WIL Events reports

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  • 06 Dec 2016 17:32 | Anonymous

    On December 6th, 2016, WIL Europe has organized its last Breakfast Debate of the season at the European Parliament in Brussels, which focused on Innovation in Healthcare, as it is on the brink of massive change by facing unprecedented challenges. To discuss this timely subject, WIL Europe was honored to have a panel of diverse and high-level speakers such as Elena Bonfiglioli, Senior Director Health Industry, Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA) at Microsoft; Karin Kadenbach, Member of the European Parliament; Elinaz Mahdavy, Director of European Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at Orange Healthcare and Deborah Papiernik, VP, New Business Development, Technology and Strategic Alliance Ubisoft Entertainment.


    Opening the discussion, Thaima Samman gave a general introduction on the subject, explaining how challenging innovation in healthcare can be while digital disruption is taking place. Health service is one of the least developed one which doesn’t adapt easily to the recent digital challenges. As a public service, Health has high regulation, that goes beyond the one in the economic sectors. The challenge is therefore to find a good balance between innovation and regulation, increasing efficiency while ensuring protection and the privacy of the patients. For Elena Bonfiglioli, this balance must be found in trusted technologies, to capture data in a seamless way and ensure protection. We are at a cross road for the future of health.  Systems of intelligence are the enablers of health digital transformation   in four different ways:

    -        new ways to engage with patients. how to empower stronger collaboration and communication amongst healthcare professionals and between professionals and patients, with virtual health solutions.

    -        optimizing clinical and operational effectiveness, with the aim of extending the capabilities of health professionals with systems of intelligence and advanced analytics, not replacing them with robots.

    -        transform the care continuum.

    For more info on the scenarios and references on how digital transformation is coming to life across these scenarios and across several European countries, you can visit the web demonstrator at www.healthdigitaltransformation.com

    Karin Kadenbach shared with Elena Bonfiglioli the idea that a transition point has been reached in the health sector. She advocated within the European Institutions to put health issues at the top of the political agenda, as she believes it is a shared competency between EU institutions and member states. In that regard, the Third Health Program named “Health for Growth”, 2014-2020, aims at fostering health in Europe by encouraging cooperation between EU countries to improve the health policies that benefit their citizens and encourage the pooling of resources.


    Elinaz Mahdavy, echoed Karin’s words in terms of encouraging a better cooperation between stakeholders, governments and policy makers, in order to actively support innovative initiatives, reward excellence and achievement, and scale up successful projects. While 37% of the European population is expected to be 60 or more by 2050, in addition to the rise in chronic diseases and in the healthcare expenses and lack of health professionals especially in rural regions; traditional healthcare systems can no longer cope with these issues without a fundamental transformation. Digital revolution should therefore be embraced fully, as part of the solution. Digital health is at the intersection of two universes: the medical world and the IT world to ensure the continuum of care. As an e-Health market is now growing, telecom operators such as Orange promised to be at the heart of the process to transport and host massive collection of health data in a secure way. However, adoption has so far proved to be challenging. It requires, among other things, working on change management to move from a “Cure” to the “Prevention” mode and on the other hand to train doctors and patients to use ICT technologies and payers to be less reluctant and play the game to close the loop. We need to find the right business model for the eHealth solutions, and ensure interoperability of the health systems beyond boundaries. 

    Deborah Papiernik, believes that the videogames industry has also a major role to play in the changes amongst the healthcare industry. Ubisoft has succeeded by immersing gamers into the world they build and engage them in the experiences they create. Implemented in the healthcare system, gamification can improve users and patients’ engagement in medical treatment. Gamification makes medical treatment more intuitive, more educative, and more fun, facilitating patients’ engagement in their health. Through 4 different experiences led by Ubisoft, Deborah illustrated how video games can help:

    Dig Rush  http://www.slate.fr/story/98803/dig-rush-traitement-amblyopie

    In a wish to further engage WTP Emerging Leaders and Alumni in the network, WIL has decided to welcome a WTP Talent to the speakers’ table to wrap up the session. Here, Claire Jones, Head of Group Purchasing for McLaren Technology Group and WTP talent shared her personal insight on the subject and summarized the main outcomes of the discussion for the audience. 


