In October 2018, Moscow will host the 66th FCEM World Congress. In the run-up to the event, Marie-Christine Oghly, World President of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs (FCEM), visited Moscow for the first time and met Tatyana Gvilava, President of all-Russian Women in Business. They discussed the event’s programme.

Journalists of the Eurasian Women’s Community news agency talked with Marie-Christine Oghly, FCEM World President, and Karin van Mourik, FCEM World Secretary General, to know more about the trends of women’s entrepreneurship and professions of tomorrow.


What is FCEM? What are its members?

Madame Yvonne-Edmond Foinant founded the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs (FCEM) at the end of the Second World War. After that, the Association started developing rapidly. Today it is the largest and the most significant international organisation uniting successful businesswomen from 80 countries. FCEM has consultative status with such organisations, as the UN, UNIDO, the International Labour Organisation, the Council of Europe, and the European Parliament. FCEM World Congresses take place in different countries and bring together the most authoritative and famous politicians, businesspersons, and financial experts.

Being a member of FCEM gives such opportunities, as receiving consultations, information exchange, as well as assistance and support for women entrepreneurs. The Association’s members find new business contacts, jointly realise different programmes, and team up to organise events. They regularly take part in conferences, workshops, roundtables, exhibitions, and charitable actions. According to Marie-Christine Oghly, business associations, one from every country, but not women entrepreneurs as individuals are the actual FCEM members. For example, the all-Russian Women in Business headed by Tatyana Gvilava represents Russia in FCEM.


“Together we are invincible!”

According to Marie-Christine Oghly, FCEM pays much attention to helping women in communication and finding new useful contacts for joint business development.

FCEM also makes every effort in solving problems caused by the so-called ‘glass ceiling’ in economy. The Association contributes actively to the advancement of women in leadership positions. FCEM World President believes that together women can achieve much and their joint efforts will help solve any tasks, even the most difficult ones. By the way, the phrase “Alone we are invisible, together we are invincible” is the motto of the Association.

It is interesting that the Association’s members are representatives of different cultures, mentalities, and religions.

“Such a diversity is the best way for us to grow and get stronger. You develop through communication with representatives of different cultures. This makes every our woman member especially valuable”, said Marie-Christine Oghly.


The 66th FCEM World Congress

The 66th FCEM World Congress in October 2018 will be the first one for Marie-Christine Oghly as the head of the Association.

“At the time when we considered where to hold the Congress, I decided to choose Russia very quickly. FCEM is a non-political organisation and we are women. It is important to show that friendship and peace are the most important things. Sanctions, misunderstanding, and conflict are not that important”, commented Marie-Christine Oghly.

As stated by FCEM World President, one day she would like to hold the Congress in China as well. Unfortunately, this country is not a FCEM member yet.


Features of women’s entrepreneurship

Marie-Christine Oghly does not like to divide men’s and women’s leadership and management. She says that all entrepreneurs irrespective of their gender have the common goal: growing and developing their companies. However, men’s and women’s approaches can differ. According to Marie-Christine Oghly, men invest more, but women pay more attention to people and take care about health and well-being of employees. Women have long ago understood that happy employees are more motivated and more productive. In addition, women entrepreneurs as opposed to men are very careful and more attentive to detail.

According to the speaker, today there are entrepreneurial fields where men represent the majority of labour force. They are engineering and fields related to natural sciences. It takes much effort for women to gain authority and prove their being competent there. As a rule, if women love the fields mentioned, they successfully cope with the challenges. Marie-Christine Oghly is the person who did that. She has shown to the whole world what women in business can do.


Professions of tomorrow

As FCEM World President, Marie-Christine Oghly can say for sure what fields of business involve many women today. As she says, it would be logical to assume that women are most often engaged in beauty industry and start businesses related to clothes and cosmetics. However, that’s untrue. In many countries, women are involved in building, pharmaceutical industry, heavy industry, and aviation. In Africa, for example, women are mostly engaged in agricultural activities.

Entrepreneurial directions related to new technologies are in active development today. As stated by Marie-Christine Oghly, it is necessary to attract women to such fields. In addition, it is important for businesswomen in any sphere to advance their knowledge of IT because it can largely expand their opportunities.

According to the speaker, women should pay more attention to self-development. For example, it is hardly possible to be successful in Europe in case you were a bad student or didn’t study at all. FCEM World President shared about her desire to have a system of trainings aimed at advancement of businesswomen’s professionalism and development of their skills. According to her, leaders of any company should learn all their lives and regularly acquire new knowledge. For example, one of the skills requiring constant training is communication. It is important for entrepreneurs to not only find a common language with clients, but also to understand their emotions.

“As the World President of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs, I wish all businesswomen to grow their businesses and develop themselves. I would recommend meeting and communicating with different people, representatives of different cultures and fields of activity. This can turn out very useful for development of your business and your own self-development”, finished Marie-Christine Oghly.

“And I wish every woman in the world that she follows her heart. She should go where her heart wants to go. Then she will be successful and happy”, said Karin van Mourik.

Nikolay Gavrilov, Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov