Meet a member! – 5 Questions for Laila

The International Women’s Club of Riga is an international group of women offering friendship and supporting local charities.

Every year IWCR elects a new board. This year the new board consists of:

President: Laila Stancioff
Vice President: Amanda Banister
Treasurer: Bridget Healy
Secretary: Marija Krumina
Social Activities Coordinator: Vija Pugule

The success of the club, the number of monthly activities and income at the annual Christmas market depend on the work of the board. All proceeds from the annual Christmas market then go towards supporting local charities.

We would like to introduce all members of the club’s board to the members of our club and will start with the main representative of our club – Laila Stancioff – the New President.

IWCR: Laila, you are a IWCR member for a while. How did you find out about the club, and what the club does?

Laila: I had found it on my first year in Latvia, when looking for places to make friends. However, the time of the Meets and Greets did not fit my work schedule, so I ended up never coming. Until I got more flexibility a couple of years ago, and decided to finally come.

IWCR: Why do you want to give to our organization? What motivates you to be involved?

Laila: I really enjoy meeting the members. I go to a lot of networking events, but it is rare to find somewhere to go where you can actually make friends, and you are not being sold on anything. I also value all the charity work we do in the club, as I have volunteered in charity projects many years in Brazil and here.

I hope to, together with the present board, bring some optimization into the work of the club, as it is very easy for administrative tasks to take over all your free time. We want to make sure that all – both board members and other members – can contribute with what they do best, with the time they have available, and that is not overwhelming for anybody.   

IWCR: What would you like to pass on to the community and future generations?

Laila: The value of each person’s individuality, and courage to be yourself.

I have always worked with process management, optimizing organizations, but I always did it in a way that suits the people in the organization, who they are, what they need. I realize that ready-made solutions very commonly more disturb than help, as they are designed to “solve all your problems” and “fit all”:, but end up not really fitting anyone.

It is the same thing with people’s lives. We often suffer with other people’s expectations of us – what we should be doing, at our age, being in the country we are and in our social class. But these rules and expectations many times don’t allow us to hear our own voice and find out what do we really want for ourselves. I hope that with my books, my coaching practice and my story I can help many women who are already fed up with their situation to have the courage and the tools to make change and build a life where they can be themselves fully.

IWCR: Would you share with us your favorite experiences in Latvia (a place you like most, a dish, an event, music, culture etc.)?

Laila: I love being in the woods and in countryside. In Latvia I have learned about gardening, and this is one of the things I like doing the most from spring to autumn.

IWCR: Can you share a little bit about yourself? What is your profession, hobbies, what have you done before, your cultural background.

Laila: I come from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and have moved to Latvia after graduating, following my grandmother’s stories about her motherland.

At work, I organize messes and create continuous improvement. I work with process management, and help organizations optimize their processes, create and review their operating procedures, and build the team they want. On the individual level, I am a productivity coach, helping executives and very busy professionals to develop better work habits and handle all their work, having space also for personal life.

In parallel, I am also a transformational coach. I focus on women who are “sick of it” and need change. I am also an author and motivational speaker.

In my free time, I like playing the guitar and the piano, gardening, organizing stuff, upgrading my house, reading and writing. Right now, I am learning how to paint by looking at videos in YouTube, and have just started working with wood and build shelves and a desk for myself in our countryside house.

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