Past Events 

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  • 09 Jan 2019 10:41 | Anonymous

    There will be quite a few rocky bits along the road. You need something to keep you going. This is why it is crucial to establish women support groups. These kinds of networks really make the difference”, were some of the encouraging words shared by our member Mary Honeyball, Member of the European Parliament, during our ‘WIL and OC Women Christmas Afterwork’, on the 13th of December 2018 in London!

    On the eve of the Christmas Break, we celebrated not just one but two women’s networks: kindly hosted by our partner Osborne Clarke, the members and talents from WIL Europe had the chance to meet with 'OC Women' network, which has been set up to create an environment that promotes career development for women at Osborne Clarke, with the aim to ingrain gender diversity in all aspects of the business and establish role models at all levels of the organization. 

    After a first introductory networking session, Katherine Kirrage, Associate Partner of Osborne Clarke UK and participant of the 4th edition of our WTP Programme, welcomed the participants from both networks and invited WIL’s General Manager to take the floor and introduce WIL’s network to the OC community.

    It was then time to listen to the testimonials from our two guest speakers, our member Mary Honeyball, Member of the European Parliament, and Tish Christias, Head of Legal of Microsoft UK, on what does it take to be a woman leader.

    Mary Honeyball, MEP:

    “You don’t have to be the most brilliant person, but all you have to do is to be good and work hard. Don’t give up, keep going and you will get there!” 

    Patricia Christias, Head of Legal of Microsoft UK:

    “This is not easy for anybody, and I love groups like this where you can have an honest assessment. I am here to help anyone who would like to take the next step, because I would like to work with you!“

    Thank you to all the speakers, participants and to our partner Osborne Clarke for hosting the event!

    Left picture (from left to right): Alessia Gasponi (SoftLab) and Emma McPeacke (Osborne Clarke). Right picture (from left to right):  Katherine Kirrage (Osborne Clarke), Nina Lazic (Osborne Clarke) and Tish Christias (Microsoft).

  • 07 Dec 2018 11:44 | Anonymous

    Brussels is known to be the heart of Europe, and it is also a place that often welcomes and unites our members!

    On the 28th of November, thanks to our partner SAMMAN Law & Corporate Affairs, we had the pleasure to welcome, in the frame of an informal gathering, some of the participants of our latest EU Breakfast Debate, arriving in Brussels the day before from different European cities!

    Following a lively networking session, the participants were offered a training on how to get a best in class LinkedIn profile, by our Alumna Myriam El Ouni, former LinkedIn executive.

    Myriam El Ouni sharing some tips with the participants on how to improve their LinkedIn profile.

    In addition to the tips and tricks Myriam shared, her continued commitment and contributions to the network, illustrates one of the key ingredients of WIL's success and one of the best ways to grow your professional network: giving back! The more you will give back, the more we can create positive synergies that will enrich the network individually and collectively!

    Thank you to all the participants, to our partner Samman Law & Corporate Affairs for hosting the event and to Myriam El Ouni for contributing greatly to the event's success!

    Left picture (from left to right): Anca Caruntu and Racha Abu el Ata. Right picture (from left to right):Clémentine de Guillebon and Sabine Abello.

    For more photos, click here.

  • 29 Nov 2018 14:00 | Anonymous

    On the 29th of November 2018, thanks to our host and member Pervenche Berès, Member of the European Parliament, and to our sponsor Procter&Gamble, the European Network for Women in Leadership (WIL Europe) gathered female leaders from across Europe to highlight some of the best practices for retaining and attracting women and supporting them to climb up the professional ladder.

    The discussion, moderated by WIL Europe’s President Thaima Samman, took place at the European Parliament and featured a high-level panel of speakers, representing various organizations and industries:

    • Ourania Ekaterinari, CEO, Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations S.A.
    • Isabella Lenarduzzi, Founder and Managing Partner, JUMP
    • Renate Nikolay, Head of Cabinet to Commissioner Jourova
    • Caroline Thomaes, Benelux Country Leader, P&G

    Thanks again to our host Pervenche Berès and our sponsor Procter&Gamble for making this event possible!  


  • 22 Nov 2018 16:02 | Anonymous

    There is no better way to spice up the fall season and get through these cooler days than to gather for some wine and cheese in a warm and friendly atmosphere. This is why, on the 15th of November, WIL organized its first Afterwork of the season, kindly hosted by our partner Osborne Clarke in Paris.

    This initiative was a great opportunity for WIL members, guests and the participants and alumni of our Women Talent Pool programme to meet and exchange once again!


