Liana Grieg és una de les tres fundadores del club Juno House. ©Marc Llibre

“Barcelona is full of female talent, it is a city of progress”

The co-founder of the Juno House club considers it "spectacular" to have managed to add more than 500 members and says that she is working to bring Michelle Obama one day. "Barcelona is an excellent bridge between local spirit and international interest," he says.

Liana Grieg is co-founder of Club Juno, the well-known space for women designed to help the personal well-being and professional development of its partners. We are at the Aribau street headquarters, in the space called Clubhouse , the one with the greatest New York atmosphere in this large restored flour mill. The island centers have, apart from the possibility of being landscaped, the possibility of hosting spaces of refuge like this which, at first, may seem banal, superfluous, a luxury, but once inside you discover the need . Apart from that you don’t have to live on necessities either: the idea rather obeys a capital, sonorous and cheeky “Why not?”.

— Be honest: Did you live in New York and get sick of it?

— No. After growing professionally in the finance and emerging markets sector, specialized in connect people and investors, I did a master’s degree in Barcelona while Natalie Batlle, another co-founder (also American), settled in Barcelona to derive her work from Public Relations in the field of startups . So, no: we didn’t burn out of New York, or America. There is no breakage. What we do is take the spirit of New York inside and package it to develop it in another place, in this case a wonderful city like Barcelona, ​​to develop it.

— Does this mean it’s a replica?

— No, I’m talking about the spirit. Not of the specific project. In New York right now there could not be such a large, central building dedicated to this: there may be smaller, more unstable places with more constant turnover of members. On the other hand, our project is genuinely Barcelona, ​​with a mission and a great team, although imbued with an attitude and a lifestyle that comes from outside. And we realized one thing: in a city like Barcelona, ​​if you don’t create your project yourself, you won’t have it.

— Do it yourself.

— And here we have it. We are now more than 500 members, although Juno has come to grow women as well as men. We have an agenda full of activities, both those aimed at members and those consisting of more open events. Before there was only one type, women who had exclusive access to all activities. Now we also have a more “social” side, for women who cannot take advantage of the many activities we do, but who, on the other hand, do want to form a community and networking. We have created a type of associate adapted to this profile. And now we are the largest space in the whole of Spain dedicated to these services for women.

— The activity is daily, then?

— The point of making a whole building is that the activity is daily and constant, yes. We wanted to make it big and good. The problem was precisely that many women do not know the amount of activities we promote. And we wouldn’t know them well either, if it weren’t for space! I have a yoga student, who we always talked to after class. Well, I recently found out that she is one of the most important surgeons in the country, Dr. Constanza Ballesta! Juno serves, therefore, to know. To have the opportunity to connect people who have similar concerns.

— Being in one place is important.

— Exactly. Belonging to a house, to a community. Now I’m telling you from the perspective of an expat : the circles you find in Barcelona are very professional, very sector-specific, and this makes it difficult to find people who simply “are there”. Being there, a place to be and to grow. This is who we are.

— And this is what you find in New York? I do not think so.

— Look: when I go to Maine, it’s because I want to breathe. On the other hand, when I go to New York it is to plug in electricity and do things non-stop. We are transferring this energy here, that of not stopping, and this means that we help each other a lot. We talk about equal pay, conciliation, we have a little Juno space which is a childcare service… We want women to have time to do the things they want to do!

— The Cercle del Liceu has been admitting women for some time now. Why aren’t there anymore all-male clubs, like Juno but in reverse?

— We accept men as guests or companions, and men have contributed a lot to the creation of Juno. We also have many male guest speakers. Simply put, we want the woman to be the center of attention, but nothing more.

What I was telling you: and the clubs where the protagonist is for the man?

— Oh, you do what you want with that. Obviously. I don’t know if you need it, what I do know is that we do. We have to give each other a lot of support, we multiply energies, we create debates, we try to create a balance between work and life for women is now absolutely necessary. We do not understand gender difference as a competition, but as a collaboration. And between us, obviously, we also collaborate.

— What is your balance of this first year?

— Spectacular. Physical space exists, and it’s a magnet for restless women. We achieved a variety of 360-degree activities, and touched 500 lives (500 members) and all non-member sales. We want to go further, of course, but with time, and develop the idea of ​​partners and partners. Offer more variety of conditions to approach us.

— Is Barcelona a closed city?

— One of the most open that I know. We have, first of all, a link with Barcelona. a story Then, it turns out, it’s full of female talent (and since it doesn’t get much exposure, this space makes it pop). Thirdly, it is a city of progress, of technology, and with a special sensibility for the feminist movement. And finally, it’s a city that inspires, it’s cosmopolitan, we’ve counted more than a hundred clubs or associations of active professional women! Barcelona is an excellent bridge between local spirit and international interest.

— “Juno”?

— She is a Roman goddess, who accompanies women in the important moments of their lives. A pillar for women.

— What do you value about Barcelona that is not found in New York?

— I call it the quality of life. Enjoy the place where you live, have more balance between work and own life. In New York you give a lot, but you don’t end up enjoying it. The city doesn’t answer you that much. On the other hand, Barcelona is much more generous in this regard. And provincial has nothing to do with it. If it was, we wouldn’t be here.

— And now, to grow up?

— Exactly. More events, more speakers, more content, but with more flexible access as a member. We plan to organize brunches some Saturdays of the month. 95% of our growth so far has been organic, without placing a single ad! Word of mouth, referrals, partners bringing partners. What we need is to listen to the partners, not stop listening to them: we learn a lot from them.

— More challenges?

— We want Michelle Obama to come.

— How?

— I’m sure Michelle Obama will come to see us.