Entrepreneur Valentina Coco has always been passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This led her to begin a Leadership consulting and coaching: Coco Consulting and Coaching Gmbh in the year 2020.That primarily focuses on Communication, team culture, inclusion and diversity.She grew up as a mixed (Asian and Italian) child in the eighties in the south of Italy, she was subjected to racism and bullying. As a female studying engineering in Italy, she has also experienced sexism, which carried over in the work environment as well. She wanted to change the situations for communities and individuals to feel better inclusion at the workplace and in society in general.
Valentina believes that “My purpose is to make change and progress happen through connections. Being able to launch and start scaling my program, and the real-life impact and changes I have seen in the executive teams I worked with so far. Seeing them become really connected with what Inclusion means, and feeling it personally, is what drives me every day”. Valentina has also been a panellist at Digital Davos 2022 alongside other amazing women entrepreneurs.
She believes that finding an area where you can bring value to society and develop services or products around it. For profit, on the side, as a non-profit organization, it doesn’t matter. If you are creating something that adds value to someone, you are an entrepreneur.
“After 17 years in corporate, I realized that I could drive more impact by focusing hundred percent on my passion, as a consultant rather than working from within, so I founded the company. My objective is to support leaders to become more inclusive, find ways to create safe corporate cultures, foster engaged teams, and reach the point where everyone feels they can be their authentic self at work.”
What do they do at Coco Consulting and coaching Gmbh?
They work with companies and start-ups to support them develop an inclusive corporate culture through sensibilization, trainings, hands on workshops, and reverse mentoring program including the setup of KPI tracking and measurements, and governance models. They have a flexible pricing depending on the company situation and needs, as the actions are tailored to each client.
They are also running a wider community program in the form of open reverse mentoring, for all individuals that want to learn more about this topic, thanks to a wonderful and growing community of mentors.
Challenges Valentina has faced both as an entrepreneur and as an individual
Valentina points that Diversity and Inclusion are a ‘hot topic’ at the moment, yet there is still a lack or resources in the space. Many companies want to start programs, or transform their culture, but they have not found a way yet, they have limited financial resources for external support and guidance, due to the crises and of course other business priorities.
Challenges she has faced as an individual, she told us that “I was held back by my own imposter syndrome, fear of failure, and having to support my family as a divorced mom. So, I waited till I reached a point through the pandemic where I couldn’t focus one more minute on something that was not meaningful to me.”
Message for women entrepreneurs and aspirants.
You can be anything you want. You can achieve what you sent your mind to. Reach out to other women who already made it, and men too. If you ask for guidance and help, you’ll definitely find it. Your background and education might make your path harder, but the right connections will always guide you and will support you.
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