  • 05 Dec 2016 12:28 | Anonymous

    On the afternoon of Monday, December 5th, 2016, WIL Europe was honored to be welcomed at the French Representation to the EU in Brussels, for a very high quality networking cocktail with Ann Mettler, Head of European Political Strategy Centre at European Commission.

    As the discussion was meant to be informal and warm, in order to foster shares of experiences and exchanges between Ann Mettler and a restricted number of 30 WIL members and WTP Alumni.

    François Riégert, Minister-Counsellor, Head of the economic service at the French Representation to the EU in Brussels, opened the evening networking cocktail with few words welcoming to the guests and the talents. He expressed his satisfaction to witness major changes in terms of gender parity in EU institutions in the recent years.

    Pinuccia Contino, Head of the Unit “Communication and Strategic Planning” of DG Justice and Consumers and Paulina Dejmek-Hack, Member of Cabinet of J. C. Juncker, as WIL Board Members, introduced the keynote speaker of the evening Ann Mettler to the guests, and emphasized her resilience through the tortuous path toward leadership.

    Ann Mettler then took the stage to reflect with the audience on her inspiring path through the European Institutions, entrepreneurship and think tank. Sharing her successes, but also her doubts and difficulties on her way to leadership, she gave a wonderful testimonial of resilience, and a tremendous example that authenticity, passion and hardwork can overcome any barriers. She acknowledged that the path toward leadership is not always easy, but “find a job you’re keen about, and it will worth it”. Either way, she advised women to dare: to dare having great ambitions, and to dare to pursue them. Stepping out of their comfort zone is also risking failure, but that shall not prevent them from trying again, and succeed. “I have not always succeeded, I had major failure too. But I’ve always tried, as hard as I could. And that I can be proud of.”

    As a manager, she strongly believes in meritocracy, and values soft skills (human qualities, motivation and eagerness to learn) as equally important than competencies in her employees. It is then up to the manager to bring out the best of people.

    Talking about her experience in entrepreneurship (as the co-founder of The Lisbon Council, a Brussels-based knowledge economy think tank and innovation policy network) she encouraged any woman, and especially working moms, to try this experience. Being her own boss not only makes you the sole responsible of your success, it also gives more flexibility to adjust working hours with family life requirements.

    Ann Mettler closed the session by giving precious pieces of advices to the Talents : Being authentic : be yourself and do not try to be a man, make yourself indispensable to your boss, and bring passion to everything you achieve.




  • 08 Nov 2016 10:32 | Anonymous

    On November 8th, WIL Europe was thrilled to be hosted by the French Ministry for Families, Children, and Women’s Rights, for a powerful yet intimate dinner with the French Minister Laurence Rossignol in Paris. The dinner gathered 16 top-notch women business executives, members of the European Institutions, representatives of non-governmental organizations and academics, to discuss the theme: “How to promote women in leadership roles in Europe / Accèlerer l’accès des femmes aux postes de responsabilité en Europe.” The participants shared with the French Minister Laurence Rossignol insights, best practices, and fostered a common reflection on women’s empowerment at the European level. 

    The discussion was structured into 3 sub-themes: Promouvoir les femmes dans des postes de direction / Promoting women in leadership positions; La gestion des talents féminins / Managing women's talents; Les politiques européennes en matière de promotion des femmes, à l'échelle nationale et européenne /European policies to promote women in Europe, and the European countries.


    Opening the discussion on the first theme, « Promoting women in leadership positions » Brigitte Dumont, VP Group Corporate Responsibility (CSR) at Orange, stressed out the importance of the CEO’s commitment and of both women and men managers to break the glass ceiling that prevent women from accessing top level positions. An opinion shared by Kristin Schreiber, Director of the COSME Program and SME Policies at the European Commission, who thinks that a collective effort towards gender equality is required from both the public and private sectors. In this line, Maria Pernas Senior Vice-President, and Group Deputy General Counsel ATOS, announced her company’s objective to recruit up to 50% of women in leadership positions in the following years. This commitment is supported by a recent study lead by ATOS, proving that diversity enhances performance and well-being in companies. This point was reinforced later by Claudine Schmuck, President of Global Contact, who spoke about “Diversity marketing” to explain that promoting diversity is a marketing asset for companies, as it gives an image of modernity and performance. Nevertheless, Nathalie Wright, General Manager Enterprise & Partner Group at Microsoft, pointed out the issue of diversity management: to be effective, diversity management should be inclusive, and address all specific needs of women. Providing some examples, Paulina Dejmek-Hack, Member of Cabinet, and Economic Advisor to President Juncker, European Commission, spoke about informal practices which are detrimental to women’s family responsibilities, i.e. setting decision making meetings after 7pm, or late nights of work which however tend to be prolific by providing networking opportunities.  


