The force of a Wonderful Romanian Mind !
Interview with Daniela Palade Teodorescu
Daniela Palade Teodorescu
For the special edition Visionary People of the 21st century, edition 2022
by Ingrid Vaileanu
Interview Francophone: How could we resume your carrier and experience till now?
Daniela Palade Teodorescu: Journalist, trainer, opinion leader, social activist, co-author of few oral history books, ambassador of Diversity Chart, editorial director for TUDOR Communication – PR, communication and personal branding international agency. The most recent editorial project is the coordination of the platform www.feminismforeal.com. Before, I was the editor-in-chief of Avantaje magazine for 20 years, and the editor-in-chief of CARIERE Magazine for another two years. Since 2017, I have been a member of the Competitiveness Association (INACO), co-author and trainer in a project as innovative as it is necessary – Guide of the Future Jobs (the 4th edition), launched by a team coordinated by Andreea Paul, an unique educational tool, useful for both students and teachers, but for parents and entrepreneurs too.
I am the parent of two school children and a promoter of what quality education means, thinking "out of the box", the jobs of the future, the alignment of the Romanian school to the skills required by the economy of the future, breaking the stereotypes and anachronism of the education system.
I graduated from the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences in Bucharest and I own a MA in Communication Sciences that refers to mental health "Schizophrenia and alcoholism in the vision of the Palo Alto School". Media institutions that reflect these unhealthy patterns of functioning among their organizations. At that time, in 1996, there was no bibliography in Romanian on this topic, so I had to translate it from French 😊. Since then, I have been fascinated by the systemic approach to mental illness and the way in which it is influenced by media organizations.
In my career as an editor-in-chief, I have often addressed topics related to mental health, both in Avantaje magazine, the first glossy magazine dedicated to women in Romania. We were going to talk for the first time about emotional intelligence, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, postpartum depression, burnout, knowing that women are more open to such topics, more willing to admit that they or someone close to them is in a situation of emotional vulnerability. And implicitly, he was more open to asking for help. We spoke for the first time about support groups in situations of family crisis (domestic violence, divorce, separation, single parenting, widowhood, terminal illness, cancer) or professional (sexual harassment, abuse at work, mobbing, female migration for work abroad). We called „women in distress issues”. I published the first domestic violence testimonial written by a reader of the magazine, entitled "The Story of a Survivor." Then followed the first testimonial on female migration written by a Romanian badanta in Italy („The exodus of mothers”).
In Romania, there were no such support groups at that time, either independently or within NGOs.
Now, 20 years later, thank God, there are many associations and support groups that cover these needs. They are not enough, there is still room for more - especially in small towns, in rural areas. The good part is that technology can make it easier to get around with zoom connections, google meet, where there is internet access and a laptop / smartphone.
For CARIERE magazine, the concern for promoting mental health went to another level. We launched for the first time a magazine edition dedicated to the phenomenon of "Mid career crisis" - the mid-career crisis - where it leads the second professional turn. We gathered diverse opinions and perspectives of recruitment experts, without biases, or taking the side of employees and employers. We just wanted to put a taboo situation on the table, which is rarely and somehow approach in extremes, and to encourage people to reflect more on this stage of life, which is defining for their prosperity and longevity.
We also organized for the first time an event “Health and inner balance under socio-professional pressure”, a conference dedicated to company managers, from another perspective: employee health!
All these taboos and many other aspects related to the balance of our health from a socio-professional perspective, were discussed and analyzed with the specialists present at the event: doctors, psychologists, lawyers, opinion leaders and, of course, HR Managers and General Managers.
Interview Francophone: What evolutions in the human resources management and the protection of the employees’ health?
Daniela Palade Teodorescu: The pandemic has brought major changes in the relationship between employees and employers, with good and bad.
The good thing is that the pandemic has overthrown the dictatorship of office-only work. Work remote / work from home has become a reality on the labor market agenda. Managers "in control" had to give up the pressure and obligation of working 9 to 6 and rethink teamwork, even the organization culture.
For many employees, remote work has been a blessing, especially for those who have comfortable homes in the suburbs, residential parks or in the countryside. They reduced the time spent in traffic, the stress caused by the overcrowded city and they had more time for themselves, for the family. This category of population did not want to return to offline work or chose hybrid work.
For employees living in small apartments, working from home, side by side with their spouse, children with online schooling was a huge stress. Lack of space, prolonged exposure to screens led to exhaustion, neurosis, anxiety. The most difficult challenge was addressed especially for women / mothers who had to work remotely, to supervise the children in the online school, to take care of the household, in the absence of help (housewives, nannies, grandparents). Many working mums have been forced to quit their jobs or take part-time jobs, with declining incomes. The closure of nurseries / kindergartens during the pandemic was a major stressor for working mums.
