Promotion of Ukraine, its international recognition, attitude of foreign partners to Ukraine and to our development are among the most pressing issues today. About philanthropists that influence upon the development of the image of our country abroad with the help of “people’s diplomacy” tells Snizhana Sheptytska, a member of the Notary Chamber of Ukraine, a successful notary public and philanthropist.
Mrs. Snizhana, you are dealing with a notary. Could you please tell us in detail about this area of activity? And how did your career start in this vector?
It is a call of fate. After all, I am a third generation lawyer. To be honest, my first education was not devoted to law. I had been receiving my economic education in Poland, in Krakow. But while at home, in Lviv, on vacation, I learned about applying for law school, to the first year of the studies. I applied and entered and I do not regret my choice. For all my work experience, I have gone through all the steps of the legal profession, from the clerk in court to the assistant of a notary. But finally I had chosen for a notary. And for me, this area of activity is kind of special.
Because of ignorance of the law, people usually, instead of turning to a specialist for help to resolve a particular issue, create a problem for themselves in matters in which they are incompetent. And at that moment it seems to the person that there is no decision. Of course, when I give professional advice or help to solve a question – a person seems to be coming to life, he is happy, he has free time. For this person, it’s like a new breath of life.
I always approach the issue both qualitatively and creatively, so it is probably not only professional help but also psychological. When I help for a person to solve a problem, when I see the burning eyes with happiness and I see that the problem is gone, I realize that I am doing a useful and important thing and I get great pleasure due to it.
There is a high demand for notary services in Ukraine, but at the same time the notaries sphere is quite competitive. How do you manage to hold leadership positions?
I have been working as a notary public since 2004. During this time period, I have got a certain reputation that constitutes a very valuable component today. In addition, I clearly understand all the benefits of teamwork and the importance of successful collaboration with partners. After all, when you clearly understand what you are doing and for what, you get the desired result.
Of course, there are many competitors in in this sphere, but for me, any business, when it is competitive, is in demand. These are interconnected things for me.
I have a strategic vision of my work. I always research the market, I study the practical and positive experience of competitors, I constantly analyze my colleagues abroad and apply for their practice, I keep my hand on the pulse of new legislation of Ukraine. When you are constantly up to date, it allows you to hold certain positions at the market.
In the nearest future, I plan to create an online counseling service that will help citizens to make the right decisions in legal matters and do not get into the problems. If one is able to get at first professional advice on their subject and then decides to do or not to do, then this is a very big social matter.
You travel a lot, you interact with representatives of foreign political and business elites. Do you have the impression that the world knows disproportionately little about Ukraine, don’t you? What do you think should be done to improve the situation?
In fact, according to my observations, Ukraine has been known for a long time, thus Taras Shevchenko’s poems have spread around the world and these poems are read and loved.
Ukraine was known as one of the leading sports states even in the Soviet times. And the Klitschko brothers with their incredible victories, Andriy Shevchenko, Yana Klochkova, and Anatoliy Solovyanenko, one of the best opera singers of the world, and many other prominent Ukrainians presented Ukraine to the world with dignity and merit.
But perhaps more important acquaintance with Ukraine was witnessed after the Revolution of Dignity. It is unfortunate that we began to talk more and more often about such tragic events, but these events had changed our attitude to Ukraine and to its recognition in the world. We are already being identified as a separate country, a state that defended and asserted its dignity, its territory, its rights and freedom.
In my opinion, there are many positive changes to be made to improve our attitude towards Ukraine. A new state development strategy is being created, new successful laws are being adopted… But it should be understood that the improvement of our life and the improvement of Ukraine’s international image will not happen in the wake of the magic wand; it will have been taking all time. I believe that all of us should be involved and should contribute to it in every possible way.
As a person involved in international projects, please tell us, how powerful and effective do the people’s diplomacy is? Can the philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and members of the arts community do what diplomats are out of the able to do sometimes?
Such a concept as a people’s diplomacy is an integral part of every country’s foreign policy.
It doesn’t make much difference, whether you are a tourist in another country, or a student studying at a prestigious university, or an actor on tour – if you are Ukrainian, you have to represent your country and your people with dignity. People’s diplomacy is not a tightknit protocol. Some people’s diplomats can of course do more than the professional ones.
Talking without ties, you can better understand the interlocutor and his intentions and, of course, better convey his point of view. It gives some advantages.
Philanthropists have an access into the international financial and industrial structures, which makes it possible to communicate bypassing certain borders and certain conventions. Believe me it is very important for the foreign policy of the state.
