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Larisa Miller: We are the Rule Breakers, Change Makers and the Glass Ceiling Breakers

By Sujany Baleswaran

Women are born multi taskers – we juggle multiple responsibilities, whether that’s preparing a pitch for work tomorrow, doing the frantic morning school run, creating strategies to enhance a business or cooking dinner for our family by 7 pm. We can be fierce and courageous, but also nurturing and compassionate. Women entrepreneurs in the male-dominated world of business gathered on last Wednesday in Global Woman’s virtual room to welcome Larisa Miller, CEO of Phoenix Global and one of the most influential women in the world of business. Invited by Mirela Sula, Founder and CEO of Global Woman, Larisa took the stage to share her words of empowerment. 

Many of us are waiting for normality to return after the chaos of COVID-19, but maybe we should consider not returning to the world of 2019. Larisa confidently claims that the ‘the legacy business model’ that has been kept untouched for decades, even centuries, needs to go straight in the trash, and what better time to do that than now? When we entered 2020, our businesses were only a hands reach away from people. The digital turn of the pandemic opened up our businesses to a global audience. You could be on a completely different continent, but we’ve made it work. Women have the opportunity to balance their life and work and still create a profitable business.

As the UN states, ‘this is the century of women’ and this is the era we rise, join in solidarity and become the problem solvers of the future, or as Larisa boldly put it, ‘we are the rule-breakers, change-makers and the glass ceiling breakers.’ To the mothers reading this, you are aware of the pivotal power you have – one sick child can change your whole plan for that day or even week, but you have the strength to pull through and make it work. Women have the skill to change and adjust, and they thrive in the business world. There are 252 million women entrepreneurs in the world, and the percentage of women entrepreneurs has increased by 115% in the last 20 years.

The corporate world is starting to understand the importance and the positive impact women have in a business setting. Companies are gradually diversifying, but there’s still a lot more room for change. Women still remain undervalued, underestimated, underworked and underpaid, but we can make those changes. We need to ensure we are a valued member of a team, and we have every right to be at the table. If we are refused a seat at the table, we create our own. We can’t be passive and wait for someone to notice our potential – confidently and proudly show your work and capabilities. Don’t doubt your decisions because whilst you’re doubting yourself, someone else has already made that decision and now you’re a few steps behind. And as Larisa beautifully puts it, ‘some days we’ll encounter smooth sailing and other days a storm,’ and that will make us question everything and test our courage.

The virtual room was left with so many powerful insights but most importantly, Larisa reminds us that the power of women lies with other women. She encourages us to surround ourselves around women who will mention our name in a room full of opportunities, advising us to competitively collaborate. 

It Couldn’t Be Done’ by Edgar Guest – a poem read to Larisa as a child by her father, and it’s truly heartwarming how a children’s poem can give you the strength and motivation to push through, regardless of how old you are. 

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done

      But he with a chuckle replied

That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one

      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin

      On his face. If he worried he hid it.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;

      At least no one ever has done it;”

But he took off his coat and he took off his hat

      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,

      Without any doubting or quiddit,

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

      There are thousands to prophesy failure,

There are thousands to point out to you one by one,

      The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,

      Just take off your coat and go to it;

Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing

      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.\

Mirela Sula is the CEO and Founder of Global Woman Magazine and Global Woman Club. Mirela has worked in media and education for the last 20 years and has a speaking experience from all around the world. Her background is in psychology and counseling, journalism, teaching, coaching, women’s rights, and media training. Mirela is also the organiser of the Global Woman Summit and Global Woman Awards. She has appeared on Channel 5, London Live TV, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour, Sky TV and has also been featured in the 'Evening Standard', 'The Guardian', “Marie Claire” etc. She is best selling author and has helped more than 100 women to publish their books. It was in 2014 Mirela created Migrant Woman Talks, a platform for women to share their stories and experience of life in a new country. By the end of 2019 Mirela had created more than 25 Global Woman Clubs for women all over the world, and she has helped hundreds of women to unlock their potential, start their business and take it Global! Mirela has received many awards for her work, including the ‘Inspirational Award for Women 2015’ for Human Rights, the ‘Best Up-And-Coming Inspirational Influencer’ Award from The Best You, in 2017 and the Universum Donna Award 2017 from the Universum Academy of Switzerland. Mirela is passionate about empowering women worldwide and always stands up for inclusion, diversity, gender balance and supporting the next generation. Her mission is to create a global movement to improve the future for women, by economically empowering each woman.

Founder of Global Woman