“Any serious shift to more sustainable society has to include gender equality.” Helen Clark
Women still earn 80% of their male counterpart’s salaries. Equality in the workplace has made progress but it is far from a level playing field.
What do women bring to the table that men don’t?
Perhaps women have a greater understanding of other women who juggle family and work and are more sympathetic of how hard it is for women to find balance.
Has the pendulum swung too far in the other direction? We fought for women’s rights but what I see are women juggling children, and work, while hubby just works. They work the same long hours during the week, yet men tend to do less of the household chores leaving the women to pick up the slack at the end of their busy work day.
Some men feel they have more value, just because they are paid more money. I have seen relationships where a woman’s value is narrowed down to dollars and cents. Surely a woman must have more worth than the number written on her paycheque.
Women in business are actually better at a few things than their higher earning equivalent.
- Networking. Women have a natural ability to talk and communicate with the people around them in a self-promoting, business-promoting manner. We connect people through their common interests, and find ways to help each other succeed.
- Opportunists. Women have this ability to see situations from every possible angle, giving strategic details and practicalities in an instant, seeing opportunities others might miss.
- Collaborating. Women work very well in collaborative groups, much like a family unit. It is in her nature to try to get along with others, affiliate others to get along with each other, which in turn makes collaboration a female strength.
- Praising. It must be the nurturing side of women, but they can boost employees to greatness with words of encouragement and praise. Through positive feedback and constructive criticism they bring their team to great heights.
Whenever I see a woman succeed in the business world, I end up rooting for their accomplishments. Many women know the uphill battle far too well not to show some understanding towards fellow female entrepreneurs. We all know just how hard it can be.
My Expat Life Interview
I met Sally Cornan through work, and when she branched off to start her own company, I was happy to watch her skyrocketing success! She saw a hole in the Linguistic Sejour market, she knew she could do a better job than what was being offered in the field, and with her niche idea, she grew her small business into an empire, leaving her competitors far behind becoming the leader in the industry.
Smart, business minded and a fabulous boss to work for, meet Sally Cornan the owner of Daily English Linguistic Sejour.
Who are you?
I’m Sally Cornan from Yorkshire in England. I moved to France from London 22 years ago. I came on my own, stayed in a bed and breakfast in Lyon and worked in an orthopedic company there. Many years later I met my husband who is French.
Back home I was working in Sales and Marketing for a recruitment company called Reed Plc, but I really wanted to live in France because I it was the only other language I thought I could speak! I enjoyed the French culture too and in particular the fashion.
Why did you move to France?
I needed a change of environment and lifestyle. It was a good opportunity and I thought it would open my horizons and my mind.
Did you experience culture shock?
Oh yes the French eat so much, but don’t put on weight, you get paid a 13th month and have to give it to the tax man. I still haven’t coped with the kissing when introduced or meeting people, or saying goodbye. A quick hand wave is still enough for me.
Did you do anything since moving to France that you never would have expected?
Yes I had 4 children! I also set up my own business and travelled with work around France, and I married a Frenchman. I guess everything I did was fairly unexpected. Who would have thought a girl from Oakworth, West Yorkshire?
What do you do for a living?
I run an English Language Homestay Company called Daily English, which offers immersion homestays (linguistic sejours) to French children and teenagers within native English speaker families in France. The program is devised for children between the ages of 6 -18 to live with an Anglophone family during the school holidays.
As many expats know, making a living in France can be tricky. For newcomers to France, being a Daily English homestay family is a great way to make a good income upon arrival. All you need is your TESOL / TEFL accreditation or a teaching degree, and a spare room or two, and you can start hosting students.
The reason this method works is the diverse teaching methods used within each home. Because the students are immersed in the Anglophone family for 1-3 weeks at a time, they learn daily vocabulary, conversational English as well as traditional grammar points. With the small groups between 1-4 students the teachers cater the classes towards each individual student. During the week progression is rapid.
Our teachers don’t only use curriculum books but also music, theatre, dialogues, games and/or whatever works for the group. It is specialized classes in the mornings, activities and fun in the afternoons, and homework and movies in the evenings. They make friends and enjoy their vacation all while learning English.
I personally know all of our host families and can pair students with their best suited homestay family. Our standards are high, but the result is a very good program, one that’s trusted in the industry.
What did you do to integrate with your community?
I try to attend local events, in particular theatre and arts, as there is a large artistic community in Montpellier. I have four children that makes integrating fairly easy, and I have many friends met through them. Running a local business that interests the French also helps us integrate. So many parents understand the importance of learning English in this day and age, and it is the reason Daily English has found success.
Tell us something special about the Languedoc that most people don’t know?
Other than a sought after location for expats, it has one of the highest unemployment rates in France. Creating work seems the common theme for newcomers.
What is the worst thing about being an expat?
One of the worst things is our difference in humour. Sometimes I am laughing when no one else seems to be, or vice a versa. But over the years I am more used to this differences. And being married to a Frenchmen does help.
What is your favourite thing about being an expat?
Having four children in a safe environment is very important to us. Education is also cheaper than in the UK especially the private sector. I like the close-knit communities, the relation between our home and the beach, outdoor activities, and I love the close proximity to the airport. Makes travel very accessible, and to be able to take the children on holiday to interesting places is always a bonus.
What do you miss the most about your home country?
My friends and lazy Sundays, live music to sing along to; there is always more happening back home. Oh and horse racing! At home you can go to the racetrack and back a horse with the bookie. It’s very exciting. Here you just have to back at the Tote!
There is also a variety of fabulous restaurants in the UK, although Montpellier is not too bad for variety.
What is a myth about your adopted country?
That the French ride bicycles, wear berets and carry a baguette underarm! I have never seen anyone meeting that description. You are lucky to see one stereotype standing alone directly outside the Boulangerie!
What advice would you give other expats?
Look closely at the work and financial opportunities before selecting an area to live in. One area might also be far more open to foreigners than another. You really have to be diligent with your research. Also, whenever possible, I recommend living in an area before buying a home. Always much better to be certain.
What are you currently working on? Projects, books, business ventures…
I am working on developing my linguistic sejour business, and filling my host families with French students.
It is such rewarding work when the students come back time and time again, to watch them develop into fluent English speakers. It has been the hardest job I have ever loved.
Working from home and being able to raise my family, allows me to find the balance our family was looking for. Our children love participating in activities with our students. It is not just a job but a career, and a perfect fit for our expat family.
With our family’s upcoming move to Hungary, Sally at Daily English is looking for families in the south to send our loyal students to. She needs to find more families to fill the demands of the region.
If you are interested in becoming a Homestay family, and starting an interesting and rewarding career with Daily English please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a student looking for an English homestay immersion program here in France, please visit www.dailyenglish.fr to view and choose your family!