Natalia Milchakova: “Dancing Changes Your Attitude to Life”
Successful tax expert sharing about the power of creativity
Business is the field of activity, in which people are especially vulnerable to stress. It is a must for those who daily bear a heavy load of responsibilities to relax and charge with energy from time to time. Natalia Milchakova knows about that from her own experience. It took her more than 20 years to make successful career in a major international company. After achieving professional success in tax matters, Ms. Milchakova moved on to realisation of a social project and opened a dancing studio. There she helps people charge with new energy and learn to better understand themselves.
Natalia Milchakova expert in the field of international taxation, initiator and manager of a social dancing project
Natalia Milchakova has 25 years of professional experience in the tax field. She worked at the Department of International Taxation of the Ministry of Finance of the USSR. Ms. Milchakova spent more than 22 years working at the Price Waterhouse international audit company (PricewaterhouseCoopers since 1997). In the 1990s, good specialists with economic education knowing foreign languages were especially demanded. That is why Natalia’s career developed rapidly. Together with other employees, she assisted Western companies in starting business in Russia and helped Russian entrepreneurs create modern business structures. Young specialists worked at an average 6 days a week, 10 hours a day, receiving the valuable experience of professional development. Sometimes, it was difficult because at that time Natalia Milchakova already was a mother of a little baby. However, there couldn’t be any excuses in the business world. Ms. Milchakova had to find opportunities to combine her professional and family duties.
Despite all challenges, Natalia Milchakova recalls that time with pleasure. She was lucky enough to be in a team that supported her and gave her opportunities for professional growth and personal development.
In 1995, Ms. Milchakova became the first Russian partner in the Price Waterhouse international company and the first woman partner in its Moscow subsidiary. Only 3 years after that other women became candidates for partnership positions at different departments of the company. The new women executives were to work together in teams with their male colleagues.
“I understood how difficult it would be for those women to settle into their new roles in teams where all relations, conversations, and decision-making were based on patterns typical for men’s environment. I thought I could become a mentor to my female colleagues”, says Natalia Milchakova.
She appealed to the international headquarters of the company with this question. It turned out that the group of women partners in the PW administration had been already established on the initiative of several women. Its task was to help in the development of leadership qualities of women directors and partners, popularize and spread interesting initiatives on supporting women making career in the company, for instance, by means of creating flexible working conditions for young mothers. Natalia Milchakova and other women partners joined the community and became its active members.
Today, the topic of women’s leadership and professional development is once again becoming increasingly relevant in Russia and worldwide. Despite the fact that Natalia’s professional activities now do not relate to it, this topic is still interesting for her. She is planning to take part in projects related to working out the gender policy of the company.
“Sound gender policy of the state at all levels must ensure sustainable development of the economy and society in the future”, she believes.
Another important issue that Natalia Milchakova is interested in relates to improving the quality of life of people, decreasing the level of stress, and achieving the harmonious state, in which a person can develop better. Sha has already discovered the truly magical power of creativity.
Ms. Milchakova went in for ballroom dancing at the age of 50. The new hobby completely changed her life.
On the one hand, dancing is physical load. On the other hand, it is psychological load relief. Doing it regularly helps people not only be in good shape, better feel their bodies, become more confident but also receive positive energy from the aesthetics of dancing, beauty of costumes, music, performing the dance, and participation in competitions.
“I met a number of wonderful people of different age who overcame hardships at tournaments in different countries. Dancing is love towards life that unites every one of them. Dancing changes people, gives them support, and make them be optimistic”, explained Natalia Milchakova.
After finishing the professional career of tax consultant, Ms. Milchakova became the initiator of a social project and opened her own dancing studio. “Over the years of work of our studio, we taught dozens of people to dance and enjoy it, conducted a number of workshops and teambuilding activities for corporate clients, showcase tournaments, prepared marriage- and contest-related dance numbers, and organised several thematic dancing parties”, she said.
According to Natalia Milchakova, the potential of ballroom dancing is huge, including that in addressing many issues in the companies where their personnel is a core value.
Dancing classes can be used as a tool for building loyalty, improvement of the environment in the collective, motivation and encouragement of employees, creation of creative atmosphere, and removing barriers between different departments.
Today, the social dancing project is actively developing, new ideas and formats are being realised. Natalia Milchakova started her cooperation with the Institute for the Humanities and Information Technologies (IGUMO). In the new academic year, she will deliver dancing classes to its students in order to help young people reach harmony and be confident, inspire their love towards creativity and positive worldviews. Dancing makes all of that possible.
Ms. Milchakova wishes every person to find the field of activity where his or her energy and skills will bring the maximum use to people around. When being inspired by something, we continue to share our inspiration with other people, thus helping them become happy.
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Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov