HER GLOBAL network brings together women globally to share experiences and trade knowledge. We met with its founders Sofia Kacim and Aleksandra Avli in their hometown Stockholm to discuss the power of HER.
WHAT IS THE POWER OF A FEMALE NETWORK SUCH AS HER?
For a long time power has been equal to I. HER is representing and acting in WE. It’s not excluding people it’s including people that have for a long time felt as they are not shaping their societies and themselves in a meaningful and vulnerable way.
AA: We in HER are firm to our values, and we act accordingly. HER is the reflection of all our members and our mutual wish for a safe and self made space that changes us both professionally and personally. HER has become that new religion where power is true connection to other people and thereafter represents a deeper meaning to life. That’s #powerofHER!
WHAT DOES FEMINISM MEAN TO YOU?
AA: Feminism for me is a personal categorisation of my emotions and self respect. It represents every woman that wants to be heard and treated as a human. It’s a beautiful word that awakes warm feelings of growth and meaning for me. In both HER and HON we want to turn these positive feelings into opportunities and concrete actions for change. We are not interested in waiting until everyone else is deciding on our future and our voices (read government, corporate companies and global policies) We feel ready now to get to the core of challenges and as a HER community help one another forward.
IT’S AN INVITE-ONLY NETWORK, HOW DOES IT WORK?
SK: We work with curated invites because we want to know more about all our members and why they are interested in being part of the HER network. We also aim to confirm that our values of asking and giving energy to one another are respected by the individual member. The way that we have grown is through current HER members referring new members and that is really a luxurious way of seeing that all our members are being our biggest advocate and ambassadors for the network. Then of course we also meet a lot of women in our daily work and life and invite them to our HER nests because we know she’s a HER!
WHAT FEMALE LEADER DO YOU LOOK UP TO RIGHT NOW?
AA: Every woman born with zero privileges – my mother represented that background once upon a time, and it’s getting more and more obvious to me how difficult it is to clime that ladder without the right tools, or community as support.
But if you really want to squeeze names out of me I say all our Founding Members of HER Global. These women inspire me so much and represent what it means to be a world-class leader to her community with one ear to the ground and the other in full action. That’s a woman I want my future child to learn from.
DO YOU HAVE AN EARLY MEMORY OF BEING AROUND STRONG WOMEN?
SK: Both of us are raised by very strong mothers that have impacted us with the values of authenticity and vulnerability and the importance of being real and true to one self no matter the situation. We know their individual life journey and their way of expressing womanhood from different cultures and embracing that has subconsciously given us the best start to life possible. It’s visible in us in the way we work, breath, build and love. We feel both very proud of the role models our mothers are and hoping that they feel the same about us too, and HER.
ALEKSANDRA, YOU ARE ABOUT TO LAUNCH HON (HER ONLINE NETWORK), A PROFESSIONAL NETWORK FOR WOMEN. HOW WILL IT WORK AND DIFFER FROM OTHER NETWORKS?
For many many generations, we have focused on the individual (male) drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. And all that is still valid. But today we also live by the rule that success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others, and how we contribute to others’ journeys. The most meaningful way to succeed in our time is to help others to succeed. The entrepreneur today is the hero of our time. But you can’t be what you can’t see, right? We need many more female role models and we want to give women the power to share her own story in a authentic way that syncs with our values as a community, where we’re allowed to be vulnerable and real.
HON will be every woman’s personal role model, a community of voices that will be connected by authenticity for professional growth. Every HON member will be able to ask her community what she needs and in return give another member the same energy back. For this to happen we have built and carefully designed the digital tools that represent these values. Our HON mission is to strengthen the relations between self-made women globally and contribute to a bigger female representation in our societies.
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
AA: My mother, no matter if am 6 years or 32 she’s there for me and always has my back. She taught me what it means to have important relations with people in your life and what self awareness is. Two key parts of humanism 2.0 that we are never taught in school or in our public lives. I grew up seeing her build a new life in a new country, and during all this time she never changed her personality and her own will to help others while she was being helped herself.
WHERE DO YOU SEE HER IN FIVE YEARS?
SK: HER is growing together with all its global members all being from different cultures and industries. HER is there until we need HER. We don’t have a development plan out of corporate interests, only out of members’ interests. HER is there to serve women with a global community for personal growth and allow every woman the right to be herself. I hope one day to bring my daughter into HER, and raise her as a HER tribe woman, where she can learn what it means to be a woman and how she can be part of the journey of others that are not like HER.