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What are you doing for yourself?

If you want something done, ask a busy woman.

There’s reason to believe that reliability and busyness go hand-in-hand. First, those who are juggling a lot have good systems to avoid dropping balls. Women, especially, think like project managers: intuitively scheduling, planning, imagining various outcomes and eventualities, setting contingencies in place – usually all before starting the project. It’s evident that those who are successfully juggling a lot have good systems for avoiding dropping balls. A person juggling 5 balls won’t be surprised by a sixth joining the sequence.

Like always, there are two sides to a coin. The other side of this one has emerged over the past year. Overnight, working moms became teachers, chefs, project managers, IT assistants, therapists, playdates and personal trainers. Working from home became living at work. Lines between home life and work life are more blurred than ever, and for some this boosted productivity, but for others it remains overwhelming.

We have now proven that we have the capacity to be all these things for other people, but now it’s time to be there for ourselves.

The pressure of being productive.

“18 Habits of highly productive people. 15 Ways to do more. 21 Tips to become the most productive person you know”. Scheduling time to read about being productive seems quite the opposite, right? The fallacy here is feeling like you have to be productive all the time instead of being the most productive at the appropriate times.

Do one thing at a time and move on.
Not only is the reward of ticking something off your list fuel to keep going, it takes away the anxiety of multitasking.

Do one thing that only you benefit from.
Self care is extremely important in the moment and continued practice will help you in the long run, but self development is an investment in your career and future.

Do it for those who want to be like you.
It’s easier for younger women to stay in careers where they see other women in the positions they want to be in one day.

We need more women leaders like you.

Recent studies show that women make up 46% of the South African workforce, yet only 7% of executive directors on boards are females. It’s up to all of us to change that number. The first step could be an online short course that requires one hour per week. One hour you can schedule to suit what’s happening in your life.

The Developing Women Leaders online course provides a unique nine-week learning opportunity. The core areas of this course – self awareness, leadership presence, and building relationships for impact – allow aspiring female leaders to become more self-aware, connect more authentically with others as an inspiring presence, and manage relationships successfully across a broad spectrum; from direct reports to peers, managers and other stakeholders.

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Risk management strategies: Crucial ones to implement

Risk management is crucial in managing business operations, making sure that things are in place to deal with anything that might halt or hinder streamlined systems. Putting the right risk management strategies in place is beneficial not only to mitigate risk in general but also to add a layer of protection to a business. Risk can be treated as something which could threaten both business operations as well as the ultimate success of the company. 

Four risk management strategies to implement in your operations in your business include:

Risk management strategy

1. Avoidance

To avoid risk, things need to be prepared as such. Risk avoidance in risk management means putting safe-guards in place to ensure that something goes wrong, there is something that can mitigate the damage and minimise any harm caused. This can be for business operations, financial health, the well-being of employees and a number of aspects in a business.

For example, having a fire-safety plan is contingency against the harm of staff members if there’s a fire. Contingency planning requires foreplanning and full, comprehensive thought into how things might go wrong and how to draw up a solution for the possible negative scenarios. 

This means considering all the information at hand, and researching possible outcomes if something happens. From there, analysing the information and coming to a point of solution is crucial. It’s also important to have active communication around the risk and the solution across the relevant parties.

2. Acceptance

There are risks which are not worthwhile looking for solutions or changing operations to try and avoid or mitigate. Risks which require acceptance are generally more inconvenient than significantly damaging to the company. 

The choice to accept risk is a decision that should only be made after analysing all the possible information. From there, it’s important to conclude that the risk is not worth trying to avoid.

Once accepting that risk is not worth resolving, it’s important to consider any contingency plans against the possible fallout of accepting. Plans to deal with the result if the risk becomes a negative scenario should also be considered.

3. Mitigating the risk

Risk mitigation is the process or reducing the risk if a scenario turns negative. It goes hand-in-hand with risk acceptance. This is because it is often linked to trying to minimise the outcome of an unfavourable situation.

Risk mitigation should occur in conjunction with precautionary strategies and risk preparation. This is because it is so closely linked to the possible negative outcome. For example, having contingency plans as part of staff training is a part of risk mitigation. It not only trains staff how to react in a scenario but also positively enforces that there is a plan if the “worst case scenario” occurs. This also helps offer peace of mind to the workforce.

Risk mitigation is different from risk avoidance because the process is not trying to eradicate the risk entirely. Rather it’s the approach of reducing the impact the risk might have.

