Anna Fill Interviews
Interview with: Theresa Destrebecq - Entrepreneur, mum and President!
The Professional Women's Network exists to help and support women in business, be it in corporate or as entrepreneurs. The Nice Cote d'Azur is a branch of PWN Global, a global movement of people working towards gender balanced leadership through professional development, cross-industry, online an in person networking.
Furthermore the organisation thrives owing to it's volunteers who dedicate their time and energy and belief in the cause.
At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in February a new President was appointed and so The Riviera Woman caught up with Theresa Destrebecq.
1. How and why did you become involved with PWN?
Theresa: I joined PWN shortly after I had coffee with one of it's members, Melanie Gulliver. I was relatively new to the area and was looking for opportunities to do business networking, learn, and also be in a community with other women.
2. You were already a board member and now in your new role as President, what is your mission?
Theresa: Yes, I was the mentoring coordinator for 2 years, prior to being elected President. My mission is the same in PWN as it is with my business--to build a global community of confident, passionate, and empowered women, who have the self-awareness and skills to stay grounded in a storm--even if they dance with a little more energy then normal
3. Equality and diversity, what does this mean to you?
Theresa: Equality, for me, means doing our best to even out the playing field for everyone because we recognize that our society does not value, nor create opportunities in the same manner for ALL people. Diversity, for me, is recognizing and honoring each one of us by seeing our differences, and rejoicing in our likeness.
4. When did you come to France and why?
Theresa: My husband and I came to France in September of 2014, with our then 8 month old daughter. We had often spoken of moving abroad "someday" yet had never put a date on it. Finally, in September 2013, we made a commitment that one year from then, we would be living in another country. At first we thought about moving to New Zealand, but given that I was pregnant, we realized that it was too far from both of our families. We decided to come to France (home for my husband) so that we could be relatively close to his family, and also enable our children to have a better chance of being truly bilingual and bicultural. With that said, we are planning to head to NZ for a year sabbatical in the next 4-5 years.
| "I organize my day by my priorities--
with myself being the TOP priority." |
5. You are a mum of two young children, an entrepreneur and now President of a woman's organisation - how do you organise your day?
Theresa: I organize my day by my priorities--with myself being the TOP priority. I wake up at 6:00am and spend the first hour of my day in meditation, personal contemplation, and/or personal development and learning. Then after I wake up my children and husband and get them off for their day, I exercise for 30 minutes. I don't start my "work day" until 10:00am, and then I work until 4:00pm (12:00 on Wednesdays). When I am on top of things, I organize my day into 30 minute or hour long appointments with myself, with my clients, or with my collaborators, but some days I am not that organized and I do what gets done as I get it done. Many people talk about "not having time" for things, but I truly believe that if it is important to you it's not about having time, but CREATING TIME.
6. How important do you believe a network such as PWN is for women?
Theresa: I believe that networks and organizations aimed at supporting the "underdogs" are extremely important. Society has put its own glass ceiling on women for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, and at the same time we have also put one on ourselves. Having a network of like-minded people, who are in the same boat, is important for providing the inspiration and the practical skillsets for people to navigate and surpass those external and interior barriers. At the same time, I think it is extremely important to include men in the conversation. They cannot adjust their own ways of being and acting if they don't clearly see and understand our situation and our point of view. It needs to be WIN-WIN for everyone, not a never-ending competition.
We asked Theresa our famous 5 questions, and this is how she replied...
1) What makes you smile?
Theresa: My children. My husband. Reading good books. A run in the forest on a sunny day. Looking at my feet in downward dog. Home-made ice cream. Hearing the strength and smile in my clients when they have stepped more fully into their power. Practicing gratitude and seeing the beauty all around me. I could go on...so much makes me smile.
2) What or who inspires you?
Theresa: I can be inspired my so much and so many people, if I allow myself to be opened up to learn and be inspired. My children inspire me to play, to speak my truth, to stay present, to not allow past hurts to linger. The women in my book circle inspire me with their strength and courage, and their willingness to grow into a better version of themselves each day. I am inspired by my sisters, who follow their hearts and do what they love in order to make a greater impact on the planet, whether it be in the ICU or in a workshop. I am inspired by my mother, who is bravely facing down the demon of lung-cancer. I am inspired by "experts" around the world who have created a fulfilling and powerful life for themselves without apology. I am inspired by my fellow PWN members and all that they have already done, and all that they have yet to do and be in the world.
3) Do you believe in gut instincts?
Theresa: I do believe in the power of our intuition, yet often we do not listen to it. Throughout our schooling years, we were trained to use our rational and logical brain, and have lost touch with the quiet, inner wisdom that comes forth in a whisper or in a warm glowing feeling from within.
4) Your three essential things if you were stuck on a desert island would be what?
Theresa: My kindle loaded with books, a solar powered charging station for said kindle, and a device to de-salinate ocean water.
5) If you are planning a day/night out, what do you enjoy doing the most?
Theresa: My favorite days are spent in nature with people that I love. Recently my husband and I planned a night-time snowshoe during the full moon. Unfortunately, it didn't happen, but that would have been majestic.
If you love books, personal growth, and being in a community with other women, consider joining Theresa in her global book circle. You can learn more at www.thrivewithin.com/book-circle.