Bea Benkova is the Founder and Chairman of the Global Institute for Extraordinary Women
Originally from Slovakia, Bea was raised believing that she can make a difference in theworld. Aged 15 at the momentous fall of theBerlin Wall, she witnessed Slovakia become ablank canvas – a canvas on which she knew
she could contribute to creating a new designfor our society. At this crucial time oftransformation for Slovakia, her desire to
understand and impact Slovakia’s newlydeveloping economic system and its relationship with the international community, led her to gain her first Masters degree in
Banking and Economics.
Following various management positions in business, in 1994, Bea was headhunted to serve as personal
assistant to the former Slovak Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy – a woman renowned for her high
levels of expertise, integrity and grounding, and a wonderful inspiration to her.
Her interest in understanding Slovakia’s connection to the world grew, and after gaining an Open Society and Chevening Scholarship through the British Embassy, Bea moved to the UK in 1999 to study at Oxford. Consequently, she completed her second Masters degree in Risk Management at the prestigious ICMA Centre at Reading University.
For the next five years, Bea worked for a number of large financial institutions in the City of London and also co-founded the Slovak British Business Council (SBBC), a London-based organisation for which she served as Chairman of the Board two and a half years.
Whilst working in the high-pressure environment of the City of London, she began to notice the impact of that environment on people, particularly women. She witnessed many people being unhappy, unsatisfied and burning out, and women surrendering their femininity and emotional fitness to succeed in the corporate world. Her belief that she could make a difference kicked in.
When she completed a personal transformation programme on September 11, 2001, the day the World Trade Center was attacked, Bea understood that we have to do what we authentically love doing to find fulfilment and ultimately live a life worth living. Ever since she dedicated her life to finding and developing her talents and passions, living an authentic life and helping others do the same. First, as a complement to her banking career and later as her full time occupation - with the focus on making a difference to women.