4. Risk exploitation

Risk in most cases is worth trying to reduce. There are some scenarios, however, where risk might come with the possibility of positive opportunity. Looking for ways to exploit risk and explore opportunities to reward from risk can be a fantastic way to deal with risk, but if things might not go in the way hoped, it can be difficult to circumnavigate the negative consequences.

Risk exploitation is most common in financial strategies and can yield profitable scenarios if things go according to plan.

What can you expect from a business management salary?

A business manager exists in a company to oversee and supervise the operations and employees. Looking at a business management salary requires looking at the position and the experience of the manager first. But before that, we will consider the function and duties entailed in the role.

What does a business manager do?

The main role, from a broad standpoint, is to ensure things systems are not only working as they should, but also that they are streamlined and running as smoothly as possible. The more efficient operations are in a business, the more the task force and the management team has the time to focus on building and working on new products and projects. 

The main role of the business manager is to manage individuals in the company and lead them to perform in their roles with the best resources available.

The responsibilities of a business manager

While the business manager wears many hats, the overall responsibility is over the management of the business. This doesn’t mean owning the business, necessarily, but it takes a great number of responsibilities into account. To ensure the business is set up for the best chance of success, the business manager should:

  • Establish and look for new opportunities to grow in both the current market and possibly other markets while maintaining the focus on the best-performing products and services.
  • Consider and constantly evaluate and check-in with whether systems are aligned with the company’s goals and objectives.
  • Hire, recruit and develop new employees.
  • Train and upskill current employees for both their benefit and for that of the company.
  • Perform regular evaluations of the systems in place to identify any problems which need resolving or to pinpoint where there might be areas of improvement needing to happen.
  • Craft and put business strategies into place to meet the needs of the employees designed to achieve the goals the company has set out.
  • Develop and stick to a reasonable and comprehensive budget while ensuring or delegating regular budget analysis and resource evaluation.

How much do small business managers make?

Business management salary and how much a business and operations manager might make depends on several things. The average salary depends on the role and position, the industry and the experience of the manager.  

On average, however, the salary of a business owner or operations manager according to PayScale is R430,000 per year. This, at a base average salary, is around R36,000 per month before tax.

At the following levels you might expect the following:

Junior level business management: R201,000 per year//R16,750 per month

Early career in business management: R356,000 per year//R29,660 per month

Mid-level business management: R443,000 per year//R36,900 per month

Experienced and senior-level business management: R558,000 per year//R46,500 per month

To get to a senior level takes years of work and effort and upskilling in your career. Taking short courses in business management is one way to rapidly increase your skills and get the opportunities to gain more knowledge in your field. If you want to progress in your career and earn professional promotions, taking advantage of opportunities to learn is an excellent way to put your career in good stead.

Is business management a good career?

As a broad position, having a business management career can set you up for work in any field and industry depending on your experience. If managing individuals and exploring ways to improve systems and find efficient ways of managing operations, then a business management career is perfect for you. From a financial perspective, earning a business management salary can be extremely lucrative depending on your industry, your experience and your expertise.

Human Resource Management – Everything You Need to Know

Human Resource Management (also referred to as HRM) is the operation of all things related to the management of the employees of a company. This includes recruiting for a company, selecting and introducing employees, providing training, development, evaluating the performance of employees, agreeing on and arranging compensation, offering what benefits are reasonable, motivating for employees, ensuring that the relationship between employees and trade unions are healthy and ensuring that all things related to the employees within the company are within legal compliance.

What is HRM?

Human Resource Management also involves the management of the human resources related to internal and important interdepartmental functions such as:

  • The procurement, development, and wellbeing of all human resources within the company.
  • Helping to achieve and encourage reaching individual and social objectives within the company to achieve organisational goals.
  • Establishing and maintaining strong team spirit, teamwork and a healthy company culture.
  • The ongoing process of ensuring individuals are healthy and thriving in the company.
  • Communicating concerns tactfully and professionally about or for employees.
  • Acting as a bridge between employees and management should there be an issue that might need a resolution. 

One full-time professional Human Resource Manager or staff member is required once a company’s staff force hits a certain number (which varies from country to country). In South Africa, one full-time HR manager is needed for 50 employees in a company.

