Women and Figures

«Women and Figures» is a project for and about women working in finance. The project is aimed to create a mini-series and thematic performance that reflects the realities of accountants, financiers and auditors’ work and is based on their personal stories. It was created to overcome stereotypes about the profession, to address the problems of unequal pay and double workload, to inspire professionals to realize their creative potential, to increase their occupational prestige and achieve gender equality.

Within the frame of the project, participants attended workshops on combating professional burnout, screenwriting, acting, singing and choreography, they immersed in the world of art and theater. From the first meeting, all participants agreed not to talk about work and everyday life. In each class, financiers, accountants and auditors were combatting stereotypes and stepping out of their comfort zone. Incredibly friendly atmosphere at the training, brought the participants together, each woman found like-minded friends and understood the importance of mutual support. 

Partners of the project

Audit firm «Business element»

It is a national audit company that provides business services in the field of accounting. Some areas of activity include work with NGOs for implementing grant projects with the support of national and international institutions, monitoring and installation of accounting systems for public utilities in the medical sphere, spheres of housing and communal services and others. The company is an active member of the European Business Association and participant of the Corporate Equality Index.

Theater-studio «Arabesque»

It is the first independent Ukrainian theater in Kharkiv. It is the cultural institution that has a huge experience in collaboration with professional groups in creating cultural and artistic products, including performances and plays based on the participants’ life stories. Theater is a local centre of democracy that promotes the values of civil society. The repertoire of the theater includes fifteen performances, some of which are internationally co-produced. «Arabesque» organizes festivals, educational, social and artistic, paratheatrical projects.

Business and Human Rights Club

It is an association of socially responsible micro, small and medium-sized companies in the Kharkiv region. The Club conducts trainings, public discussions and networking events to ensure that businesses respect human rights and adhere to the principles of diversity and inclusion in companies. The companies that are members of the Club are participants of the Ukrainian Corporate Equality Index and are ambassadors of gender equality in the corporate sector.

«The idea for the project arose in mid-2020, when after a series of lockdowns, company employees clearly articulated a request for support. The double and even triple workload in conditions of uncertainty and the ban on holding mass events have created a demand for communication and creative practices in a friendly atmosphere. According to interviews with women working in the field of finance, it became clear that there are several problems: increased workload, life and work imbalance, gender stereotypes and low occupational prestige. We decided to implement the «Women and Figures» Project and invite women working in the field of finance to immerse in the world of creativity, take part in workshops, performances and miniseries, form a circle of like-minded people and tell their own stories».
Daria Nagaivska, Project Manager of NGO «Actual Woman»

"«Women and Figures» Project is about stereotypes and how to combat them. Women in the financial sphere are often associated with office mice. That's why together we create an opportunity to look at a woman from a different, creative side as an individual who copes equally well with her different roles. In the first meeting with the project participants, I felt incredible energy. We are all different and yet we understand each other at a glance".
Anna Chaika, head of the Audit firm «Business Element»

«The theater's collaboration with women - accountants, economists and financiers - is a mutually enriching experience. Accuracy, concentration and responsibility - these qualities are necessary both in the financial sphere and in the theater. The training part of the project became, in fact, not an educational program with a division into teachers and students, but a full-fledged process of sharing experiences and expanding personal horizons. In the performance and the miniseries, as well as in the professional theater, the project participants have a chance to discover their various guises. Spectators usually see only actors on stage, but the theater is created by a much larger team of professionals who often feel underestimated. The «Women and Figures» Project is aimed, among other things, at overcoming this injustice».
Svitlana Oleshko, director of the Theatre-studio «Arabesque»

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PROJECT PARTICIPANTS’ TESTIMONIALS

At the first workshop, Tetiana said she runs the company and manages several dozen subordinates, therefore, she must always be a strict and fair director, and it is very difficult to get out of this role and think about creativity.

  

«I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in the project! My work week hasn't changed, but I'm looking forward to Saturday for a change of scenery and immersion in creativity! For me, this is a new and enjoyable activity that inspires new projects! Thank you for this opportunity».
Tetiana Horban, participant of the “Women and Figures” Project

"Dreams must come true!" – the participants of the “Women and Figures” Project almost unanimously agreed. One of the participants of the project, Yana, used to practice singing long before participating in the project but her workload forced her to pause.

Яна Захаренко

«The workshops are incredibly interesting! For me personally, it's like a breath of fresh air, especially now in conditions of quarantine restrictions. During the project, I learned to step out of my comfort zone, and the friendly atmosphere and staff at the workshops gave me the opportunity to be more open. Thanks to the “Women and Figures” Project, I had the opportunity to meet endlessly talented people – both the participants of the workshops and our wonderful trainers! As my life is closely connected with music, the vocal mastery workshop was extraordinary and priceless for me! I updated my list of books to read and, as a result, changed my attitude to certain life situations. I have some creative plans to implement. I am currently working on improving my singing skills after a long break. So, I can say that participation in the "Women and Figures" Project gave me confidence in the successful implementation of my creative ideas! Thank you very much for this wonderful project! I wish everyone success and good health!»
Yana Zakharenko, participant of the “Women and Figures” Project

«I am very glad to have participated in the “Women and Figures” Project! I feel great after the vocal workshop: I am constantly singing! It's a pity I didn't know about them before! I was very impressed by the meeting with the director Svitlana, I am delighted with my vocal coach. My weekend is now super active! It's hard to get ready for work on Monday. I have a lot of positive emotions! I was very happy to meet the participants! I can see I am changing!»
Olga Yefimenko, participant of the “Women and Figures” Project

After one of the workshops, Olga bought a painting and paints and started attending art therapy classes. Workshops help to unleash creativity, organize thoughts, relax and adjust to work with inspiration and perseverance.

