Up the ladder in a skirt! – Workshop

Maggie Georgopoulos

Join us at the whole Woman Conference to enjoy 8 great workshops from leading women in business.

Maggie Georgopoulos will share her own experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – as well as those of other leading female business executives and entrepreneurs, in a down-to-earth and insightful style that is easy to relate to regardless of your current occupation.

This is not simply a workshop about how women can advance up the career ladder while enduring negative messages, it is also about being a good and effective people manager. Understanding a team’s needs and wants, being respectful and open, and giving team and staff members a platform to discuss issues – whether personal or professional – are skills that both male and female managers need to learn if they want to lead happy and productive teams.

In Up the Ladder in a Skirt, Maggie does not simply discuss aspects of career progression. She also talks about juggling personal lives with careers. Maggie discusses mental health issues, laying bare her own mental illness, and explaining how important it is not only to look after your own mental health but also that of those you lead. During this workshop you will get an introduction to the first 5 basic rungs of the leadership ladder which can be applied, revisited and grown no matter what point you are in your leadership career and whether you are working in an organisation, about to move into employment or are starting out in your own business, or work in and on your own business.

Key take-aways:

  1. How to gain leadership success as a woman in a ‘man’s world’
  2. Discover how to conquer the voices telling you you’re ‘not good enough’
  3. Learn to use a true sense of community to climb the ladder


Our organisers – This is Cathy’s story

Cathy Richardson yoga coachingIn October 2016, I visited Rishikesh with a group of fellow yogis. It was my first ever visit to India, and it was a pretty much full on sensory experience! It was th noisiest, filthiest, poorest, saddest place I had ever visited. It was also the most self-discovering, heart opening and uplifting experiences of my life.

Growing up in South Africa, I thought I understood Third World poverty. But nothing could prepare me for the abject poorness of India. People sleep where they beg, on the dirty streets. The smog in Delhi was thick as fog. You could taste the grit in the air. And in this, people sleep on the sidewalk, on roof tops, on pavements and on the ridges between dual carriageways. Everyone seems to own a moped with a hooter, and the hands are jammed down on these noise-makers constantly. Cows walk freely in the roads of Rishikesh, entering freely and causing traffic jams while residents patiently wait for the holy beasts to pass. And amongst all this, rows of beggard, skinny sadhus and bhabas offering blessings in return for something to eat, streetsellers loudly peddling their wares and the heat blanketing everything in a sweaty, slightly putrefying and deeply stifling blanket. And then the children …

The poor children of India broke my heart. I took a little girl into a shop to buy her a pizza, because I was so touched by her visible hunger. She asked the pizza man to wrap it up, so that she could share it with her brother and mother who were begging in the street. The children vie for attention, money and food, creating noisy diversions with acrobatic contortions. It’s impossible to help everyone. The poverty was overwhelming to me. The blankness of some of the eyes staring out of thin faces made me feel that I had to do something.

And then, we went to Ramana’s Garden.

My yoga students had brought chewable vitamins and children’s underwear to donate. As it happened, they all brought cotton knickers and I turned up with a sack full. The response was unexpectedly deep gratitude. I didn’t realise, until then, how important underwear is for a girl. (I wrote a blog post about the superpowers of cotton knickers you can read it here)

And as we left, after a wonderful visit that included a whole melange of emotions for the plight of this wonderful place that saves children from the most dire circumstances too awful to dwell on, I had my cause. Ramana’s Garden is a happy place. Children are given love, safety, security, education. They are literally given their humanity back here. The awfulness of their earlier lives, which may well include physical andsexual abuse, slavery, trafficking and abandonment (In some cases, all of these at once) is healed by the deepest care, love, service and education. But they are so poor, and there are so many children!

When I told Linda Huckle about this amazing place, there was no question about it. We started planning The Whole Woman Conference there and then.

All the money will be taken to Ramana’s Garden by me personally, to make sure it actually gets there. I will pack the knickers and sanitary products in a large suitcase, and carry that with me too.

Please give generously. It is so little for us to give, yet so much for those in need to receive.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

And namaste xxx

The super powers of cotton knickers

The Super Powers of Cotton Knickers

For us, a simple pair of cotton knickers is such a basic foundational piece of clothing that we don’t even consider it as a luxury. Never mind as an item of amazing power, that can make a difference to our lives!But in India, where people are so poor and have so little, a simple cotton pantie can turn into something truly amazing. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the girls of Northern India. Some of them are lucky enough to end up at Ramana’s Garden, the charity we are supporting. Some are not so lucky. For them life is bleak. Let’s see why:

Super Power 1

Vritti is an orphaned and begging girl child of 8 years old. She is cast as Untouchable. Because of her cast, she is regarded a disposable child. A man drags her into a shop. He lifts her rags, ready to rape her. But she is wearing cotton underpants! Vritti is not unloved. She is not disposable. Someone cares for this girl. If he rapes Vritti, she will tell those who gave her the pants and he may be caught. He drops the child and runs away. This is the power of cotton knickers –  Protecting young girls from sexual molestation.

Super Power 2

Uma loves going to school. She has lived at Ramana’s Garden for 3 years. Now that she is 13, the horrors of the past seem so far away. She is safe, she is no longer hungry and she loves going to school. Except that when her bloods come, she will have to miss school for a week. It is not clean to go to school like that. It will demean her. If only she could get some pants, so that she could cover her naked body and contain the flood, she will not have to lose a week and be behind everyone else. This is the power of cotton knickers – Getting full time education, instead of missing school due to menstruation

Super Power 3

It is so hot! Aruna is not feeling well. The private place between her legs is sore and itchy. Sitting on the dirty street with her naked bottom allows the germs and bacteria from the street to touch her body directly. The bacterial infection may continue indefinitely. If only she had something to cover her naked parts, keep her dry and away from the dirt, she would get better sooner, and maybe not get infected in that way again. This is the power of cotton knickers – Protecting from infections and disease

Along with the ticket price for the Whole Woman Conference, we will ask every attendee to bring cotton knickers or sanitary towels as an entry fee. All of this will be donated to Ramana’s Garden.

Your ticket price for attending The Whole Woman Conference and donations will make the world of difference to a child or a young woman who is not as fortunate as our own children. Your donations could even save a life.  Get your ticket now, and bring your own mother, sister or daughter along. Let’s share the love, give with generosity and celebrate our innate power as women to reach halfway around the world.