Greek-Filipina executive breaks cultural barriers in the UK maritime industry

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An executive of mixed Greek and Filipino heritage, Kate Bollanou is every bit the epitome of an empowered woman.

“When I started as a shipbroker in London, I felt I didn’t belong. At the time, I was the youngest and only woman on the team. The only expatriate. There were daily interactions that made me feel excluded,” Bollanou said in an interview with The Manila Times.

In this interview, she opens up about the way she transformed the “hurtful and traumatic” experience into positive advocacy and established the Kate Bollanou Coaching company, an intercultural communication consultancy that helps maritime companies develop their teams’ communications skills for more effective collaboration and increased productivity.

“I see it as my duty to help others navigate similar situations that I’ve been in,” Bollanou explained.

“Being biracial gives me a natural ability to see a situation from two different angles. I understand how other people can perceive reality differently, and this perception is often affected by each person’s cultural background.

“In 2017, after six years of working as a shipbroker, I decided to start my business and help women in maritime succeed in their careers. After working with several women and companies, I realized that culture also plays a role in how people experience their work environment,” she said.

Read the full interview here

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