April 28, 2020. Barcelona - The Hague. Skype.
Interview with Helena Torras by Montse Ferrer Masagué and Montse Domínguez i Munllonch , founders of Coachability Foundation.
Today we’ve had the pleasure of talking with Helena Torras, an entrepreneur, investor, mentor and mother with many concerns all of which make her an admirable woman.
The distance, Helena and Montse Ferrer in Barcelona and myself (Montse Domínguez) in The Hague Holland, plus the current moment of confinement due to Covid 19 (with our children at home), have not been an impediment to enjoy a great online interview, quite the contrary, it’s been a bath of reality and a constancy of the future labour possibilities ahead of us. Technology in seconds which many times offers us more capacities and bring us closer.
Helena is a woman of milestones and here are the highlights:
✓ Top 100 Women Leaders in Spain, 2019
✓ The 30 tech Spanish to follow on twitter
✓ "The 20 candidates for leading the next business decade" by Expansion
✓ Considered among 35 Women Entrepreneurs in Spain
✓ Innovation Prize Fidem
✓ Considered among 75 Women Entrepreneurs in Spain
With a long career in the world of entrepreneurship and senior management we find a woman who wants to do her bit to enjoy an egalitarian working life and in accordance with her values. Not just for herself but for a whole generation of women who come after her with strength and desire.
Helena comments: "Decisions are made from above and that is where we need to be" and with this will she shares her knowledge and experience, facilitating an egalitarian look in all the areas in which she participates, whether it is in the training area aimed at those people who want to dedicate themselves to investing in companies or in those new researches in relation to learning.
We start the interview talking about learning, which is something we really like, knowing that we are a foundation whose aim is to empower and accompany women entrepreneurs in their careers.
Learning is those processes through which skills, knowledge, behaviours, or values are modified and acquired as a result of experience, observation, or reasoning. These processes or learnings help us on the path of being who we want to be.
Helena tells us that one of her first learnings in the world of work was from the hand of one of her first bosses (part-time worker), and she quotes it to us "if you add value to the work, to the project, in the company, you can also create your own rules ". We very much agree with this visionary leader that at that time, and we are talking about a few years back, he already believed in the value of people, and in commitment and not in the calculation of hours sitting on a chair at a desk.
It is clear that this belief does not work for all jobs but for all those who are working for projects, for goals. We connect with this comment because just now that we are telecommunicating, we have realized that flexibility, adapting working hours, and commitment are key aspects for remote jobs. Together we are co-creating another work reality adapted to the moment.
We then talked to Helena about entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, and job parity in Spain, so let’s go by parts.
We would highlight a couple of comments on what is her opinion on Corporate Social Responsibility in Spain. She tells us that unfortunately, still in many companies in Spain, CSR is a department within the organization chart of the company and not a cross-cutting feature from which we recognize ourselves as companies, and serve our society.
We should question what milestones we are working for as companies and as individuals. We know that dividends and profits fall short if there is no intention behind aimed to make a better society. Only in this way will we generate a nourishing circle that will encompass all of us.
Next, we talk about family and personal reconciliation. Helena tells us that we are on the path of family and personal reconciliation, although much needs to be done. It seems as if the world of entrepreneurship has adapted more easily, or women have been able to create our own model for this desired fullness and fulfilment in both worlds, staff and work.
She gives us an example that fills us with hope when she tells us that a colleague of hers, Marta Antúnez, was hired in an advanced stage of pregnancy by a Wyara company (Telefónica).
Great example that gives us some confidence in thinking that it will soon be a rule and not an exception. Regarding conciliation, Montse Ferrer comments on a more amplified conciliation towards all people who want to enjoy their day and their hobbies without the necessary condition of being a mother, so we are very much in agreement with schedules more adaptable to a healthy life.
Finally, we reflect on how we could define female empowerment. Helena tells us very convincingly that everything goes through the state of trust in ourselves. "If we believe we are capable and believe in ourselves we can do what we decided to do."
She states that the movement of solidarity and community among us must become an inspiring message for the new generations of women who know that they too can, like all of us and that together we are part of this social change and transformation. Simple and clear.
Finally, Helena reminds us that she is collaborating with the inspiring project called WeRockCapital, (Business Women Angels) which is about business women who invest in women-led start-ups, in addition to financial investment they also find a mentor who accompanies them along this long and exciting journey called, Entrepreneurship.
Thanks to Helena Torras
Pic by Helena Torras
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