    The second theme “Managing women’s talents” was introduced by Béatrice Delmas-Linel, Managing Partner of the French office of Osborne Clarke who is taking very seriously her managing role by helping inside her firm women talents develop their skills and find their leadership styles. Under her management, Osborne Clarke France has become one of the most performant law firm of the Group. Katherin Corich, who started her own company Sysdoc at the age of 25, has built her success on a simple yet disrupting management style: Trusting women to be equally qualified as men, hiring them, and strongly supporting them: “We are a team, everyone is watching each other’s backs.” An assertion strongly supported by Isabella Lenarduzzi, President of JUMP, who claimed “Mutual support is essential. There is no market share in feminism!”


    Addressing the issue of recruiting women’s talents in the STI sector, Bénédicte Javelot, Chief Strategic Officer at Orange, regretted that science and technology are still unattractive to young women. The percentage of women studying science remains very low (around 25%) and women lack of role models in scientific and technological sectors. Christine Petit, Human Resources Director at Orange, shared her analysis by focusing on Orange’s programs dedicated to Talents’ development, which include mentoring programs. Marina Niforos, founder and president of Logos Global Advisors asserted that Digital has been disrupting business models for a few years now, and is becoming the major challenge of the coming decades. It is crucial for young girls not to turn their backs on the digital and learn how to code early.


    Moving on the third theme, “European policies to promote women in Europe”, Pinuccia Contino, Head of Unit at the DG Justice and Consumers at the European Commission provided her insights on the European Commission’s initiatives for gender equality. In her opinion, women cannot fully contribute to the economy and the society if they continue to face gender disparities at home. To fight discriminations in every aspect of women’s life, the European Commission is launching a campaign on November 25th to fight against gender based violence. Anne Houtman, as principle advisor to the European Commission, reminded the motto of the European Union: “United in Diversity”. Diversity, in the broad sense, is a European value which should always search to achieve equality while respecting differences.


    After hearing from the participants’ interventions, Laurence Rossignol, French Minister for Families, Children, and Women’s Rights, concluded the discussion with several remarks about the situation of women in France and Europe. She would like to understand why, regardless the numerous campaigns launched on the subject, the percentage of women in science still remains so low? She denounced the political timidity to name rape culture and to recognize its influence in gender based discriminations: “la pudeur à nommer les inégalités hommes / femmes est une timidité à agir” (“Modesty to name gender inequalities is a timidity to act up on”). Therefore, the Ministry has initiated a series of initiatives to fight systemic discriminations. Among those, she launched a 6 months’ campaign on social media with the hashtag #SexismePasNotreGenre, to fight daily sexism. 


  • 03 Nov 2016 10:20 | Anonymous

    On the morning of November 3rd, Global Contact and WIL Europe collaborated to organize an intimate and high-level roundtable to discuss the results of the study Gender Scan, led by Global Contact. The study provides an overview of the place of women in Sciences, Technology and Innovation (STI) and suggests best practices to promote diversity and reduce inequalities between men and women. The presentation was moderated by Claudine Schmuck, WIL Board member and founder of Global Contact, an advisory group focused on result oriented developments using NTIC, online services, and benchmarking reports.


    The panel of speakers included distinguished names such as:

    •   Pierre Gattaz, President of MEDEF
    •  Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Innovation, Marketing & Technologies Executive VP
    • Stéphane Pallez, CEO of La Française des Jeux
    • Laurence Rossignol, French Minister for Families, Children, and Women’s Rights
    • Stéphane Treppoz, CEO of Sarenza

     All the speakers reacted to the Gender Scan study’s key figures and shared best practices to promote and manage gender diversity in organisations.

