This two year project funded through Grundgtvig Lifelong Learning was to look at the issues that face women finding employment or setting up their own business in rural areas. The project partners from Spain, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Germany, Cyprus and the UK took part in study visits hosted in each of their regions to explore the common issues facing women seeking employment in rural areas, how the problems had been addressed in each region and to share best practice that could be transferred to other regions.
Training was delivered to a UK/ Ireland organisation who were working will colleagues across Europe. Some meetings were held online while others took place face to face. Both these types of meetings have their own protocol which is influenced by the cultural protocol for conducting meetings. The training explored intercultural communication skills to understand how culture impacts and influences how business meetings are is conducted, how decisions are made and how agreement is reached.
Intercultural competencies are now essential for business success as we work with colleagues and clients with different cultural working practices. Teams are increasingly working with colleagues from different cultures and it is important that Team Leaders and Team members come equipped with intercultural skills and knowledge.
The study visit in Poland was the final meeting of the ENWRA project signifying the end of the 2 year project which looked how women create businesses in rural areas. This study visit was planned to coincide with the midsummer festival which is a festival recently created by the women in the area to celebrate not only the longest day in the year but the traditional crafts, music and dance of the area.
The meeting began when participants from Spain, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Cyprus and N Ireland arrived in Krakow on the 18 June 2015. The next morning the participants walked to the main square and the old covered market before leaving for the rural area of Krzeszowice. The group met with the Mayor before receiving a presentation which gave an overview of the region. Various women spoke to the participants about their work in the rural area, much of it was run on a voluntary basis to support women living with cancer and support parents of children with disabilities. The next few days provided participants with the opportunity to meet women and see the range of crafts and businesses they were involved in.
The meeting ended with the midsummer festival. A spectacle of music, dance and a parade of lights to the lake for a fire show. The women helped to prepare traditional flower garlands which are work for the parade.