How Three Ukrainian Women Survived The War While Running A Startup


After Russia started a full-scale war against Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians had to leave their homes, save their loved ones, relocate their businesses, and volunteer for their country.

Headway, an EdTech startup with offices in London, Nicosia, Kyiv, and Warsaw, also faced these challenges.

Yet, they evacuated their Ukrainian team to safe places with their relatives, ensured business continuity, and kept on hiring. Here are the stories of three women from Headway who were in charge of these complicated tasks while keeping their families safe and staying resilient.

1. Anastasia Bondarenko, Head of Content and Communications

The most challenging thing was accepting reality

Usually, I’m responsible for the content on our app and the company’s communications; my main task is to form, develop and guide teams to follow product strategy and achieve business goals. But on February 24, my usual responsibilities went on hold.

Instead, I joined the Emergency Team and helped everybody at the company stay updated about our next steps.

RELATED: Wars Are Not Won Without Women — How Ukrainian Women Are Carrying The Burden Of The Russian Invasion

At first, I instructed the team on how to pack an alarm backpack and then told everybody about changes in workflow during the war. My responsibilities were to create Headway’s positioning during these terrifying times, share the right messages, and help relocate the women of Headway abroad.

During the first weeks of the war, I was on “autopilot” — I had a cold mind and a clear plan for the next couple of days.



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