    Right picture (from left to right): Beata Dobrowolska, Claire Bouchenard, Lucie Mongin-Archambeaud and Odile Duthil

    After the first networking session, our Board member and host Béatrice Delmas-Linel, Managing Partner at Osborne Clarke, welcomed the participants and shared some insights on WIL Europe and the Women Talent Pool Programme.

    It was then the turn of the WIL WTP Talents to introduce themselves and share some words about their participation in the WTP Programme.

    The positive feedback we received underline once again the importance of providing a space for our members to come together, discuss, support one another in a meaningful and relevant way, and expand their horizons.

    We are glad that you enjoyed this gathering as much as we did and would like to thank you all for your participation. Thank you especially to our partner Osborne Clarke France, for making this event happen!

    For more photos, click here

  • 02 Jul 2018 17:48 | Anonymous

    The iW50 INSEAD Summit on the 29th of June 2018 illustrated an important day for not only our partner INSEAD but also for our network and women as Leaders and equals in education, as this event celebrated five decades of women at INSEAD and ‘their commitment to gender balance and inclusion’.

    The yearlong celebration culminated at INSEAD’s Europe Campus in Fontainebleau last week where our WIL members, participants and alumni of our Women Talent Pool programme and came together to enjoy the various academic and alumni speakers, breakout sessions and networking opportunities throughout the day. 


        Elise Bruillon and Cristina Tejada Biarge                        Sabine Abello, Milena Harito and Elise Bruillon

    The One Day Event delved into a variety of issues such as gender paritymentorship, the importance of diversity and the benefits it can deliver. As well as, education as a powerful force for changeleadership and much more throughout the numerous workshops and breakout sessions.

    Amongst the high-level speakers, the Summit welcomed Bill MorneauCanadian Minister of Finance who spoke on gender balance, “Every human being on our planet has a real and fair chance at success”, the role of government and business in making sure woman are fully succeeding in our society. Mr Morneau referred to a specific quote written on a poster in his daughter’s room… “We cannot all succeed if half of us are held back” a quote by Malala Yousafzai. He further stated that this poster inspired his 2018 Budget for Canada.

    In particular, our WIL members and WTP participants acknowledged the powerful words presented by Leslee Udwin, Founder of Think Equal. Leslee not only presented her own experiences, and truly heart-breaking truths, she also spoke of her work as a Human Rights Campaigner and introduced her non-profit global education initiative Think Equal. Please see here for more details on their work.

     “We really have to move to drive change. Not just to ponder it. Leadership by women in the business sector: that is your job because you are remarkable forces for good.” Leslee Udwin at INSEAD.

    Thank you once again to our partner INSEAD and our board member Nida Januskis for not only inviting us but graciously welcoming us to their prestigious event. The Summit truly embodied INSEAD’s affirmation by proving their dedication to making gender balance a ‘norm’ on campus, at work and the world through celebrating not only the past but the present and future of women. We look forward to many more successful events together!

    For further information, please contact:

    Laura Watson

    Main: +33 970 403 310


  • 01 Jul 2018 10:54 | Anonymous

    On 19 June, the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel and Godmother of our Women Talent Pool programme has hosted the Digital4Her conference in Brussels, focusing on building concrete measures to ensure gender equality in the digital sector.

    During the Digital4Her Conference, WIL President Thaima Samman, together with 20 high-level representatives from the Digital sector including our Member Isabella Lenarduzzi, Founder and CEO of JUMP, signed on behalf of WIL Europe the Declaration and call to action to EU corporate tech leaders to achieve gender balance in their companies through 4 concrete measures:


    • promote an open and female-friendly company culture;
    • implement recruitment and human resources business policies fully aware of the importance to invest in women;
    • make senior management and top positions (for the most part occupied by men) concretely accessible to women;
    • identify potential female leaders and train them to develop their strengths and play high-level roles;

    While being a strong acknowledgment of the necessity of having more women in STEM, this Declaration is also a reminder of the work that remains to be done... and of the importance of initiatives such as our network!

  • 27 Jun 2018 14:33 | Anonymous


    WIL Europe Annual Gathering
    June 14th-15th, 2018

    Orange Headquarters and POLIN Museum, Warsaw


    Thursday the 14th and 15th of June saw the WIL Network meet in Warsaw for its Annual Gathering. Hosted by our partner Orange Polska, we began the meeting in their Headquarters where more than 80 participants had the opportunity to meet and exchange with other WIL members, WTP participants/Alumni and selected guests.

    The two-day event included a customized training for the participants of our Women Talent pool programme, panel debates on women leadership and on sustainability, and a presentation by two start-ups supported by the Orange Foundation. We concluded the event in the POLIN Museum, further networking opportunities and a visit of the Museum!

