For this #ayaniwomen interview, we’re talking to Gabi and Eve, two friends, co-workers and founders of Clementine Events. They run events and workshops that empower women through sharing knowledge and celebrating female energy.
Here we chat about everything from their professional journeys to the confidence gap, running a side project, equal pay and a lot more. Enjoy the read!
Ani: Tell us a bit about yourself and your professional life.
Gabi: I come from Brazil and I graduated in 2014. I studied Psychology. I worked for 2 years as a clinical psychologist in my private practice and also running some psychological programs in public schools.
Then I decided that I wanted to explore life. So I left everything behind, grabbed my suitcase and came to Berlin. When I started a life here, it wasn’t so easy. I didn’t know where to start as I would have to validate my diploma first in order to continue working as a psychologist. So I took on several jobs, worked at a pizza place and a hostel, where I got to improve my German. Then I got a job as an office manager, before moving to the current job as an HR generalist where I met Eve. When I met Eve, I said I would also like to do something I’m passionate about and that’s women-focused. That’s how we came up with the idea of events and workshops for women.
Eve: My name is Eve and I’m from Berlin. I studied Sociology and Communications, not because I was particularly sure what I was going to do with it, but because I found it incredibly interesting. After my studies I ended up in customer-focused roles, but I never felt fulfilled. I moved onto my current role of HR Generalist in a Berlin Start-up but something was still missing. That’s when I realised I have known what I wanted to do all along. When Gabi & I started this project, no one was surprised. I had always been very (loudly) outspoken against sexism in my circle and always very much eager to support women where I can.
Anyway; I'm happy things turned out the way they did and I got to work with Gabi.
Gabi: She actually hired me!
Eve: Yeah, Gabi was very hard to read at first. But we’re like one person now.
Ani: So about your work - what did you see, that you wanted to change with the work you do?
Eve: I think most companies basically mirror society. So whatever goes wrong out there is likely to also go wrong within teams. So if, for example, the general society is constantly using the male pronoun, rather than a more inclusive “they”, this might be reflected in the company too. Luckily, no one in our company intentionally does any harm and the teams are very willing to learn, but there are some things that can be improved of course.
Gabi: Also, when we talk about salary expectations, most women usually say they’re very open for negotiations but still put the price very low themselves. Maybe they're afraid or feel they’re not worth a higher pay. That upset me a lot. I wanted to break this gap.
With Clementine Events we want to give a safety net and mental support. So the first workshop we did was about owning your space and setting boundaries. The woman who presented the workshop is an incredible mentor, and she taught the importance and the different ways of saying no.
Ani: Why do you think women have this feeling of lack of worth?
Eve [laughs]: Oh because it has been ingrained in us for thousands of years.
Gabi: I heard from my grandma so often that if reincarnation was possible she would wish to return as a man. I was also told I was too bossy, and I know that if my brother had acted the same - he was said to have leadership skills. I don’t want to change my ways - just because I’m a woman. How can you be confident if you feel everything that happens is your fault. So this is my experience. It is changing though. But so many things are still not okay.
Eve: This concept of feminism has always been giving power to the women. But that power shouldn't be over someone else. Everyone should get respect and be able to do what they want to.
Let’s just let everyone be. Our goal is to see a world that is more fair, we don’t want to be the exact same as men.
Ani: What is your opinion about actions related to increasing awareness about the salary gap, for example, what BVG did last month with decreasing the ticket price for women?
Eve: It was interesting, people actually came up to me at work and asked if the pay gap was really this big. Because most of our employees are not from Germany. It brought some awareness.
Ani: What is the goal behind your events and what topics do they focus on?
Gabi: So our main goal is to empower women by offering different formats to learn. We believe change has to come from within. Our topics are currently focused on self-development. We want to open channels for dialogue between women, so we keep the topics open for them to suggest what they would like to learn. We are all for topics that make them feel free, knowledgeable and strong. Another important thing is to have role models doing the workshops so that people see if she can do it, so can I!
Ani: How do you find your speakers?
Gabi and Eve: They actually come to us! The first speaker we did find ourselves, but after that people just found their way to us. We’ve had such great feedback that has kept us going and also gave us access to more people who wanted to present. There are many women that have the same values and mission as us and we welcome them with open arms.
Ani: So you are working full-time and also managing this. How’s that working for you?
Eve: I think we’re still finding the flow. But we really want to do this! Most importantly we’re so happy doing this! We’re jumping into many topics that are very new to us, like social media or PR, but I love learning all about them - and seeing ourselves grow in the process.
Gabi: We accept we are human. So we start with what we can do and slowly move from there.
Ani: How do you see this project developing in the future?
Gabi: When we started it was one workshop every 2 months. Then it became one workshop every month. Now we are even thinking to do more. I’m not sure if we’ll just focus on workshops, but for now, this is the idea. We are also thinking of expanding our online presence in the future.
Ani: What kind of women do you see coming to your workshops? Is it just women or men too?
Eve: We’re doing this for all women and non-binary people; any background, any age. We welcome especially those, who feel like they don’t have a supporting community around them. We don’t exclude men but our events are centred around the female experience. So even if men join, our hope is that they take some of the energies and experiences to their environment.
Ani: Where do you connect with your community?
Gabi: Instagram is the best way, but we have just created a Meetup account as well so we can connect better to people.
Ani: What drives you at work?
Eve: I have a huge passion to help push fellow women and non-binary people forward. I deeply believe that together we can make important and necessary changes to society.
Gabi: I like to create things involving people. I like to see people grow and e facilitate their growth. Work also gives me the chance of seeing things from a different perspective. In general, work has to be meaningful for me. I think we all do a little bit, we can create something big.
Ani: Let’s close it with my favourite question - what does confidence mean for you?
Gabi: I think if I can be myself, and I don’t need to hide. If I bring this attitude, I’m confident.
Eve: Confidence has a lot of layers for me. There’s the one of entering a room and owning it. But I think it comes down to being at peace with yourself, knowing who you are, what your boundaries and values are and being content with it. Basically; being true to yourself.
I think the big thing here is “I am enough”.
Ani: Thank you very much for this interview!
If you would like to get in touch with Gabi and Eve and learn more about Clementine Events, feel free to connect with them through their instagram.
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