    Pierre Gattaz, president of MEDEF, an organization created by the main French Employers' Union, asserted that gender diversity is “the major challenge in modern management”. Diversity is a driver of creativity and innovation in the highly competitive corporate world. As Stéphane Pallez underlined, business models have been facing major challenges in the recent decades and “we will need all talents, both men and women, to address digital disruption”.  Yet, less than 20% of women are seating on boards and executive committees. This figure calls for change towards gender parity in the corporate world: the GenderScan study identified three pillars companies must work on to create an women-friendly work environment: First, organizations should be more flexible to fit with women’s multiple responsibilities. Second, career management tools dedicated to women should be created and finally, companies should pay more attention to the life-work balance.

    Sarenza, represented by Stéphane Treppoz embodied this commitment for change by offering special programs to support the career advancement of women, such as women’s mentoring, coaching, women-specific trainings, and the early development of women’s talents.

    For the French Minister Laurence Rossignol, both the corporate world and the public administration should take a step further than merely recognizing the value women provide in corporate governance. It requires “more than just exemplarity and good will”. Therefore, she announced that " from January 1st, 2017, the French law will require a quota of at least 40% of women in CA listed companies”.

    Closing the session, Maria Pernas, WIL Board Member and Senior Vice-President and Group Deputy General Counsel, ATOS reminded to the audience that, although progresses have been made, women remain underrepresented at every level of the corporate pipeline due to lack of sustained and continuous effort from the organisations. To address this crucial issue, she advised private and public sectors to work together to close the gender gap and realize the benefits of gender equality. 



  • 28 Jun 2016 13:27 | Deleted user

    On the morning of June 28th, 2016, members of WIL, Commission representatives, Members of the European Parliament and friends gathered at the European Parliament for a WIL Breakfast Debate, where was discussed the pertinent topic of the future of Public Services in the European Union.

    Opening the discussion on the opportunities and challenges faced by the administrations to deliver an efficient and user-friendly Service at a time of digital communication, Thaima Samman introduced our experts: Elisabeth Werner, Head of Cabinet of Vice President for Budget and Human Resources of the European Commission Kristalina Georgieva; Dr. Milena Harito, Albanian Minister of Innovation and Public Administration; Nathalie Loiseau, Director of the French famous school ENA and Denis Basque, Economist, Partner at Tera Consultants.

    Taking the floor, the economist Denis Basque focused on the complexity of the definition: In the European Union, Public Services are described as services of general interest and services of economic general interest. Although the distinction between the two is diluted, services of economic general interests are much more regulated within the framework of the European single market because of its economic nature. Yet, subsidized by the State, those services are delivered at a lower price than those delivered by the private sector, resulting in a distortion of competition. The 21st century is highly competitive, which makes it crucial for the European Institutions to deliver public services of economic general interest that will on one hand maximize the general interest and on the other respect the rules of competition of the single market.

    The European Union competition rules were enforced to defend the EU citizen’s best interests. This objective is at the heart of the European Commission’s mission, as highlighted by Elisabeth Werner: to restore trust between citizens and the European public administration, public services delivery, in the 21st century, must be open, transparent, cost efficient and reliable. To do so, ICTs need to be placed at the center of the process, in order to restructure the system, procedures, and habits to enable citizens, companies and organizations to access public services more easily, more quickly and at lower cost. These changes will be executed by high-level professional civil servants, who will better represent the population and implement the reforms.

    Building upon Ms. Werner’s point on citizen-centered public services, Nathalie Loiseau called for a bottom-up approach: Citizens are not customers, they have legitimate expectations and requirements that need to be heard and addressed by the public decision makers. To address these challenges, the public administration must re-invent itself from the inside, starting from learning from their previous mistakes and importing best practices from other countries. In Nathalie Loiseau’s words, “Complexity requires diversity”: To implement public policies that can really address the variety of their citizens’ needs, the public administration must fight against unconscious recruitment biases which, too often, prevent gender, social, ethnical diversity at top level positions.

