Nathalie Wright (Microsoft France) email@example.com
Mary Dupont-Madiner(Valtus Transition) firstname.lastname@example.org
On 6th of March 2012, four years after WIL’s kick off meeting, Viviane Reding, Vice-president of the European Commission for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship met with us again, for a discussion on ‘Female Talent in the Pipeline. Accountability in the Boardroom’.
The Commissioner was joined by WIL Board member Pervenche Berès, Chair Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament.
WIL’s 4th anniversary, one of the network’s biggest events, with over 70 attendees, was also an opportunity to present the Women Talent Pool (WTP) – a programme built to support high potential women in mid-management positions by offering them mentoring, training and networking opportunities, and which was officially launched by Elena Bonfiglioli, Microsoft, Senior Health Director, EMEA, and WTP Lead.
Saluting the network for its four years of achievements, Vice-president Viviane Reding encouraged WIL to carry on providing to women what ‘gentlemen do so well’ – networking.
MEP Pervenche Berès strengthened the message that netting is a battle needed on top of the one on quotas, sharing some inspiring experiences from her political career. One example she recalled was her collaboration with other female MEPs when writing the Charter for Fundamental Rights for Europe.
The Question of Boards
In early 2011 Vice-president Reding appealed to European companies to implement voluntary changes to increase the proportion of women in their Boards. Considering the results unsatisfactory, Vice-president Reding promised to use her “regulatory creativity” to achieve her objective. In this context, she announced the launch of a public consultation (based on her Progress Report) to assess possible EU-level measures to enhance female participation in economic decision-making.
“I don’t like quotas myself but I like what quotas do (…) the goal is to have a world where we don’t need to speak about quotas”, Vice-president Reding said.
MEP Pervenche Berès, Chair Committee on Employment and Social Affairs stressed the importance of looking at different dimensions of the issue and dealing with the question of corporate governance and the question of women in society in general. The MEP also shared her conviction, that self-regulation is not a solution.
“I believe in fair, proportionate, well-written laws (…) [their implementation] is a way to influence and change behaviors”, she stated.
While Isabella Lenarduzzi, CEO JUMP, presented an overview of the current state of female representation on boards, Thaima Samman, WIL President, shared WIL’s stand that while quotas might be necessary, they are only one out of the many solutions to improve the gender balance situation; there is a need to nourish the pipeline at different levels and address the issues women face during earlier stages of their careers.
In this context, WIL shared with its guest speakers the WIL Compendium of Gender-Related Best Practices. The document is composed of examples of programmes and initiatives supporting women in leadership, created by a joint effort of WIL Members, and is open to gathering other practices that can support drawing policies with long-term results.
The Launch of the Women Talent Pool (WTP) Programme
Elena Bonfiglioli, Microsoft, Senior Health Director EMEA and WTP Lead, officially launched the WTP, a program whose goals are to enable early identification of talents and peer to peer learning through tapping into the potential of more senior women leaders (WIL Members), nourishing talents to offering them opportunities to learn out of the boundaries of their roles, helping them develop as leaders in a holistic way and, finally, giving the new talents a voice.
While describing the successful kick-off of the WTP, she referred to the Emerging Leaders (EL) participating in the programme as ”pearls” and offered them a round of applause.
WTP participants benefited from a full day of training, learning and networking opportunities organised as part of the programme launch.
They participated in a morning of intensive trainings, offered by four professors from the Center for Evolutionary Learning: Wolfgang Hackl, Benoit de Bellefroid, Maurizio Zollo and Kris Vander Velpen, who discussed different aspects of leadership and entrepreneurship, as well as demonstrated to the WTP Participants the practice of meditation, which, according to recent studies, has a positive impact on professional performance.
The Emerging Leaders were also given the opportunity to visit the European Parliament, during which MEP Mary Honeyball shared her insights on possible career paths in EU institutions and discussed the challenges women often need to overcome to become successful leaders.
During an organised speed dating session, the EL had a chance to network with WTP Role Models and other WIL Members, who offered their advice and shared experiences with the young talents. The session proved to be very successful; we have received excellent feedback from its participants, who encourage us to carry on the initiative as part of our future events.
To read the full report of the event, please click here
08 Mar 2012-
Roundtable gathering with Kevin TURNER, COO of Microsoft International
07 Dec 2011-8.15AM
Amcham Breakfast with Xavier Tessier and Darcy Bradbury
06 Oct 2011-8:15 - 12:00
Improving Corporate Governance: AmCham, Wil Network, Administration Moderne
Presented at the 2012 OECD Ministerial Meetings (May 2012 OECD Forum)