- Isabella Lenarduzzi

It’s that time again for some quiet reflexion when we look back on 2012 and plan new goals to achieve in 2013

In terms of equality, some progress was made in 2012 including the United Nations ban (finally) on genital mutilation and the agreement, obtained in-extremis by the European Commissioner Viviane Reding, for a quota on gender (women and men) on non-executive boards for stock-listed companies in Europe. Every country in Europe has made some progress in terms of the fight against violence, or reducing the gender pay gap, in promoting more women to leadership positions or in combatting gender stereotypes. In this part of the world, we are all part of a movement of change that is leading towards greater equality.

That’s the description of the glass half full… On the other hand, the economic crisis has meant that social and human relations are more strained than ever with people under more pressure, which could partially explain the increase in the number attacks by men against women. The budgetary crisis faced by our governments is also slowly chipping away at the level of social protection built up over the last 50 years. It’s mainly women who will pay the price. The rate of unemployment for women is increasing more than for men, single-parent mothers experience greater insecurity and an increase in the number of small pensions also mainly affects women. Just as our world becomes ever more complex, so too does the theme of equality! See this article in the “Harvard Business Review” summing up the paradox of our progress in professional equality. We can’t take anything for granted. We must stay alert and refuse to give up. That’s what we can do together.

On an individual level, it would be good if we stopped putting ourselves constantly under pressure. And what about if we could learn to accept and value ourselves more? Instead of giving myself a hard time for what I have not done well or not done at all, it’s time to give myself a bit more recognition. It’s up to me and me alone to define “success” and “ambition” in all areas of my life. Self respect can only come from self love. That’s often the most difficult issue for a woman…As far as I’m concerned, I’ve decided to do less but achieve more !

JUMP has renewed energy and is ready to support you towards your professional objectives in 2013. JUMP offers you the opportunity to invest in yourself in 2013 through the training provided by the Woman’s Academy, thanks to the JUMP Forum, which will take place in April in Brussels in May in Paris, and at the numerous other meetings such as on the 21 February at the European Parliament when we will learn how to internationalise our companies.

Thank you for caring about gender equality and therefore for being part of the global movement for change. Together we can achieve the extraordinary: a world that is good for women is good for everyone! May the coming year, bring you boundless love, joy, prosperity and peace.

With gratitude,
Isabella Lenarduzzi