Last Updated on Thursday, 10 December, 2020 at 12:19 pm by Andre Camilleri
Helga Ellul, President of CORE Platform
At the end of 2015 CORE Platform, of which I am President, was set up. The scope and purpose of this Platform is to serve as an educator and enabler to raise awareness of the importance of adopting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a business philosophy and as a management concept for a successful business. It also encourages businesses, the voluntary sector as well as the public sector to work together to create sustainable community projects.
CORE Platform has been managing and participating in various local and EU-funded projects, all revolving around corporate responsibility and sustainable business. In a number of them, including one of the most recent projects that involved the creation of a National Action Plan on CSR in Malta, we addressed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which are all linked to CSR.
In these projects, both Gender Equality as well as empowerment of women were given a lot of importance. Even though it is on the agenda worldwide, we realized that the situation needs critical attention in Malta, as the percentage of women making it to the top in business or in politics is far below EU standards. COVID-19 has, in fact, dramatically increased the gender gaps and has reversed positive trends.
It was therefore of utter importance to create the Astra Project, where CORE Platform partnered with Weave Consulting. The whole focus of the Astra project, based on findings of research in the area of women leadership in business, is to create a mentoring programme that can empower talented and ambitious women in Malta to step up in their careers. The project is led by Dr. Roberta Lepre, founder and managing director of Weave Consulting and is funded by the Voluntary Organisations Project scheme (VOPs). The mentoring programme is to address barriers and obstacles faced by women at the workplace. It will help nurture, support and empower women in becoming promising leaders capable of being positive forces of change. The benefits of mentoring are myriad. For individuals, studies show that professional mentoring can lead to greater career success, including promotions, higher earnings and increased opportunities.
This subject is also very personal to me. It was way back early in my career, that my boss (the owner of the company I worked for) took me on and became my mentor. It was thanks to his
professional guidance, to his constant challenging me and making me realise my strengths and concentrating on them that I managed to make it to the top. As a woman CEO of one of the largest manufacturing companies in Malta, I soon became a role model for many young women in Malta. In our company, the young Maltese women in my team looked up and said – if she can do it – so can I. And they did it. I encouraged them all the way and mentored them. Quite a number are still in top positions today.
It was also very obvious that the diversity we had in our management teams – gender as well as culture (German and Maltese) were part of our winning formula. What we had way back in our company has in recent years been talked about by HR consultants and motivational speakers as being the way forward to success.
Therefore, the ASTRA project is close to my heart. The mentoring will be complemented by a series of expert-lead workshops that will coach in business development, planning, leadership skills and creativity. Through this project, companies have the possibility to build up candidates in their organisation for senior leadership roles, which in the times ahead, when we need different skills for the ‘new normal’, that will be essential for companies to succeed.
However, for the project to be successful, it needs your help. The ASTRA team has launched a campaign through the ZAAR Crowdfunding Platform to raise funds. Any individual, business, organisation and entity can donate by accessing the project campaign page in http://www. Zaar.com.mt/projects/astra. There are a number of rewards for donations including the participation in a motivational workshop by Robyn Pratt, an equality and diversity policy, a gender impact assessment, as well as taking part in the Astra mentoring programme.
We – CORE Platform and Dr. Roberta Lepre – are counting on you for your contribution.
Give our talented women in Malta a better chance to reach the top.