Q & A with Our Advisory Board Member Rick Zednik

 

“The mission to increase the representation of women leaders in workplaces and the marketplace sounds simple but can be powerfully transformative. To support efforts towards this mission, I will relate my experience of working with women political leaders and of serving on several boards previously. But perhaps most of all, I look forward to hearing the stories of the remarkable leaders in this community and using my media and communications experience to share those stories both inside and outside the community.”- Rick Zednik

 

Tell us about yourself and your role in your organisation

I’m seeking solutions for the world my two teenage daughters will inherit. Via Pangea Connections, the consultancy I co-founded with my wife, I offer rising leaders and international organisations the communication skills and leadership lessons I’ve gained over more than two decades in senior management roles. As Managing Director of Women Political Leaders (WPL), the global network of female politicians, I directed WPL Summits co-hosted with the parliaments of Japan (2019), Lithuania (2018), and Iceland (2017), and consulted on summits in Jordan (2016) and Ethiopia (2015). Before joining WPL, I served 2008-2016 as CEO of Euractiv, the independent EU policy news network, where I remain Vice Chair of the Board. Previously, I directed pan-European marketing for The Wall Street Journal from 2002 to 2008. My career began as a journalist at The Slovak Spectator newspaper, which I co-founded in 1995.

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

In the midst of the Cold War, I was born in West Germany to a mother from the United States and a father from Czechoslovakia. When the wider world was bitterly divided, my parents had the curiosity and the courage to explore each other’s worlds. That appreciation for seeking different perspectives has stuck with me as I lived in Japan, married a British-Canadian, raised kids in Belgium, and travelled across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Like people, organisations and societies get smarter and stronger by integrating diverse experiences. But it doesn’t happen automatically. To become a reflex, inclusion requires sustained attention and intention.

How do you promote and support gender diversity and inclusion in your place of work?

My current home office is perfectly gender-balanced: it’s just my wife and me! But more seriously, we all know this isn’t a question of numbers. It is a matter of behaviour. I’m constantly learning, constantly striving to improve. As I do so, I aim to positively influence the gender dynamics of organisations where I serve on boards or work on projects. This happens in formal ways like codes of conduct and intentional recruiting. But mostly it happens in informal behaviours that build a culture of what is desirable or what is unacceptable.

Tell us why you have chosen to support the Rise & Lead Women?

Since I attended the Rise & Lead Summit 2019, I’ve been impressed by the community it builds. More than most comparable events, it really attracts participants from a wide range of backgrounds — and at different stages in their leadership journey — and yet encourages positive energy of openness, which fosters growth.

As an Advisory Board member of Rise & Lead Women, how do you envision promoting our mission and making an impact on the community?

The mission to increase the representation of women leaders in workplaces and the marketplace sounds simple but can be powerfully transformative. To support efforts towards this mission, I will relate my experience of working with women political leaders and of serving on several boards previously. But perhaps most of all, I look forward to hearing the stories of the remarkable leaders in this community and using my media and communications experience to share those stories both inside and outside the community.

To read Rick’s full bio, click here: https://www.riseandleadwomen.com/team/rick-zednik/

We welcome to be a part of the movement to close the gender leadership gap 

https://www.riseandleadwomen.com/support/