    Finally, Dr. Milena Harito gave the audience an interesting insight on the implementation of public administration reforms in Albania, a country that is not yet in The European Union. As the current Albanian Minister of Innovation and Public Administration, and former Head of Department at Orange France, Dr. Harito is reforming the Albanian public services by using the model of “customer care principles” applied in digital companies such as Orange. Thus, she created an agency entirely dedicated to deliver public services more efficiently, based on clear systems and procedures. The goal is to have non-corrupted, accountable and transparent public services in the country.

    To sum up, the common thread to all these lively perspectives and valuable insights is: The citizens’ interest. In the 21st century, in a highly connected, digitalized, and complex world, the citizens are expecting much more from their administration, which should reform itself to better reflect the diversity of its population and needs. Gender diversity in the public administration must be achieved to implement suitable, efficient and effective public reforms.

    WIL Europe Breakfast Debate EP
  • 23 Jun 2016 14:03 | Deleted user

    In the context of Salesforce Worldwide Tour, hosted in Paris on June 23rd, The European network for women in leadership (WIL) was happy to partner with “Women network” of SalesForce to organize a 40 minutes’ roundtable focused on the theme “Femmes des années 2020: les femmes dans le business, on aurait tort de s’en passer!” (“Women in the 2020’s: we need more women in business!”).

    Stephanie Finck, Senior Director, EMEA Government Affairs at SalesForce, introduced the session with few words of welcome for the audience and the panel speakers. She draws audience’s attention on SalesForce commitment for gender equality, which is based on three principles: equal pay, equal advancement (increase access to advancement opportunities for all) and equal opportunity (build a more diverse pipeline and recruit a more diverse workforce). Stephanie then left the floor to the moderator of the debate, Thaima Samman, President of The European network for women in leadership (WIL), who introduced the distinctive panel speakers: Laurent Depond, VP Diversity and Inclusion at Orange, Dunya Bouhacene, CEO Women Equity Partner, Véronique di Benedetto, Managing Director France at Econocom and President of the Program ‘Femmes et Numerique’ from Syntec Numerique, and Marion Meresse, Principal Sales Engineer and representative of Women Network at SalesForce.

    As speakers all assessed, women may have made great strides in the workplace, but inequality persists, and is even more important when they reached leadership positions. They are particularly underrepresented in the digital sector, and Veronique Di Benedetto pointed out that they are only 27% of women in the IT sector. The reason lays in gender stereotyping: Tech has a reputation for being a male-dominated space and girls often decide against ICT as a post-secondary academic track. For Veronique, it is a loss for women, but also for the ICT industry, which lose a huge talent pool.

    Dunya brought to the discussion few figures and data from a study conducted by Women Equity for Growth which prove Veronique’s point. In 2015, Women Equity for Growth awarded the top 50 most successful women-led SMES, selected among a panel of 32 500 SMES which generate an annual sale of 4 to 100 million euros. They found out that SMES owned by women are globally more performant than their male counterparts, and succeed better in establishing an international presence (56% of the SME awarded by Women Equity were developed internationally). The 50 awarded SME generate a sales revenue of 1,3 billion € overall, with an average turnover of 26,5 million € (as compared to 15 million € for the rest of the panel). In 2014, their annual growth rate was higher than the average growth rate of the panel, especially in the industrial sector.

    Yet, although women are driver of performance for the companies they run, they are still excluded from the top level positions in business. According to Laurent Depond, the business rules have been elaborated by men for men. Women will find their way in this male dominated sector only if men let them in and, more importantly, if they get convinced that they are critical to increase business performance and bring economic growth. Men must be convinced that rules must be changed, not only because it is fair, but also because it will benefit men as much as it will benefit men.

    To take over those changes, a strong commitment of the company is required. Orange is well known for its initiatives for gender equality, diversity and inclusion, but SalesForce has also follow the same path in the recent years, as pointed out by Marion Meresse. “Women network” of SalesForce took decisive actions to inspire girls to dispel the stereotypes that surround STEM and take opportunities in the ICT industry. Marion underscored that there is no need to be an engineer to succeed in the fields of STEM.

