Meet Pavla Lokajova from the Czech Republic

Us modern-day women don’t consider ourselves wonder women. Peer support and empowerment is thus crucial.

„I might just have found a perfect match for us,“ my friend Vladi texted me the other day. We were tiptoeing around each other for quite some time, trying to find an arrangement that would allow us to meet regularly, discuss business, share knowledge and grow side by side. Kind of like a small, two people only mastermind group. But we were lacking both structure and commitment to actually sit down and do it.

Then, Vladi (left) came across the Philia Programme. As soon as she mentioned the coaching frame made by two badass women, one currently in Afghanistan, the other regularly empowering women in Africa through workshops, I WAS HOOKED. I liked the vibe of sisterhood. Our first Skype felt like the beginning of something fun and remarkable, although I did have three concerns in my head.

First off, weekly sessions and progress tracking looked like a lot of work. I have been already struggling to find balance in my role as editor-in-chief and newly established entrepreneur. Can I really commit to this and follow through?

Second, peer-to-peer coaching. I have been coached in the past and I have had great result and guidance, but that was someone professional. Will we really benefit from interaction on the same level? Will Vladi get me? And more importantly, will I be able to deliver?

Third, a purely female environment. So the thing is The older I get the more I appreciate female energy around me, the creativity, flow and power that comes with it. BUT – where there are ambitious women, there is competition. And with competition comes comparison. I see my peer girl Vladi, global advisor for Anthemis Group, as someone who has succeeded on an international level. My intuitive reaction was: What if I have nothing to give to this wonderful woman?

I tracked this thought pattern as it emerged during the introduction session and I realized this was a good thing for me. I truly want to learn to co-exist in a female environment, be open, hold space for one another and, eventually, thrive.

The generation we belong to is hungry to succeed in a sustainable way. Quoting New Yorker Nikisha Brunson, founder of Urban Bush Babes: “I am a modern-day woman – but I don’t consider myself a wonder woman. So I have to build a world that works for me.” I want to learn how to do that. That’s basically why I chose Philia.

In a nutshell:

  • This should be fun – and a lot of digging, too!
  • We discussed the arrangement, time and space for our weekly calls. Friday mornings turned out to be working for us, some sessions online and some face-to-face.
  • Vladi’s biggest challenge would be scheduling in the sessions in her tight travelling lifestyle, mine would be to be vulnerable and ask for support.
  • Although we’ve met 10 years ago as university freshmen, we only became closer quite recently, so there is a lot of contexts we are yet discovering about each other. We have a similar mindset and worldview and that’s what brought us closer. Will that be enough for peer to peer coaching? We’ll find out soon enough.