Brazil has become the 44th of the world’s 196 countries to implement the ‘Springboard’ Women’s Development Programme.
Developed by The Springboard Consultancy (SBC), a UK-based international training company specialising in addressing women’s development issues, the programme is being delivered in Brazil by Corinne Giely Eloi, who gave up her job as a marketing director in a multinational company to run the Springboard programme. The programme aims to help women in Brazil – from all backgrounds, ages and stages of their lives – to identify the practical and realistic steps that they want to take to make a better world for themselves at work, home and in their communities, while building the practical skills and confidence to take these steps.
“In 2012, my employer told me that I wasn’t assertive enough to gain promotion,” said Corinne. “I blamed the company ethics, the HR department and others – but then I realized I needed to do something about it for myself. I searched specifically for a training programme for executive women – and found a consultant in France offering the Springboard program.
“Participating in the Springboard programme totally changed my perspective – and I decided that supporting women in their careers and life was what I really wanted to do,” she added. “So, I quit my job; we sold our house in the French Alps and moved, with our son aged 13, to my husband’s home country of Brazil, where Springboard was, at that point, unknown.
“Before I could run Springboard in Brazil, it took a year for me to culturally adapt and translate the workbook and training material, as well as interview and select the programme’s first participants,” Corinne explained. Now, following the successful completion of the first Springboard programme, Corinne has plans to run more programmes, encompassing some 500 women over the next 18 months.
Among Brazil’s Springboard successes are Francine and Sonia.
Francine Spessatto, a divorcee who owns a physiotherapy clinic, was spending most of her time working hard, trying to please everyone. Her Springboard experience has brought her new perspectives, wider horizons – and improved work-life balance.
“Throughout the Springboard path – workbook, exercises, tips, tools, workshops – my questions were transformed into decisions, my anxieties into certitude and my contradictions into clarity,” said Francine. “I feel really privileged and happy to have made this choice!”
After completing the Springboard programme, Sonia has started a new business – as well as adding a meditation routine to her duties as housewife and mother. She said, “These may only be small steps forward but I feel much better about myself and my attitude to life as a result of completing the Springboard programme.”
“As a participant I learned assertiveness and how to shift my anger and frustration into a creative mode,” said Corinne. “I learned how to network, care about my professional image and, above all, care more about my work-life balance – and that affected, positively, my energy level and leadership skills.
“As a trainer, Springboard is a continuous source of gratitude and empowerment. I’m now an entrepreneur and enjoy this new life very much. I’m applying all I learned in my corporate life and transmitting that knowledge and experience to other women in need.
“Brazil is a huge country – the size of Europe – so there’s huge potential for the Springboard programme here,” she added. “And, already, there’s interest in the Springboard programme from all over Brazil – as well as from further afield, in Columbia and Chile.”