More than a dozen determined mothers left the Kaleidoscope Competence pilot course with new experience, helpful advice and, in many cases, also with regained self-confidence. The busy course programme helped a heterogeneous group of women (mothers with small children, Roma women, university graduates) to map their abilities and skills. Course participants met at the Office of the Public Defender of Rights in Brno for 4 days in late May and early June 2017.
Although at the beginning of the course most women were too shy to talk about themselves and their lives, the last day showed how little could help to a mutual trust and openness. An interactive form of the course and an active and dynamic approach on the part of lecturers raised an interest and broke barriers among women. They received a positive feedback from lecturers and also from other course participants which brought another dose of encouragement.
The course was primarily about recognizing one´s strengths. Tasks and activities helped participants to identify abilities and skills that they could apply in the labour market. Women often underestimated themselves – but the course showed to them that even childcare could help to develop important skills. For example the ability to organize time and work is a key characteristic necessary not only for mothers, but also for people in managerial positions.
On one of the 4 course days the lecturers gave the floor to an HR specialist Denisa Janatová from a personal agency Advantage Consulting. She explained, for instance, what to avoid when writing one´s CV or how to make the CV impressive. She also described what a job interview might look like. Women learnt inter alia that an employer or HR person should not ask about a family situation, pregnancy or sexual orientation.
Participants had the chance to practise a job interview. It took the form of a “quick date”. Women had to find out as much information as possible about their counterparts in just a few minutes. They practised both the role of an employer and a job seeker. Tricky questions from real job interviews were included. Thus women were able to go through a test job interview and prepare themselves for unpleasant situations or questions.
Lecturers Kateřina Hodická and Kateřina Kelarová concluded the course by awarding certificates to participants. Besides them the women took home a lot of experience, useful pieces of advice and a smile on their lips.
Author: Nikola Málková