5 things 5 years (in Brussels) have taught me

When I arrived in this city, I never imagined I’d be here long enough to be in the eye cream market, or to afford eye cream for that matter. I certainly never imagined I’d have to make decisions like do I buy the night one or the day one or both? So in light of this major rite of passage, I feel it is time to share some of the collected wisdom the five year journey to eye cream has brought me. Some of it might be useful. Most is probably not.

Can we escape from the dinosaurs of EUrassic World?

In the week that dino-thriller Jurassic World has broken box office records, Politico Europe published a story about a group of dinosaurs running riot in another institution, the European Union. In a front-page article, Politico discusses the exploits of “the most exclusive dining club in Brussels”. Dubbed “the G5”, the dining club consists of Commission…

A World Leader Unlike the Rest

On Thursday November 20th, 2014, I attended the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations World Leaders Forum. I was energized and inspired by keynote speaker, Leymah Gbowee who is a Liberian Peace Activist and the 2011 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She is eighth in a prestigious line of speakers at the…

Excuse me while I contribute to the economy

I once visited a hotel in Holland with a pool with a wave-machine. Push a button and waves would start rolling towards you, thus helping you build upper body strength. Start your own business in Belgium, combine it with motherhood and you get a perfect reenactment of that experience. Being an entrepreneur is already a…

Quite Interesting Numbers from #EUdebate2014

We’re not sure what happened to the rest of Europe, but last night the French and Belgian twitterspheres were positively ebullient with European Election commentary. The focus was on four out of six hopefuls for the next European Commission Presidency. Four hopefuls perhaps better summed up as, “three old men and a young woman” according to Martin…

Young Women in Online Startups: The Takeaways

For Leadarise Dublin’s first panel discussion we invited three young women in online startups to share their experiences with us: Catríona Barry is the co-founding CEO of Trakax.com, which provides consumers with the tools to create original videos. They currently operate products on PC and Android, which are tailored for beginners, allowing them to take…

Yes we can (make a difference)

Three Points We Should Take Away from President Obama’s Speech in Brussels The full video For many of us involved in the Leadarise movement, President Obama’s speech in Brussels on Wednesday may have come as an afterthought, as we were all so thrilled to see Leadarise’s co-founder Laura Hemmati introduce the President himself.  However, President…

New Day New Start

Every year, I anticipate Naw Ruz or Norouz (Persian new year) with the kind of giddy excitement I remember from my childhood. This ancient festival, which pre-dates even the Zoroastrian religion, is a joyous celebration of the coming of spring, the renewal of life and the anticipation of new beginnings. Perhaps all the parties and…

Making Waves

One can wonder what makes a bunch of ladies and gentlemen attend a talk on migration on a cold March evening. One could answer that the topic is trendy, everywhere on media and political discourse. Others could also argue that in a city like Brussels we are all migrants and that it may be time…

We’re not all Sheryl Sandbergs

If you’ve been reading about women in the workplace recently, you’ve undoubtedly heard a swarm of people advising women to be bolder, louder and to raise their hands more often. Sheryl Sandberg has become a household name known for her call to action, encouraging women to “Lean In” to their careers rather than sit back….

First impressions

We all know the importance of first impressions. Some people may care less about them than others, but there’s no getting around them in the world of work where time is moolah. Within a few minutes of meeting a person, we’re deciding whether they are interesting, valuable, attractive, funny or dull as dishwater. You can…

Chequemate

Should dating get more up-to-date with modern attitudes towards gender? A study by Rosanna Hertz, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology at Wellesley College found that at the end of most dates guys are still picking up the bill and that the majority of men and women still think they should, particularly on the first…