Reading Time: 2 minutes
It’s the eve of the launch of F10’s Women 40 over 40 International, the World’s Most Inspiring Women. While I sleep tonight, morning CET, Natascha will direct the team at Fe:maleOneZero to hit the publish button and the campaign will be live.
It’s a quick action. But it represents months, and maybe even years of work. Training, preparation, and hard work.
This juice is really worth the squeeze.
How It Started
In Munich, of course. In January 2019. A burgeoning community of global digital women gather monthly, this time at one of the village’s most unique districts: Werksviertel. The fireside chat is about to commence. I quietly rush back from mingling in the crowd to take my seat. I get settled in and realize: Oh, this is Natascha Zeljko! In the seat immediately to my left. Signs are everywhere.
She is a bad ass editor who is transitioning from a big-publishing-house role to entrepreneurship. She just founded an English (not her first language y’all) language content digital storytelling platform for women: FemaleOneZero, F10. At the break, I chat her up. Natürlich.
That night, we commit to seeing each other again. And we keep that commitment going every single time we met after that. See, we were cooking something up all along, we just didn’t know what yet.
How It Went
Until Natascha shares she wants to bring the mega successful 40 over 40 campaign beyond Germany to the world. The first ever International Edition. She has already executed the campaign to great acclaim in Germany, in 2020 and in 2021. Her vision is grand – women from every single continent; its impact already palpable – I’ve never wanted to be part of anything so much, in my entire life.
I dare to imagine a world where my work and my passion integrate, even if, for just one project.
I had the great honor of participating in the campaign itself as a jury member, alongside this cast of talented and passionate human beings. We also represent all 5 continents.
Each one of us contributed to a long list of candidates. We evaluated each of the nominations individually as jurors and then collectively as a jury. All of us, mostly strangers, in the same digital place at the same time – yet in 6 different time zones, sharing the same commitment to bringing this campaign to life. None of this happens without Natascha.
She and team then spent 4 weeks contacting every. single. nominee. on the long list to get their permission to be featured on 40over40 International. They also wrote a short description for how each nominee inspires us. I make it sound easy here. It’s not.
Oh, I can’t wait for y’all and the world to see the list tomorrow!
What This Work Is About
For me, it’s pretty simple: until there is true equity in how men, women and others are represented in culture, corporations and communities, there can’t be enough examples of women and others for us be inspired from.
We just don’t see enough examples of anything else than, the same old.
I can’t wait until… next year? Nah. For me, it happens now. Because the same old is no longer an acceptable option for me. I am real tired of it.
Most importantly, I can contribute more and do better. I can use my experience, my voice, my network, my platform and my career to show others a different incarnation of leadership, specifically in women. Loudly, boldly, humbly.
It’s about showcasing women who model different roles as a source of inspiration for action in women AND men and others.
It’s about redefining leadership. Through a new lens.
Shout Out to CapGem
This campaign would not exist without the support of Capgemini Invent. Christophe Cases, merci. Liz, my accomplice. FX, I can’t wait to see it from the market. Et voilà!
Stay tuned as we elevate the diversity of thought, choice and mindset of women in leadership, everywhere.