    Salesforce Paris Wolrd Tour
  • 17 May 2016 15:39 | Deleted user

    Women Think Next is a worldwide networking event & community for professional women organized and initiated by Microsoft. Last Wednesday, May 17, 2016, this event was hosted by WIL member Nathalie Wright, General Manager Enterprise & Partner Group for Microsoft France for the first time in France.

    From 18:00 to 21:00, the event provided the participants with a full evening of workshops and roundtables focused on the themes of trust and confidence, as a driver of performance, well-being and economic growth.

    Nathalie Wright kicked off the evening with few words of welcoming remarks and introduced the topic,and first panel dicussion. She then left the stage to Thaima Samman, President of the European Network for Women in Leadership, who moderated the first roundtable on the theme of: « La confiance au cœur de l’économie collaborative » (‘Trust: a key element in collaborative economy’). To discuss about the topic, were invited great representatives of big companies such as Mathilde Bluteau, Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft France and Cécile Beliot, Managing Director Danone Waters France and Benelux, alongside speakers from dynamic star-ups such as Sarah Roy, Fredérique Castagnac, Chief Marketing Officer at Azendoo, Elsa Duperray, Head of Communication & Marketing at Wingit, Marie Bleu, Business Developer at TokyWoky.They all agreed to say that trust, proactively built together with customers, is a long-lasting competitive advantage for both traditional business models and new market players. Maintaining a high level of human connectedness between business and customers increase the level of trust in technology-based businesses. Indeed, computer codes and sophisticated technology are not easily understandable by customers and often results in distrust. Participants also highlighted trust as a key element of performance in companies. Indeed, as trust-based company has a culture that bound team members together and increase efficiency and performance.

    Later in the evening, Murielle Le Goff-Riveron, Customer Success Manager at Microsoft, took the stage as the moderator of the second roundtable focused on the subject of confidence, as a driver of performance and well-being at work (« La confiance en entreprise, vecteur de bien être comme d’efficacité »). Great speakers such as Caroline Bloch, Human Resources Director at Microsoft France and Jeremy Lamri, CEO of Monkey tie, gave their insights on the subject, followed by Sophie Vernay and Arielle Belicha Hardy, who presented to the audience key figures and main outcomes of a study they led on Confidence and Growth. Speakers highlighted the existing link between self-esteem, wellbeing in the workplace and performance. Yet, self-esteem and well-being come from a proactive management strategy, built upon openness, flexibility and autonomy. For Jeremy Lamri, self-confidence is built over time as a result of a ‘test and learn’ process: ‘knowing that you will fail, but you will recover and move forward’.

    From 20:00 to 21:00 a networking cocktail concluded the evening, and gave further opportunities to the participants to exchange, share their experiences and extend their network.

    Microsoft event 'Women Think Next' on May 17
  • 14 Mar 2016 17:20 | Deleted user

    On Monday 14th, WIL Europe hosted a dinner-debate, in partnership with Lenovo and WIL Member Catherine Ladousse, Executive Director of Communication EMEA at Lenovo, in London.

    Focusing on Competencies for Success in a Connected World, Thaima Samman, Founding Partner of SAMMAN Law and Corporate Affairs & WIL President introduced the panel speakers: Irene Acedo-Rico, EMEA Executive Director of Sales at Lenovo, Katherine Corich, President and CEO at Sysdoc, Frederic Halley, Operating Manager at Next World Capital, Corinne Poupet-Louvès, Director of Group HR Jobline at Orange, Bertrand Salord, Senior Director Marketing EMEA and Russia at App Annie, and David Shufflebotham, HR Director UK at Osborne Clarke.

    The participants to the dinner discussed the challenges addressed by both companies and individuals in a shifting digital and globalized world. Digital disruption is affecting traditional business models in an unpreceded manner for the last decades, provoking significant change at all the organizations’ levels, including extended supply channels. Facing the threat of being superseded, large companies such as Orange or Lenovo are coping by pursuing a continuous reconfiguration process with rapid resource reallocation and organizational adaptation.

    As technology cycles become shorter and shorter, the pace, size and complexity of change keeps intensifying, challenging even digital disruptors such as startups that need to strengthen their newly acquired position on the market. With a very aggressive target of growth, the major challenge of the starup App Annie is to run digital innovation projects at a very fast pace to stay on top of the market. A business line shared by Next World Capital, a Silicon Valley VC fund operating with American and European star-ups, for which fast scale-up and flexibility are the key elements. According to Fredric Halley “in an environment where pressure is really high and job are very fast paced, there is little tolerance for failure”.