Fear of coronavirus disease has also led to widespread neurosis. The fear of being infected, the media pressure regarding the number of illnesses and deaths, then the cases of illnesses and deaths in the family eroded deeply during this period.
Job insecurity, layoffs, restructuring have fueled fear. It was noticed an increase in domestic violence. At the same time, the cases of anxiety, depression, panic attacks, depression were exacerbated. Both adults and children - preschoolers, schoolchildren, teenagers. Very confused after the absurd alternation online-offline school, with parents nervous about everyday surviving chase, the payment of bills, mortgage, inflation.
At the same time, post-covid or long-covid symptoms appeared - these led to deep and prolonged exhaustion, burnout, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, cognitive issues. The responsibility of the employer towards his employees has increased, in order to prevent the appearance of the burnout syndrome in the organization.
Efforts are being made to identify the symptoms of burnout in advance and to better understand the causes. Employees have become more aware of the first warning signs, what prevention means, what actions we can take at the organizational level to help employees manage their workload and work relationships, to call for help, to identify actions that lead to recovery.
Organizations talk more often about the impact of stress at work, about stress management in an organization. There are more and more organizations that talk openly about managing frustrations at work - the double perspective: employee-employer.
Doctors talk more about constant socio-professional stress and health disorders: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems or asthma.
Maintaining the work life balance is an increasingly common goal of professionals. Many working people choose to move from overcrowded and polluted cities to be closer to nature, more connected to it and to family and their personal values. The year 2021 was one marked by many resignations among professionals who chose to give up toxic jobs, in order to reinvent themselves professionally.
It is a trend among women in high professional categories - retreats in the middle of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, guided by specialists in mindfulness, psychotherapists, life coach.
Interview Francophone: What is your advice for the generations of the 21st century?
Daniela Palade Teodorescu: Pay attention to the opportunities that arise. The pandemic closed many doors, but opened many more windows. People are more open to explore their true selves, to reconnect with nature, with authentic people and with their vocation. To explore their personal "why", the mission that brings them authentic fulfillment. When a person discovers his personal WHY, work becomes valuable and fulfilling, and the work-life balance is easier to keep the balance. Because work is life and it's very hard to separate them.
Be consistent with what you say, do and live according to your values.
I discovered neurofeedback - a brain training technique that enhance your mind and well-being. I discovered it because all this period of uncertainty has left its mark on my health condition, with the exacerbation of anxiety and panic attacks, plus long covid symptoms. It turned out that a short-term evil has proved to be a long-term opportunity that I am now exploring. I began to study this field and apply what I learn. Any obstacle, any attempt is a message that you have a new lesson to learn. It's not easy at all, but it's worth the effort.
Interview Francophone: What projects and important subjects to by tackled in order to protect humanity evolution in the context of multiforme crisis?
Daniela Palade Teodorescu: The most recent editorial project is the coordination of the platform www.feminismforeal.com. It brings together my expertise as a journalist with women's communities on topics that are very dear to me and that have become very necessary - women leadership, women solidarity, female entrepreneurship, quality feminism.
We aim to honor the generations of feminists who made this reality possible. Let's talk about "real" feminism, as it really is, in an accessible and friendly language, about values the new generation can identify with.
We want to build a community of solidarity, a hub of female leadership that provides women with information and support to change the world. Through values such as solidarity, empathy, gratitude, collaboration, non-victimization, honesty, decency, courage.
www.feminismforeal.com offers interviews with the most influential women of the moment, credible, authentic, inspiring role models - regardless of age, race, religion, ethnicity, Examples of women building courageous world-changing businesses. It is a center of female leadership, a place from which women can take strength, inspiration, motivation, and men to find reasons to recommend it to their daughters, their partners. Because a better world for women is a better world for all.
In a world where we are talking more and more about the D-VUCAD “matrix” (disruption, volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, diversity), the values of female leadership bring solutions to each of these challenges. Women have always had "soft power" and they are somehow genetically programmed to put humanity first, so they have all the data to initiate humanity into cohabitation with artificial intelligence through a natural inner force: Womanism.
Perhaps this could be one of the answers to the famous question, "What's the ROI of your mother?" - the quote coming from the famous Gary Vaynerchuck: The Return on Investment on femininity and motherhood left for a long time in an undeserved shadow cone.