Updated Sep 05, 2019

AIPFE Cyprus-Women of Europe

A project empowering female leaders and closing the gender gap


The innovation has no owner


Stage 4: Transition to Scale


The Eastern Mediterranean is a troubled region, where political and economic inclusion is not at desirable levels. Acknowledging the inter-sectionalism of existing problems in a mostly conflict-ridden region, we still believe that the empowerment of working age women and the creation of a generation of female leaders through targeted training can initially aid sustainable and inclusive growth locally and finally, the creation of linkages of cooperation and thus, inclusive security regionally.

Innovation Description

Mind the Gap will work under three pillars: a. Unlocking Female Leadership (targeted female leadership training, focusing on the idea that equal does not need to mean same and embracing a unique female leadership style, stemming from the concept of Centered Leadership i.e. Leading from Within. There will also be emphasis on developing emotional intelligence indicators and soft skills, such as negotiation skills, how to handle difficult conversations, giving/receiving feedback etc). This pillar will aim at closing the gender confidence gap. b. Financial Literacy, as a necessary tool to help close the Pay Gap, Savings Gap and Pension Gap, which women face plus help women acquire the necessary confidence when dealing with numbers and money, while becoming more employable c. Digital Literacy, as necessary precondition for the modern world, whether a an entrepreneur or employable worker, serving as a means towards the goal of economic and political inclusion, but also as a means to providing women with a voice in the social media and on the internet. The programme will be made up of modular learning building blocs under the three pillars, adjusted to Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Levels for each module. Participants will be assigned a mentor. What's more, there will be emphasis on the added value of creating and strengthening alumni bonds each year: they can then act as future ambassadors,mentors, advisors, selection/steering committee members, on a local/regional level.

Competitive Advantage

The uniqueness of this project is that it takes a holistic approach to female leadership and gender diversity in decision-making positions. It aims to be a long term, sustainable and resilient programme rather than a project. There is a modular matrix approach,whereby the three learning pillars can be sub-divided in different modules,adjusting to different levels of ability.In each country where the project is implemented,the approach will rest on a common denominator of pillars and values,but emphasis will be placed on local needs. For example, in a glass ceiling,highly-skilled,highly-competitive working environment, emphasis could be placed on targeting middle-level managers and building their corporate leadership skills,whereas in other markets where female market participation levels are extremely low,other pillars could be given priority.In addition to this, what is unique to this project is its three-tier approach. Local women will start working in mono-communal groups, with the intensity/priority of each learning pillar to be decided upon prior local mapping. At regular intervals, these women will come in contact and work together in inter-communal, inter-sectional platforms, with other women in different communities in their own countries. (e.g. in Cyprus, Greek Cypriot women interacting with Turkish Cypriot women). Finally, the national platforms will regularly connect and interact with other national platforms across the region, while creating strong alumni ties.