«I am pleasantly impressed with the project! I noticed changes in my life! I became happier, more open. All this prevents burnout. All workshops are very interesting and useful. Psychology classes and vocal workshops impacted me the most. I am very grateful for the inspiring atmosphere. It’s wonderful! It is very heartwarming!»
Natalia Kotliar, participant of the "Women and Figures" Project

Each participant of the project is special, with her charisma, abilities and talents. Everyone is united by the desire to be real, unmasked, in their true colors, with their flaws and advantages, strengths and weaknesses. Everyone wants to immerse in creativity, despite the extremely responsible and painstaking profession.

«I feel the change! First of all, it is the prevention of burnout at work, secondly, I start to know myself better, I understand what I am capable of, thirdly, I feel I am a woman, not just an employee, fourthly, I realize my old dreams, fifthly, I'm relaxing!»
Tetiana Babych, participant of the "Women and Figures" Project

Tetiana is a highly qualified specialist and the mother of two beautiful daughters, she often attends art clubs and ballet as a spectator. Participation in the “Women and Figures” Project allowed her to take the stage and play her lead role.

Writing a script is a painstaking and time consuming process. Thanks to the trainers and the desire of the participants to open new horizons, creating a script has become an easy and interesting task. The participants of the project immediately agreed with the trainer to leave everyday work issues behind and focus on creativity and stories from their own lifes.

«Thank you for a wonderful workshop! The trainer masterfully helped us to free ourselves. A woman who works as an accountant is an active, smart, hardworking, scrupulous woman. As a little girl she dreams of happiness, looks for her place in this world, looks for harmony inside and with her surroundings. It turned out that the profession takes up so much space in our lives that it took three hours for us to understand what we really wanted, to understand what happiness is for us! I realized that the organizers tried to make the tedious process of writing the script easy and comfortable. I really enjoyed the scriptwriting workshop! The lecturers are well chosen! All lecturers are super professional! I look forward to every Saturday meeting!»
Natalia Zhadan, participant of the "Women and Figures" Project

«After the scriptwriting workshop, I am elated! At the beginning of our meeting with the coach (ed. Yulita Ran) I personally had a feeling of insecurity, I doubted my abilities (I felt that a long time ago), but after some 15-20 minutes the situation changed dramatically! We are all so passionate about making stories. There were no obstacles, no barriers as if we wrote scripts and played in associations every day. This atmosphere is a great merit of our coach, it is incredible! Thanks to the scriptwriting workshop, I "understood myself" even more, I got inspired for a new week and new work achievements, and I'm already looking forward to a new meeting and of what’s next. I want to say that this expectation is so intriguing and also somehow inspiring! Thanks!»
Viktoria Pidkopai, participant of the "Women and Figures" Project

In today's hectic world, it is sometimes difficult to hear your own voice, difficult to understand yourself. There is almost no time to be alone, because after work the specialists perform the roles of girlfriends, wives, mothers, and daughters. Thanks to "Women and Figures" project participants working in the field of finance, found time for themselves and their hobbies, met like-minded people, gained experience in staging performances and filming of the miniseries, learned to balance personal and professional life and got a chance to live out their dreams.

INFORMATION MATERIALS

"Paratheatrical projects: how to work with professional communities" is an information material that describes how to work with professional communities through cultural interventions and it will be useful for representatives of cultural institutions, educational institutions in the field of art and culture, NGOs, participants and members of business associations, owners, managers, HR and PR managers of the companies in various sectors of the economy, who can implement projects involving professional and theatrical communities to jointly create cultural products.

 

Also, in the frame of the project we developed information materials on the work of accountants, financiers and auditors..

 

Information material about the peculiarities of the auditors’ work

Information material about the peculiarities of the aссountants’ work

Information material about the peculiarities of the financiers’ work

 

The implementation of paratheatrical projects has a positive effect on preventing and counteracting the emotional burnout of participants. Based on the results of the “Women and Figures'' Project, the level of emotional burnout is reduced by an average of 30% due to involvement in artistic practices. For more details, please, find the information material “Paratheatrical projects impact on the level of emotional burnout of the participants''.

 

PERFORMANCE «WOMEN AND FIGURES»

The performance "Women and Figures" is a story about women who work in the field of finance, overcome stereotypes and barriers, care about their relatives, are creative and strive to make their most cherished dreams come true. In the performance, the participants use props associated with the field of finance – abacus and wire calculators, which are not relevant anymore – and thus introduce sarcastic and ironic elements of ridicule stereotypes that have formed over the years around accountants, financiers and auditors.

The participants of the project at each workshop had to overcome the fear of being alone with the viewer, playing in front of the video camera, telling their personal story. In the performance there are elements of the ancient chorus, when the chorus of women speaks on behalf of one individual, declaiming very personal even intimate texts. For the performance and mini-series, we created original music which reflects the emotional and creative potential of the participants. The performance tells the story about women – multi-faceted, interesting, spirited, emotional, creative and inspired, who have hobbies, who are engaged in personal development and perfectly combine professional and personal lives.

 

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DOCUMENTARY MINISERIES

The documentary mini-series "Women and Figures" consists of the stories of completely different participants of the project. They are different by age, life views, professional status, but they are united by creativity and motivation to blossom out. The miniseries shows what happened "behind the scenes" during the workshops throughout the project. The purpose of the miniseries is to get across the issue of stereotypes and show that women of a serious profession are creative, dreamy, inspired, elegant and talented. Have a look: