Vision Sponsor

Meet Danusia Malina-Derben, our Vision sponsor and founder of School for Mothers...

Why did you choose to sponsor the Mpower National Business Awards?

The Mpower National Business Awards celebrate the incredible work and stories of mothers nationally – how could we not be involved? School for Mothers believes in the undeniable value mothers bring to the business world. Too often mothers are considered as liabilities. This is simply not the case; Mothers are untapped business advantage.

Why did you choose the Vision category?

We chose the Vision category because it’s a core value central to School for Mothers and how we work. We consult with progressive businesses who have the vision to work out how to best support and amplify the talents of their Mothers beyond flexible working, lactation rooms and childcare vouchers.

What do see as being the biggest challenges facing mums in business?

Three of the biggest challenges are:

  1. Mums in business are overwhelmed by the intersection of pressures and demands on them in both business and in motherhood. Time for respite and for themselves is often limited
  2. Mums in business are underestimated once they have a family - it’s a myth that mothers lose their talents or ambitions because they have children
  3. Mums in business face exorbitant child care costs

Tell us a bit about your own business journey?

I was a senior business school academic in the UK and USA. I rose from ESRC Research Fellow to senior levels as an Organisational Behaviour (OB) and Development (OD) expert.

After leaving my tenured academic post I built a leadership development consultancy specialising on C-level execs and Boards. Through this C-suite consulting I influence the way Boards strategise; redirect company vision, reignite C-suiters influence and re-align their leadership prowess. My knowledge and background in cross-cultural Organisational Behaviour and Development have enabled me to work impactfully with clients in Europe, North America, Asia, Australasia, Africa and Antarctica.

In 2018 I launched School for Mothers to upend old narratives and practices that limit the potential of individual mothers and those collectively within businesses. The School for Mothers Podcast delves beyond emotional clichés and outdated stereotypes about mother’s lives, and what matters to them. My upcoming book, Messages from a Mother of Ten: on Work, Family and Freedom sets out new paradigms for ambitious mothers who want more than balance. I have a unique standpoint when discussing women’s careers and children since I had 2 children in my teens, 3 children in my twenties, 2 children in my thirties and 4 children in my forties.

What is your number one piece of advice to mums in the early stage of business?

You are far more equipped to be in business than you can imagine. The skills that being a mother develops, make you a laser focused doer, adept problem solver, master negotiator, expert manager and so much more. Step into your expanded skill set - you can do this.

How does your company help mums in business?

We help mums in business in three ways:
1. Corporate Consulting - we work with progressive companies to optimise the
commercial impact and success of mothers.
2. SFM Podcast - sometimes taboo, often seemingly ordinary, always honest – our
podcast offers smart listening for savvy mothers . Each episode features women quite
different from one another, yet all (in their own ways) seeking versions of freedom, as
ambitious modern mothers.
3. Me Sheets - a simple tool to help mothers not only accomplish multiple tasks but more importantly to place themselves in the centre of their own lives. #MeSheetsWin

What are you most looking forward to at the finals Gala on June 29th?

Celebrating the gigantic power of mothers and all that they achieve. As a mother myself I know what it takes to create business while raising a family so I’ll alternate between fierce cheering and having a lump in my throat as the Gala unfolds. I can’t help but look forward to meeting the finalists of the Vision category, that’ll be special!

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