The purpose of Human Resource Management 

The main purpose of the HRM is to make sure the employees in the company are able to do their tasks in the most healthy, efficient manner possible. This means ensuring that the culture is fruitful for effective work. It also means making sure that the right person is in the right position to perform ideal work and gain a sense of belonging with the company. This takes “function” and “fit” into consideration when recruiting. Making sure the team works well together isn’t only about the work. The HR manager should work hand-in-hand with department management to make sure all human resource-related systems are running as smoothly as possible.

The ten “Cs” of Human Resource Management

Putting the main purposes and functions of Human Resource Management into the “10 Cs of HRM” would leave us with:

  • Cost effectiveness, 
  • Competitive, 
  • Coherence, 
  • Credibility, 
  • Communication, 
  • Creativity, 
  • Competitive advantage, 
  • Competence, 
  • Change, and 
  • Commitment. 

These, developed by HR management expert Alan Price, all work together to form a strong framework for human resource management.

What does a Human Resource manager do?

While the idea of an HR manager might be the person who has to deal with the uncomfortable aspects of looking after people in a company (such as HR violations and disciplinary warnings), the main purpose of the HRM is to support employees. 

The main tasks and duties an HRM will undertake include:

1. Recruiting candidates

Recruitment lies in the hands of the human resource department, but ideally the process should go with the manager of the hiring department. This process includes understanding the needs of the organisation, the position that needs to be filled, analysing the market, conducting consultations with relevant stakeholders, considering budget and advertising in the right space to the right audience.

Once the position has been advertised, more research needs to be undertaken regarding the prospective candidates. Ensuring that the right candidates go through the next round is crucial. This means considering the requirements and previous work experience and going through the references to see whether the candidate might be the right fit.

2. Hire the right employees

Once the recruitment process begins, the follow-up hiring process follows. This means arranging interviews, coordinating with management and stakeholders, negotiating budget and finally onboarding and training new employees. The hiring process includes all paperwork necessary for the legal contract involved in hiring a new employee to protect both the company and the employee in the future.

3. Processing the payroll

Payroll and expenses are a world of their own. Working hand-in-hand with the finance manager, the human manager undertakes the payroll process. This includes calculating taxes, overtime, hours, employee expenses that might need reimbursing and raises or bonuses should they be necessary to process. 

4. Conduct any disciplinary actions

This is where the uncomfortable nature of Human Resource Management comes into play. If there is a necessary disciplinary action that needs to take place, it needs to be navigated appropriately to avoid the potential loss of valuable employees or undue legal action against the company. If handled well, disciplinary action can lead to an overall healthier and stronger task force and possibly improved well-being of the individuals in a team. 

5. Updating necessary policies

Regulations and policies need to be evaluated consistently, especially as the organisation grows or changes. Maintaining and updating the policies to ensure they are relevant to the company are within legal requirements is crucial to avoid ramifications unnecessarily. Some policies might need updating as a reaction to an event or occurrence and  the HR manager should ensure this happens.

6. Maintaining effective employee records

Keeping accurate up-to-date records for HR is not only important, but it’s legally required. These records help employers and recruiters consider and identify any gaps in skills or experience to make the hiring process run smoothly. Updated and accurate records also help analyse any data to comply with regulations related to demographics or similar. Moreover, if there is an emergency, having the accurate information for employees is critical.

7. Analysing and offering attractive benefits

A company that is recruiting needs to ensure they are offering competitive benefits to attract the best candidates. Accepting less pay for better benefits might be what it takes to encourage a candidate to work for a company instead of another. HRM should conduct investigation often to explore what possible benefits they can add aligned with the company’s vision. From there, they should explore what the options might cost the potential employee in terms of pay and resource accordingly.

What  does Human Resource do to support employees?

Human Resource exists to offer support to the employees of a company. Protecting their well-being is a crucial component in the career. The following are four ways HR can help support the needs of the company’s employees:

  1. Encouraging career growth

If an employee sees an opportunity to grow in a company, they’re more likely going to stay and develop their career path at the company. Keeping an employee in a company and allowing them to grow with the company is not only better for business and avoids unnecessary expensive training of new staff, but it also promotes good work ethics in the company. If a person sees the possibility of a promotion, they’re encouraged to work harder and invest time and energy to see growth in the company. Human Resource is there to help support employees realise the potential and guide their long-term future in the company.

2. Encouraging continuous training

Career growth and upskilling requires additional training sometimes. If there’s the potential to up skill by receiving additional education or taking online short courses, it might be worthwhile seeing if the organisation can foot the bill. Here’s where HR can step in to help pitch to the shareholders or management that additional training is ultimately beneficial to both the employees and the company. 

