Overcoming Barriers in Politics
In 2020 Greece gained its first female president, elected into office by parliament. Katerina Sakellaropoulou, a high court judge and advocate for human rights, has made great strides in breaking through gender inequality barriers. Previously serving as the first woman president of the Council of State, the top administrative court, Sakellaropoulou’s election into office as president is historical for Greece. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis believes this decision addresses the criticisms of the lack of women in senior positions in politics.
Sakellaropoulou has been a leader in environmental and constitutional law and in advocating for citizenship for migrant children. While Greece struggles to regain economic stability after battling its worst economic crisis, Sakellaropoulou has increased hope among the people of Greece and serves as a role model for future generations of women.
Providing Opportunities in the Workplace
Women in European countries say men are more likely to obtain a high paying job. In Greece, more than four in 10 women feel men have more job opportunities. However, the contributions of female leaders in Greece have also led to increased opportunities in the workforce for women.
Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, a Greek-American entrepreneur and an honoree of the 2020 Women Making History Awards, is creating more opportunities in the workforce. She is the CEO of Earth Friendly Products (EFP), a company that provides safe and eco-friendly products. Vlankis-Hanks has demonstrated the need to invest in employees through training. She also believes in providing grants to employees for solar panels at their homes, purchasing electric cars and giving bonuses to employees with less commuting times. These initiatives benefit both workers and the environment.
Increasing Access to Mental Health Services
Female leaders in Greece are also making waves in mental health. Nitzia Logothetis, the founder of the Seleni Institute, is transforming mental health for women. Logothetis is a licensed psychotherapist that has provided services in developing countries. She made significant contributions in mental health and has helped women and families throughout the world. In 2017, she ranked 19th on the Town & Country 50 Top Philanthropists. Her advocacy efforts have led to developments in care for postpartum depression, maternity disorders and maternal and reproductive mental health.
Her organization the Seleni Institute offers telemental health services and specialized treatment over video conferencing, providing greater access to mental health services. The Seleni Institute can provide services to 300 women per week through psychotherapy, workshops and support groups.
Recently, female leaders in politics, business and mental health have become influential in Greece. However, there is still work to do. Contributions made in specialized fields have opened doors for more women to take on leadership roles. As female leaders in Greece continue to make progress in these areas, more change will come.
– Brandi Hale