What a weird year! 2020 has been challenging in so many ways. At the same time, many of us have taken this year as an opportunity to self-reflect and develop ourselves, on both a personal and a professional level. At Femme Palette, we’re glad that we could support you through all of this year’s ups and downs. To close out 2020, we wanted to share a year in review of all the initiatives that you were a part of and helped make a reality. Here are some of our big milestones this year.
We added more than 700 new members to the community
Our community grew by 78% -- we started the year with 900 members, and grew to 1600 by the end of 2020, nearly doubling in size! Many of you were able to meet in person early this year, either via our events or independently. In 2021, we’re planning to engage both our newer and long-standing members even further. More to come on this next year!
We organized 7 events and 19 webinars
We started the year strong with a Diversity and Inclusion panel followed by a series of Women in Leadership panels, with appearances in our Prague and Brno locations from powerhouses including Renata Mrazova (Chief People Officer at Home Credit International), Azeneth Ferrero Russell (Head of Global Business Evolution Services at CEMEX), and Maria Anargyrou Nikolic (General Manager Greece & Cyprus Tria Epsilon at Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company). Then, COVID hit. We had to pause our events for a while.
In July, we came back with our Women in Action event, where we listened to inspiring women including Jana Soukupova (Founder and CEO of Youth, Speak Up!), Lenka Kucerova (Managing Director, prague.ai), and Johanna Nejedlova (Co-founder of Konsent) speak about their impactful projects. At the same time, our Brno location hosted a meetup of local female founders. At the end of the summer, we put on our last in-person meetup of the year, so that everyone could see some friendly and welcoming faces after the first lockdown.
While it was tough not to be able to host more events, we also put together 19 webinars for you all on our Youtube channel, to give you more ways to connect. Some of the topics in these webinars include “The Confidence Game” with Dinah Spritzer, “Mental Health Workshop” with Marketa Horakova, and “How to Boost your Career” with Cristina Muntean -- all examples of items that you all mentioned you’d like to spend more time learning about. We’re hoping to continue with our in-person events when the situation allows for this again, but until then, please enjoy this content!
We matched over 170 women with personal mentors
This year, we focused heavily on improving the overall experience in our mentoring program for both our mentees and mentors. We introduced more structure into the mentoring relationship, organized mentor/mentee training sessions, and created a mentor/mentee portal with important resources. We are proud to have been a constant source of support for our mentors and mentees during these challenging times, and we were thrilled to see how well remote mentoring works. We’re so grateful to everyone who put their time and energy into this program. This year over 350 new mentors joined our program to help women with their careers. A big thank you goes out to all of our mentors - both new and existing!
We helped 30+ women develop their leadership skills
In 2020, we launched a formal Leadership Program to help women become better managers and leaders. With the support of excellent workshop and discussion leaders such as Cristina Muntean (Strategic Communications Advisor, Trainer, Mentor and Coach), Julia Christodoulou (former CPO at OAK’S LAB), Miroslava Stodolicova (CFO Czech Republic and Slovakia at AbbVie), and Andra Crisan (Coach & Mentor), and top-notch mentors including Senta Cermakova, Renata Mrazova, Renata Dvorakova, and many many more, we were able to organize three cohorts of our Leadership Program. We’re planning to offer the program again next year, with our fourth cohort starting in February.
We organized the Women’s Startup Challenge
Over the summer, we received over 40 pitch decks from entrepreneurial women in our community. Ten women were selected to present their ideas in front of a group of judges as part of the challenge. Three winners then received mentorship and guidance from 3 VC companies: KOOPEO Ventures, Nation 1, and Garage Angels. Congratulations to Andrea Knopova (ImpromptMe), Barbora Cervenkova (Fjooga), and Jordan Lukes (VettoGO) for their performance!
We started establishing our presence in London and Slovakia
Since our mission is to help as many as women we can with their careers, we launched Femme Palette in London and Slovakia as well. In both locations, we’re also offering our Mentoring programs with access to local mentors. Our goal for 2021 is to continue growing these communities and to establish a stronger presence in these markets.
We started a “Open to Opportunities” initiative
COVID took a toll not only on our mental health, but also professionally, as many of us lost our jobs. For this reason, we started an initiative for people who are actively looking for a job or who are generally open to new opportunities. Miton became our first hiring partner - now, Miton’s portfolio companies will have access to our Open to Opportunities list, and can reach out to potential candidates for their open roles. We also put together videos with advice for the job search process thanks to some of our wonderful mentors, including Tereza Machackova (Talent Partner at Credo Ventures), Evin Shamma (Recruitment Business Partner at Cielo Talent), and Lucia Patoprsta (HR Director at Bonami).
We launched our first Mentoring for Business pilot
During the fall, we ran our first pilot for a business customer: the crowdfunding startup Donio. This pilot helped us refine and polish our B2B offering, which will be another area of focus in 2021. We now also offer free mentoring workshops for companies to help their employees feel cared for, and to instill a learning spirit in their workforces.
We also did a lot more!
- We launched an Ambassador program to help launch Women Support Groups in companies. The current program is running in Red Hat, Kiwi, and Zentiva.
- We created new, unique content for you on our blog.
- We published over 18 episodes of our podcast with guest speakers such as Hana Souckova (Managing Director at SAP), Pavlina Louzenska (Founder of Holky z Marketingu), and Petra Vaskovych (Chief Product Officer at Kiwi.com). For 2021 we’re planning a new theme of our podcast. Stay tuned!
All this could not happen without our amazing team. Huge props to all 15 members of the Femme Palette team who worked tirelessly on all these initiatives and poured their hearts into creating great experiences for our community. Next year will be ambitious. We’ll be working on improving our offerings, adding more programs for personal and professional growth, and launching other initiatives that will ultimately help us achieve our big goal for 2021: helping 500+ women advance their careers.
Thank you so much to you all for following us and supporting us and each other on this journey!