Melita Cepin is an Oxford trained in organizational and educational transactional analysis (social psychology), and she is committed to working with people who realize their potential but can’t find a way to use their talents to succeed. She has a great passion and responsibility to contribute to the world, which is to help women achieve economic empowerment and thus create a different future for our daughters.
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
I grew up in a relatively rural environment, and people relied heavily on each other for help. Probably the most important lessons I took away from my childhood are that people are much stronger together and that life is better, less lonely, and less intimidating when shared with the broader community and family. We act as a community rather than as individuals. And, especially in these times when the growth of individualistic societies is advertised, we can see consequences that are not enviable. Through all periods of my life, I have met and stayed close to many people, and I still open doors and opportunities for cooperation whenever there is a chance. I have always liked spending time among people to seek experiences, opinions, and different perspectives and then in isolation to think, reflect and see what works better in life and what does not. My social circles have always been very diverse, and here, I have found endless fields for learning and opportunities to work together.
Tell us something about your organization. What is it about and how is it helpful for people?
Women in entrepreneurship have unique needs, and Uella understands that. Uella prioritizes strengthening aspects of female leadership that are typically neglected in the business world, including developing effective communication skills, creating healthy boundaries, navigating difficult negotiations, handling discrimination, and incorporating inclusivity. By helping women develop these emotional skills, we are helping them to shape the landscape of the business world.
The world needs more of us. Women in business tend to found companies that have more social impact that emphasize emotional connections. In business, we are starting to see the importance of vulnerability and authenticity, and we believe that women have a special place in this new world.
Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.
Two events led me to shift my work from corporate to individual help for women. One is that I moved from a country with a relatively low gender gap in all areas to a country with high economic gender inequality, especially for a developed European country. The experience of endless discrimination and closed doors because of my gender affected me deeply at first, and I experienced a lot of sadness. However, with the birth of my daughter (the second crucial event), the realization grew that I want to participate in creating a more women-inclusive and gender-diverse world for the next generation. This was my driver to refocus my professional interests. Every day, raising my daughter reminds me of the problem and gives me the strength, energy, and passion not to give up. But the road is difficult and painful many times.
While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?
In the pandemic, among many other things, we realize how strong the human need for structure is—structure in various contexts. Suddenly, we have lost our ways of structuring our mornings, commuting to work, taking our meals, doing our tasks, using our time, recreation, social events, spending evenings, and even how we structure our thoughts. It all became messy and confused, located in our homes, among other people, if we didn’t live alone. Loss of structure means loss of control and predictability. These two give us a sense of safety. Since we lost the whole ”being safe” experience in general, the structural loss made us feel even more insecure, scared, and many more mental and emotional states that we could experience. My learning was to make at least a little bit of structure in my days- I meticulously planned meals, and I planned mornings before everyone got up so I could still have the routine that I needed, even though that meant I was up earlier than I wanted or needed to be. So I have changed some habits and forced myself to do activities incorporating structure in monotonous days, and I am still using this approach. I pay attention to structures. I need to be calm and use my psychological and physical capacity. I make an extra effort to satisfy my structural needs that I wasn’t even aware of before, yet lack of it impacted my spirit and productivity.
What has been the response of the consumers towards your venture?
This is one thing that is very difficult, especially for women, to praise themselves. Perhaps my most significant success or advantage is working in an international environment, which puts me in constant contact with different cultural backgrounds and perspectives. This makes my work with clients broader; we look for solutions to their problems in depth and from many angles. The results of my work are seen when clients achieve their goals, such as attracting investment, recruiting more suitable people for their team, open communication and respectful culture in their companies, and many other positive changes and successes of my clients, which are also my successes.
How has your life changed because of your venture?
My life is more demanding; my family needs to adapt in many ways, and at the same time, it is more meaningful, deeper, and more fulfilling.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
Absolutely, closing the economic gender gap-this could impact many aspects of society.
Give a motivational message for the audience/women who are reading this.
Don’t be afraid to make a change at any point of your life. And keep going!