    Alongside this business shift lies an evolution in people management: digital transformation not only influences business models, but also jobs. Traditional work is evolving through technology to become digitized, and requires new skills. Employees who have these skills are the foundation of successful organizations. Nowadays, employers must adapt their strategy, develop their talents’ abilities in order to keep them longer. Indeed, in the new business model shift, people are the most important piece. For Katherine Corich, President and CEO of Sysdoc, digital disruption is actually more compatible with the human factor, which is the “most important part of the equation” in a strategy for growth, performance and productivity. The evolution of the HR system is a matter tackled by Orange who published a White Paper Document analyzing HR functions over the last decade and prospective of evolution for 2020-2025.

    Speaking about the digital shift and human resources also implies talking about the millennial generation, also known as the generation Y, who entered the workforce massively in the last decade. As digital natives, they are a valuable target for companies who struggle to retain them. Millennials embrace a strong entrepreneurial mindset and they are often on the lookout for opportunities that can continue to move them up the ladder, even if that means up and out of their current position.

    Indeed, the major challenge faced by HR executives in big companies such as Orange, Osborne Clarke or Lenovo is first, building a conducive work environment to foster skills and competencies within talents, and then having them grow within their company. To address this challenge, the participants of the discussion generally agreed on an individual-centered management strategy: our society and workplaces are nowadays shifting toward individualization, therefore collective trainings are no longer in accordance with people’s expectations. Along with Orange, who considers its employees as customers with needs, Osborne Clarke also puts a high emphasis on individuals: to drive performance, it is crucial that individuals achieve professional and personal development. The role of the company is to help them achieve selfawareness, with a wide range of tools and coaching sessions which will allow them to identify and prioritize their goals and strengths.

    To sum-up the discussion on New competencies for success in a connected world, the participants agreed to say that companies are generally looking for a set of core competencies in their talents: among those, Lenovo emphasized for instance mobility, in particular the ability to move internationally in an even more globalized world. For network-based companies such as Next World Capital, networking is a key element to connect with a maximum of people and to extend opportunities. Nevertheless, the panelists acknowledged that there is not one single path to success: It is very specific to each individual. For David, “matching the individual expectations with the company’s needs” is vital for both employees and corporations to grow together.

    In this shifting world, women must also find their place. As an audience member emphasized, it is not only a matter of getting the job done, it is also a matter of building your own sphere of influence, to show your work to your supervisors, and to position yourself as a leader within the company.


    WIL-Lenovo London Dinner-Debate
  • 08 Mar 2016 11:41 | Deleted user

    On March 8th, WIL Europe with the support of Women in Equity organized a luncheon at the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance in Paris, with Emmanuel Macron, French Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs. This luncheon focused on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Talents Management. It gathered 16 top-notch French women entrepreneurs, picked among the 50 women Leaders awarded by Women Equity Growth. WIL Board Members, Viviane Chaine-Ribeiro and Béatrice Delmas-Linel were amongst them.

    After Mr. Macron’s brief introduction underlying the importance of SMEs for the dynamism of the French economy, the guests explained their growth strategies in a market traditionally dominated by multinationals. For Martine Bocquillon President of Point Service mobile, first French company dedicated to the immediate repair of mobile phones: "Having the spirit of entrepreneurship, means first and foremost being a pioneer in your area". The participants to the luncheon described their growth strategy and how they are making a difference in their market share.

    They all agree upon the fact that they are heavily investing in innovation which is key to their success. According to Laurence Pottier-Caudron, President and founder of Valoris development: “Relying on innovation, particularly in the digital sector, helped us become one of the top key players on the market”.

    Together with innovation lies the need to constantly adapt in a very shifting world. Therefore, SMEs are innovating not only in terms of products and services but also internally by adjusting their organizational structure and methods towards digitalization and multiculturalism.

    This event was the perfect opportunity for SMEs’ leaders to share best practices and acumens with their fellow women entrepreneurs, and to provide Emmanuel Macron, French Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs with a high-level insight on the entrepreneurial sector.