Human Resource can help management learn as well as helping develop employees. With training and support, HR can help provide the right resources and guidance to upskill management in their processes and protocols. This helps ensure that teams and departments are running as smoothly and as healthily as possible. This could involve formal training and management retreats, active resources and weekly sessions.

4. Promoting and supporting all-round wellbeing

Employees face different situations both inside and outside the office. It’s important to recognise the need for not only professional wellbeing, but all round health of an employee. The HR should identify ways to support employees through circumstances which might need assistance. This could be health issues, pregnancies, adoption, familial crises or a number of other life events which might need encouragement.

The functions of Human Resource Management

The main functions of an HR manager include:

  1. Talent hiring and recruitment
  2. Onboarding and hiring processes
  3. Training and development management
  4. Performance appraisal and evaluation
  5. Workforce engagement and employee interaction
  6. Payroll and compliance management
  7. Regulation management

Other managerial functions of the HRM include:

  • Planning
  • Organising
  • Directing
  • Controlling

The types of Human Resource Development 

HRM Development is a framework designed to help employees enjoy the development of the skills and abilities which leads to the efficiency and effectiveness of a company’s output.

Human resource development, or HRD, includes a variety of different functions and activities, such as:

  • Performance management, evaluation of employees work, and development and training to increase skills from the review.
  • Employee coaching and training.
  • Mentoring and frequent check-ins.
  • Succession and progressive planning.
  • Tuition assistance and learning further.

Organisations have the opportunity for human resource development, both internally and externally. HRD can also be considered a formal or an informal process and it initiates as soon as any new employees are onboarded. For example, 

Informal learning approaches to Human Resource Development include:

  • Coaching for and by the management team.
  • Informal mentorship from more experienced employees to junior staff.
  • Collaboration of the HR team with more highly experienced and trained colleagues.

Formal learning approaches to Human Resource Development include:

  • Formal traditional online or in-classroom training.
  • College courses and online degrees.
  • Planned and meditative organisational change and practices.
  • Internal training courtesy of staff members or provided by paid consultants or facilitators.

Think about it like this: If an employee is hired and receives formal training from the staff as part of the introduction process, they grow in their skillset which is then implemented in the work provided to the company. From there, the company maintains training and more opportunities for formal education in the field arise. The company pays for further training and the employee not only learns more to practically implement in the company, but they can also teach new or younger staff members the knowledge and training gained from the formal education. The more they learn, the more opportunities they discover to learn more and the advanced knowledge dives deeper into the company.

This is an accurate description of how more and uniquely tailored learning can positively impact an individual and the company. It’s also a fantastic demonstration in how the Human Resource team can be effective in making that upskilling happen.

What is the main purpose of Human Resource Development?

The key reason behind putting an HRD framework in place is to ultimately improve all knowledge and skills of the employees in a company. This step begins in the hiring of new employees and continues as the employee remains learning within the company. 

The key takeaway from an HRD is that an employee usually enters an organisation with only basic levels of skills – especially when at a junior level – and the training to perform their tasks effectively rely on training and development. When a new employee enters a company at a mid or senior level, the training and knowledge gaining is still essential to progress in the company as well as to align with the company culture and industry gain. 

Therefore, the main purpose of HRD is to train employees further and ensure that their effectiveness in the company is continually growing. It can be seen as similar to coaching as a sport’s team would be. The more information and training gained by each team member, the better the team will perform overall. If the whole team is receiving the ideal training for their positions, the more smoothly systems will be able to run and the more success the company will be able to see.

At the end of the day, the Human Resources Development framework has one goal: To employee and develop better, stronger employees.

Strategic Human Resources Management

Strategic Human Resource Management refers to the manner in which the Human Resources team coordinates with the consistent and overall business goals with the end intention of improving business opportunities. This means a focused effort on making distinction between the company and the competition.

The strategic Human Resource Management highlights how important it is for the individuals within the company to excel for the company itself to excel. Businesses which tend to place an emphasis on the strategic Human Resource Management tend to see more alignment across the company from the HR team to the employees and across management and shareholders.

The main struggle with strategic Human Resource Management is that it is simple in theory but often difficult to execute practically. With budget, resources and other roadblocks that tend to get in the way, creating and sticking to strategic HRM can be difficult to maintain. However, it’s important to consider the overall aim and potential of HRM and how the development can lead to overall improvement in the organisation.

