Last April, EY Cyprus joined forces with AIPFE Cyprus-Women of Europe to launch Women Fit for Business (WF4B), a program geared towards unemployed female university graduates under the age of 35. The purpose and aspiration of this collaboration was to empower, motivate and connect participants through practical training and soft skills, and assist them in their search for employment.
The WF4B program, offered 60 hours of training and mentoring, personal profiling and skills assessment, professional development workshops, empowerment through centered leadership, presentation skills, networking and more, to 12 young women, most of whom have managed to find full-time or part-time employment during the 9-month duration of the program.
Volunteer trainers, mentors and coordinators included Peter Lazou, The Founders Institute; Dr. Alexia Panayiotou, University of Cyprus; Avi Peeri, Diplomat Cyprus; Dinos Demetriou, Dale Carnegie Cyprus; Dr. Anastasia Constantinou, CIIM/ IDEA; Andreas Hadjisofocleous, Toastmasters; Simone Erotokritou, Memnia Theodorou, and clinical psychologist Achilleas Koukkides. The heartfelt and voluntary support of these positive and inspiring people is truly admirable and has greatly contributed to the success of the program.
On Thursday, March 16th, 2018, a warm graduation ceremony sealed the conclusion of the program and reunited the young women who participated, their instructors and mentors, WF4B supporters and facilitators, as well as EY and AIPFE members, at EY Cyprus’ Nicosia main office, at the Jean Nouvel Tower. During the ceremony, the participants also received their certificates of attendance.
In his short introduction, Charalambos Constantinou, EY Cyprus Head of Advisory, said:
“I strongly believe that all businesses worldwide need to provide the support and the right environment to enable their people to flourish. Just as importantly, or even more so, locally, we need to draw attention to the global gender gap issue and galvanize support from other organizations to accelerate change. This isexactly what we have done with Women Fit 4 Business… We hope that this project has truly made a difference, not only to the young women who participated, but also the local society at large.”
During her speech, Anna Koukkides-Procopiou, AIPFE Cyprus President, stated:
“We are often asked as volunteers why we put so much of our personal time, effort and commitment to create and implement such programmes such as Women Fit 4 Business. Paraphrasing Simon Sinek, the answer is simple: the greatest contribution of any female leader is to make other female leaders.”