Of course, it is critically important to have a proper understanding of the state’s foreign policy priorities among these philanthropists, but this is a separate and very difficult issue.
Personally, I do my best to represent Ukraine in the international arena and I am proud to be Ukrainian.
You do charity work. Don’t you think that philanthropists and philanthropists in our country are actually forced to do what the state does not do?
I perceive the state as a large joint-stock company – maybe, because I’m a lawyer.
Ordinary citizens are shareholders, the government is the board and we all have to get dividends. The law is equal for all. Simply saying, the state must fulfill its obligations. If, for example, the state forgets about disabled people, about large families, about pensioners, then philanthropists help them. We are also a state. The state is not only the government and the parliament. The state is all of us.
How exactly do you help such people?
I take care of the problems of disabled people for a long time and understand that I have been doing the things that certain state structures should do, but I simply cannot stand aside.
I am from Western Ukraine, where we help in need, share with our neighbor, protect and care for others, we have genetics. We are already born with these values. And of course, on all holidays, whether St. Nicholas Day, Christmas, or Easter, we pay the utmost attention to the vulnerable. We collect help and make gifts for orphanages. There are good traditions in Western Ukraine. And one of the brightest is the Christmas Nativity scene. But our Nativity scene was different.
We MAKE gifts to everyone we visit. Such things should not be done because we want to look good and sincere people. We must be them. Charity is a natural thing.
What does a successful woman mean to you?
I think a woman is always successful.
Because a woman is a continuation of kind, this is a caregiver, a mother who is raising the future.
A woman is very multifaceted by nature. And we are constantly striving for something new, to set ourselves with the new tasks, with the new challenges and to get succeed.
For me, success is about combining my favorite work, family, upbringing and friendship with my daughter and my hobbies. I love harmony in everything.
What was the most extraordinary challenge for you?
Apparently, this is a contest of “Mrs. GLOBE”, because for me, as for a lawyer and a notary public, it was not an easy decision.
It struck me that all participants in this competition are very self-sufficient and successful women. They share values similar to mine ones, but each of them has got its own culture and traditions. I was also impressed by the international scope of the competition.
More than 80 women from 60 countries do take part in the competition.
This project seemed to me the most structured, it is very democratic and loyal to the participants, but with its clear rules that must be followed. I liked how the organizers of this competition have selected the participants.
Selection criteria are impressive ones; it comes only about external data of the participants, their achievements in life, their intellectual qualities are taken into account either.
This competition has got a very important social component. The competition is supported by the WIN Foundation (Women in Need), the charity structures that takes care of women who are in difficult living conditions and have suffered through the domestic violence. It means a lot and I think not only for me.
After weighing the pros and cons, I decided to participate, because it is a good opportunity to meet the challenge and to manifest myself.
Of course, as a successful woman you received the title “Mrs. MEDITERRANEAN.GLOBE 2019”, what kind of title is that?
My title is “Mrs. Mediterranean.” I thought for a long time what exactly this title means to me. And finally, I realized that the Mediterranean means the water element, the solar energy, the energy of women, of mothers and caregivers, whom exactly Ukrainian women are.
What does it mean to be a participant of the contest? Is it whimsy, entertainment or is it something much more?
This is without a doubt a new step in my life.
After winning this title, I had a new perspective in life. I have got a sort of new vision. This other angle applies to my work. Participation in this competition has become a powerful energy recharge for me, if I may say so about myself. And I am very grateful for the fate of this challenge, for winning of this title and the organizers for their unrivaled sense of happiness.
When a woman wears a real crown, it is an incredible inner state that I have never had before. It combines at the same time joy, pride, pleasure, confusion and excitement and happiness. These are unique emotions. I would recommend every woman to wear a crown and relive these feelings.
Would you like to initiate this competition in Ukraine?
Mrs. GLOBE is held annually only in the United States and China. Of course, I want very much this competition to be held in our country, thus Ukraine can become the Third country of Mrs. GLOBE. Moreover, during my participation at the competition, I was able to receive a Grant for a broadcast license “Mrs. GLOBE 2019” in Ukraine. I won this Grant competeting with the 60 countries of the world. I think it’s a sign. But I understand that such a large-scale project is possible to be completed not only with the availability of funds, but also due to well-coordinated teamwork. This is a complex and large-scale project; however, I am interested in working at this direction. There will be news later; you will be the first to know.
What do you advise for our businesswoman to combine business, an active public position and remain a charming woman?
We must remain clear about our goals; we must have our priorities set correctly. We are the Ukrainian women; we are very strong, and above all, strong in spirit. The ability to combine inner and outer beauty, femininity, career and social activity is our strength at the same time.