The Future (of Work) is Female

Meet Paula. Paula has a Masters level education but has never been able to break the glass ceiling of her Bachelor’s level job. Her superiors adore her, her performance speaks for itself – but here she stays. Paula lives in Paris, Taipei, Kampala, Bishkek and Bueno Aires. Do you know her?


According to the Paula Principle, “most women work below their level of competence”. Despite a global tendency for women to out-perform boys and men in education in almost every subject, women still systemically work below their educational level. The main factors behind the Paula Principles are discrimination, self-confidence, caring responsibilities as well as the lack of vertical networks and freedom of choice.

Hiba, Interior Designer

These barriers are even more present amongst newcomer women – who are statistically better educated than newcomer men. Linguistic and cultural barriers, when coupled with a lack of recognition of the skills acquired in countries of origin and through life experiences, lead to a systematic loss of potential for newcomer female talent.

Shakiba, actress and designer

Aware of the intentional work that needs to be done in this space, PLACE has always had an equal gender balance in all its programs to counteract the Paula Principle – notably by building skills for creating and managing vertical networks and self-confidence.

Sousana, MBA recipient and restaurant owner

Sousana, Shakiba, Hiba, Asmaa, Thoeiba, Nitharshini, Sabria. An economist, a designer, a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor, a chef and a midwife. Tired of their skill sets collecting dust, the women of PLACE take active roles in learning new ways to act and grow in host society. All actively reskilling, upskilling and networking through PLACE to break the glass ceiling and allow their potential to shine.