through 'World Book Day'. "

MONIKA PEDERSEN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

Monika comes from the London area of the UK, where she worked in the state system and the international school system, as an English teacher of 11-18 students and then a high school principal. She has also worked in leadership roles in Germany and in Denmark. She has an overview of the British, International, American, and the Danish system. She has many years of experience and continues to enjoy the profession. She has relocated to Copenhagen and enjoys the city and summer house life with her Danish husband.

@monikapedersen

@monikapedersen

@monikapedersen

19 MARCH 2024 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS TEXT MONIKA PEDERSEN
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