    For more information (in French) on this event, please follow this link

    WIL & Women In Equity Lucheon
  • 08 Dec 2015 16:10 | Deleted user

    On December 8th, we held our last Brussels based session of 2015 at the European Parliament hosted by MEP and WIL Board Member Pervenche Berès. Our WIL breakfast session gathered 40 plus guests to discuss and exchange on an interesting theme that continues to evolve and impact all of our lives, regardless of sector, ‘The New World of Work & Women in the Workforce’. We were joined by high-level speakers Manuela Geleng, Acting Director, Social Policy at DG Employment and Social Affairs at the European Commission, Veronique Karcenty, Head of Recruitment, Mobility and Diversity at Orange, Sarah de Carvalho, CEO of Happy Child International Foundation and Elena Bonfiglioli, Senior Director Health Industries at Microsoft EMEA, who all shared their perspectives, best practices and insights. The morning was full of interesting insights on our theme, as well as questions and comments on where to go from here, and how.

    WIL Europe was happy to have Manuela Geleng at our breakfast session, representing the European Commission, in the capacity to both benefit from the discussion we were having, as she is working on the topic, but also to share with our guests the work-life balance initiative the European Commission is undertaking. This initiative aims at modernizing the current EU legal and policy framework so as to enforce a better work-life balance for women and men, and improve women’s participation in the labour market as a whole. It will examine the legislative framework in an effort to determine the most effective tools to support work-life balance for all, such as leave arrangements, promoting affordable & quality care services, flexible work arrangements, and affordable tax and benefit systems to name a few. Ms. Geleng shared some insights on the public consultation currently underway, and urged all those present to partake in the public consultation on the work-life balance initiative which is open to the public until February 7th, 2016. We would also like to suggest to all WIL members interested in submitting their opinions on this ever evolving matter please to please find details on how to make your voices heard by clicking here.

    Facilitated by Thaima Samman, Partner, SAMMAN Law and Corporate Affairs, the WIL session highlighted many cross-cutting aspects related to supporting women in the labour force which includes first and foremost the role of culture. Specifically, the need to have leadership within, and leaders of, organisations support organisational culture that is diversity positive and inclusive. Whether the organisation is private, public, or non-profit, support of diversity (of all kinds) on the part of the leadership is integral to the ideal type of culture fostered in a company. A culture that demonstrates this support and is dedicated to empowering and supporting employees in their needs, will enhance the ability for women to enter into and excel in the workforce. Orange provides a best practice on this, as Veronique Karcenty mentioned how their CEO supports, without question, the inclusion and advancement of women at the company, which has allowed for a new talent evaluation systems to emerge with higher frequency that better helps all employees to determine their career trajectory, but also helps managers to identify who may need support in certain areas in order to advance.

    Furthermore, we discussed how the role of technology and the ‘new world of work’ plays an immense role in the transformation of careers and workplaces for all people in the workforce, and women in particular. Generally, we are moving from a less ‘traditionally structured’ work place to a more flexible one enabled by technology and our ability to be more connected regardless of physical location. This development has specifically had a positive impact on women’s careers, as women thrive in a flexible work environment and work cultures that allow talent to be expressed and interpreted less rigidly and on a more personal basis. As Elena Bonfiglioli framed during the discussion, we are shifting from the ‘cube’ to the ‘cloud’, from your own cubicle to a world that is connected completely which allows people to better influence and drive their careers in a way that best suits them- less and less are we limited to one ‘traditional’ career path ideal.

    We also heard from the non-profit/charitable sector, a sector that is dominated by women (twice as many women work in the charity sector than men) but still faces persistent issues in regards to the number of women occupying leadership roles in the sector, equitable pay and so on. Sarah de Carvalho, who represented women leaders from this sector discussed the need to potentially enforce an audit on the sector in an effort to ensure that the disparities between men and women working in charitable organisations is addressed, thus better enabling women to form a prosperous and successful career path.

    We look forward to re-igniting our Brussels based session in 2016, and to engaging as many of you as possible in this open environment of insight sharing and exchanges on pertinent business and social topics.

    WIL Europe Breakfast Session
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