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Cyprus 4.0: Christina Themistocleous

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As Head of the Deloitte Academy, and member of the faculty team of the EMEA Deloitte University, Christina Themistocleous is responsible for developing strategic plans, which promote innovation through learning, designing interactive training programmes, investing in employees’ upskilling, and reskilling, and improving clients’ learning experience.

“Upskilling and reskilling programmes are an important focus for us at Deloitte, as much for our people as for our communities, as these help professionals to maintain relevance and marketability to shape unique and fulfilling careers for all.”

The Deloitte Academy in Cyprus supports executives and business leaders across industries, enabling them to stay on top of market trends and best practices in order to thrive in their business, through high-level interactive training courses in fields such as, Accounting & IFRS, tax, risk advisory, regulatory updates, industry specific, legal, family-owned business planning workshops, corporate finance, CFO, CEO, COO and other executive workshops, as well as soft skills training programmes. Their training programmes are designed to cater for the needs of today’s professionals. 

As a woman with a pioneering role, how have you played a key part in bringing about change, and how are these changes enhancing your organisation’s potential for future growth? 
“I feel privileged to be a part of the Deloitte team for the past 15 years, during which I have been given numerous opportunities to enhance my skills, evolve and grow into the professional I am today. As Head of the Deloitte Academy, I had the opportunity to strengthen our learning and development activities by creating alternative learning pathways and experiences that were inspired and empowered by talking with our people, clients, and stakeholders at large about their needs.”

Tell us about the Deloitte Academy, and how your valuable input will bring about sustainable corporate growth and profitability. 
“By investing in upskilling and reskilling, we are looking to continue enhancing Deloitte as a place where people can develop and advance their careers, as well as engaging in meaningful professional achievements. Moreover, Deloitte Academy delivers out of the box and original training programmes to provide unique experiences to our current or prospective customers. In addition, it is important to highlight that we stand by our moral code and treat everyone equally, supporting each other’s development and progress.”

How does an increase in the number of women in the workforce benefit businesses and organisations? 
“In today’s dynamic business environment, promoting gender equality by increasing the number of women in the workforce is important for a number of reasons. Beyond the fact that it is “the right thing to do,” it is also very important to integrate women to enrich an organisation’s spectrum of different skills, ideas, decision-making options, and perspectives that are essential to address global issues and to harness new scopes and opportunities.”

What does it mean to be a female pioneer in your industry, in this day and age? 
“Being a woman with a pioneering role in a global network is a truly challenging yet extremely rewarding experience. The development of the Deloitte Academy involves a number of different strategic decisions, including a number of important ramifications in the advancement of the quality of services and our brand name. The Deloitte Academy in Cyprus involves a great spectrum of opportunities for international collaborations within the Middle East as well.”

Do you believe men still dominate the most influential companies in the world today? If so, how does one break down the barriers of this gender imbalance? 
“Indeed, men still dominate the most influential companies in the world today, yet one needs to recognise significant achievements of women in relation to more fair opportunities in promotion and recognition. Deloitte, in particular, has made significant steps towards gender balance and has plans to further advance gender equality in a more practical way.”

How would you describe the gender dimension in Cypriot society based on your own experience? 
“Gender equality has significantly improved, yet there is still room for improvement. In the last few years, a significant number of women thrived in many different fields such as in the social, political, economic, and business context. Even though Cyprus ranks lower than many EU member states, I am positive that, considering the professional and academic qualities of our female workforce, the future is brighter than we can imagine.”

Did you have a woman leader as a mentor, or are there specific women who inspire you and why? 
“I consider myself truly blessed in this respect, since I had a number of women leaders as mentors throughout my career. Each one of them had different characteristics that inspired me and gave me strength to aim higher and achieve my goals. However, on a more personal note, the most precious mentor I had in my life has been my beloved mother, who has never let me down. Instead, she would always make me feel protected, as she would always create a circle of safety, she would always tell me the truth, she would be a constant source of inspiration in achieving my goals, by reminding me of my strengths and capabilities. Without her unconditional love, her emotional and practical support, and her example, I would not have been the person and the professional I am today. I am truly grateful to her, and all the women who inspired me, encouraged me, and believed in me.”

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