Types of Human Resource Management

The most common types of Human Resource Management positions are:

  1. Human Resources assistant

The assistant to the Human Resources director is crucial in helping streamline processes, making sure things run smoothly and ensuring things don’t slip through the cracks. The main duties of an HR assistance includes administrative tasks, aiding in filling out documentation related to absentees, terminations, evaluation and performance reviews, grievances and all relevant information pertinent to the employee and work force. The HR assistant might also aid in the recruitment and hiring process with tasks such as writing descriptions for jobs, coordinating with references and liaising with possible candidates.

  1. Human resources coordinator

The Human Resource coordinator is important to help facilitate HR programs and functions. Similar to the HR assistant, the coordinator works with and under the direction of the HR director. The tasks the HR coordinator is involved with include ensuring all schedules and training plans are coordinated and that development programmes for the employees are set up. Coordinators in the HR department also help in researching trends and practices in the industry to make sure that all policies, protocols and processes are up to date from both a legal and an efficiency standpoint.

  1. Human resources specialist

Similar to the job or employment specialist, the HR specialist is involved in the recruitment and hiring process. However, the difference between the two is that the HR specialist is usually employed in-house for a private company or agency whereas the employment specialist is usually an outsourced resource. The specialist is involved in the process of screening, interviewing and placing new employees into the opportunity which will work best for them and the company.

  1. Employment specialist

Employment specialists or job placement specialists generally dedicate their time to the hiring process in a Human Resource department. As specialists in this process, they have thorough knowledge about aspects such as job descriptions, hiring requirements, salaries, competitive benefits and overall matching people to the position. Recruitment is the forte of an employment specialist and they often venture to job fairs and professional organisations to find the perfect candidate for a company. 

  1. Full-time recruiter

Dedicated recruiters in the HR field tend to work either in-house for corporations where there is often a need to hire new employees or for recruitment agencies who work on behalf of the hiring company. As a recruiter, the role is specialised in sourcing the very best candidate to fit the role, the company culture and the industry as a whole. A recruiter often spends most of their time posting the relevant job descriptions, reviewing candidates, verifying whether the candidate is a fit and contacting possible hires to meet management or the HR team for interviews. The recruiter is also often involved in salary and benefit negotiations.

  1. Recruitment manager

Similar to the full-time recruiter, the recruitment manager is involved mainly in the recruitment and hiring process for a company. This involved more extensive work in sourcing, interviewing and initial training of a candidate. The recruitment manager can also research and implement software or data metric to make the process of hiring the right candidate as smooth and simple as possible. Having a clear understanding of regulations and legal issues involved in hiring is another necessity for a recruitment manager.

  1. Human resources generalist

The Human Resource generalist is like the jack-of-all-HR. The generalist is involved in administrative tasks that ensure the HR department continues to operate like a well-oiled machine. Their tasks include managing daily operations, overseeing departmental policies, considering all programmes and protocols in place and designing opportunities to train employees. They are also involved in making sure the company is compliant with regulations and organisational development to ensure the safety and welfare of employees.

  1. Employee relations manager

The employee relations manager is important in the company to ensure that the workplace has a harmonious and consistent positive culture. The employee manager is tasked with addressing negative behaviour that might need intervention – handled in a legal and compliant manner – as well as increasing a positive atmosphere in the company.  The employee manager should boast excellent communication skills in order to deal with any negative situations that might arise with the utmost tact.

  1. Director of employee relations

The directors of employee relations management is also referred to as the director of employee experience. Someone in this position is highly skilled in building business strategies centred on employee wellbeing and problem solving any HR dilemmas that might arise. These directors work hand-in-hand with executives to build programmes and exercises to harness the best culture for the team and improve and enhance employee satisfaction.

  1. Labour relations specialist

The labour relations specialists are the legal gurus of the HR department. This role involved dealing with labour laws and liaising with trade unions. They are experienced in dealing with economics, wage analyses, and bargaining data and collate information across legal issues relevant to the company. With information at hand, the labour relations specialist also advises other HR staff and management on best practice and programmes for the company. 

  1. Human Resources manager

The HR manager is the person who heads up the entire HR department. This position is most prevalent in larger companies where a team of HR personnel is needed. The HR manager is tasked with ensuring that the team members in the Human Resource department are working efficiently and have all the resources they need to carry out their own tasks. The HR manager liaises with other management across departments and often handles more sensitive issues and exit interviews. 

12. Director of Human Resources

The HR director is highly experienced in managing HR departments and working with Human Resources. The main objective of an HR director is to supervise the company’s HR department from top to bottom including all budgeting resources and personnel assets. With years of experience, the HR director reports to the CEO and works with other directors in the company. Another key goal of the HR director is to ensure that the company is building its employees to tap into peak profitability through important training and employee development.

Women who run the world

Women who lead the world

Can you imagine a world where women are not only fighting a pandemic, but also changing the face of politics as we know it? Welcome to 2021, a year that has already ushered in many challenges and unwelcome surprises, yet the women who have triumphed and risen to the forefront of the good fight have made this all a bit more bearable.

When we look back in history, great leaders are often lauded for their successes. But, paradoxically, what makes good leaders great are the trials and tribulations of failure. Very often, the lessons learned from confronting fear and uncertainty transform good leaders into great ones.

In this article we celebrate the five of the most influential women in politics today. And when it comes to education, experience and humanitarian endeavours, these women not only fit the mould but they are shaping a new world for all of us.

Kamala Devi Harris

Back in her student years, Kamala Devi Harris could be found protesting at  anti-apartheid demonstrations. Her strong start as an activist naturally led her down a path to study political science and economics. This passion eventually resulted in her becoming San Francisco’s first black female District Attorney in 2004, and the first woman to serve as the Attorney General of California. Harris holds the title of being the first South Asian American senator in history, the First African American vice president, the first Indian-American vice president, and the first female vice president ever to serve the US.

Harris still speaks up for the unheard today as she now defends reproductive rights and the right to abortion. Kamala Harris also has a creative side and has published her own children’s book “Superheroes Are Everywhere.” and memoir “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey”.

“Our unity is our strength and diversity is our power.”

Michelle Obama

Prior to her role as a first lady, Michelle Obama developed her leadership skills as an Associate at a Law firm, an Associate Dean at the University of Chicago, as well as a board member of a major supplier for Wal-Mart. Obama then served as the executive director and then Vice President for Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Obama then moved on to become the first Black woman to step into the role of First Lady of the US.

Obama also takes pride in her contributions to various Non-profit initiatives where she motivates the youth to get involved in social issues. Her campaign ‘Let’s Move’ is all about improving the health and wellness of children to address the issue of childhood obesity. Obama also founded an initiative called ‘Joining Forces’  to help female veterans find jobs. The campaign aims to support war veterans, their families and service members as they reintegrate back into society.

“When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.”

Jacinda Ardern

We’ve all been watching in awe as Jacinda Ardern has gracefully and successfully led her country through the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s hard to believe that Ardern grew up as a mormon, as she shows no signs of wanting to live a simpler and slower life. She started her career as a researcher and gradually worked her way up to prime minister of New Zealand. Child poverty, the New Zealand housing crisis and social inequality are just some of the issues Arden’s Government is dedicated to tackling. Apart from getting through a pandemic, Arden has also been able to increase welfare benefits to those who need it most.

“To me, leadership is not about necessarily being the loudest in the room, but instead being the bridge, or the thing that is missing in the discussion and trying to build a consensus from there.”

Kaja Kallas

Kaja Kallas has just recently become Estonia’s first female prime minister. This former lawyer and member of European Parliament has an economics degree, which allowed her to work as an executive coach in the Estonian Business School.Kallas handled the legislative process of six reports including the Civil law rules on robotics, e-Privacy regulation, the Annual report on EU Competition Policy, the own-initiative report on the Digital Single Market, and on Delivering a New Deal for Energy Consumers. Kallas has also published her own memoir MEP: 4 aastat Euroopa Parlamendis, where she talks about her Four Years in the European Parliament

“You have to come up with solutions. This requires an open mindset – an open mindset for failure as well.”

Kersti Kaljulaid

The fact that she can complete a marathon in under four hours is proof that Kersti Kaljulaid has the kind of strength and determination it takes to be the first female president of Estonia. Not only did she graduate cum laude as a biologist, but she has an MBA in business management too. She was the first woman to lead a power plant in Estonia, and has been the chairperson of the board of the University of Tartu since 2011. Kaljulaid also had the foresight to implement the e-dentity program, allowing citizens to pay taxes and vote online.

“Too many people in the world associate democracy with their ability to go and buy more and more every year. I come from a country where it’s much more popular to remind people that democracy is available at every income level, and this is something which you need to protect.”