    *Please see here for more the photos of the Annual Gathering.

    *Please see here for the Long Report.

    14th June 2018
    Orange Headquarters, Warsaw

    The first day of the Gathering took place at the Orange Headquarters in Warsaw. After an introductory networking lunch, we kicked off the event with the ‘Welcome Remarks’ from WIL President Thaima Samman, Partner at SAMMAN Law and Corporate Affairs, WIL Board Members, Line Pélissier, Diversity Director at Orange and Brigitte Dumont, CSR Chief Officer at Orange France as well as WIL Member Bożena Leśniewska, Vice-President of the Management Board in charge of Business Market at Orange Polska.

    Following the Welcome Remarks, Dorota Krasnodebska-Wnorowska, Innovation Trainer, Certified Strengths Coach & Strategic Consultant began her training for the participants of our Women Talent Pool programme and talents of Orange. Through a presentation and various exercises, the training allowed for a time to reflect on the participants’ strengths and how they may better exploit their assets and potential.

    WTP Participants and Orange Talents brainstorming on their strengths during the training

    Subsequent to a short networking break, we welcomed our first Panel Debate‘What does it mean to be a woman leader? From entrepreneurship to business leadership!’, moderated by Bożena Leśniewska , Vice-President of the Management Board in charge of Business Market, Orange Polska, who began the moderation reflecting on her own personal experiences of what it took to become a woman leader.

    This introduction was followed by an induction from Agnieszka Rynkowska, Marketing & Operations Director, Microsoft, Claire Temple, Associate Director, Osborne Clarke UK and Katarzyna Wierzbowska, Founder and President of the Board of the Entrepreneurship of Women Foundation (Sieć Przedsiębiorczych Kobiet), Co-Founder of the Black Swan Individual Investors Club.

    You need to be bold and you need to risk, act as the leader you aspire to be'. – Bożena Leśniewska

    From Left to Right: 1st Picture; Agnieszka Rynkowska, 2nd Picture; Bożena Leśniewska, Katarzyna Wierzbowska, Claire Temple and Agnieszka Rynkowska, 3rd Picture; Claire Temple.

    ''The key is to be authentic, to draw from one’s own experiences, values, and strengths.’ – Claire Temple

    WIL then welcomed Jean-Marc Vignolles, COO Europe, Orange for the first Keynote Speech of the event. Jean-Marc spoke of his own career and experiences and demonstrated his vision and ideals of leadership: “A leader must have a vision, an ambition to grow, to transform and bring the business to a new stage of development, also to express and share it. She/He has to take decisions and assume the accountability of the most challenging decisions”.


    'I don't believe that we are born leaders,
    we become leaders.
    You need appetite and talent in order to 

     Jean Marc Vignolles


    Following Jean-Marc’s Keynote speech, we welcomed two inspirations from the Maker Women Project supported by the Orange Foundation and introduced by Ewa Krupa, President of the Board at Fundacja Orange, Director of Internal Communication at Orange Polska, Member of the Board at Polish Donors Forum.

    •  Karolina Guzek introduced her project ‘teatrzyk’, which enables the user to combine an infinite number of colours in theaters using the LED light technology.
    • Anna Wójcik was awarded for the project ‘oddychacz’, that enables the user to focus on one’s breath and be able to control body and mind.

    Our final Panel Debate of the first day, ‘Unleashing the Power of Women in Business and Technology’, was moderated by Catherine Ladousse, Executive Director of Lenovo EMEA, co-founder of the WIL network and co-founder and President of Cercle InterEllles and was joined by speakers Kristine Beitland, Director, Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Norway and Joanna Pruszyńska-Witkowska, Management Board Member of CodersTrust Polska & Founder WomenExperts.

    From Left to Right: 1st Picture; Catherine Ladousse, Kristine Beitland and Joanna Pruszyńska-Witkowska

    'We must fight gender inequality together with men because yes, Gender Equality is a men's issue too'.  – Catherine Ladousse

    ‘At Microsoft, we make sure that the inclusion of ideas and innovative solutions is a priority in order to meet the needs of our increasingly global and diverse customer base.’ Kristin Beitland.

    Concluding the first day of the event, Sabine Abello, International Development Manager, BPI group, conveyed the wrap-up of the proceedings. Continuing the tradition at WIL of our Women Talent Pool participants closing each Panel Debate and  adding their own individual touch. We then finished the evening with a networking dinner and drinks in the Orange Headquarters!


    From Left to Right : Sabine Abello during the wrap-up speech, members and guests enjoying an evening of networking in the Orange Headquarters.


    15th June 2018
    POLIN Museum, Warsaw

    The second day of our Annual Gathering began with a networking breakfast in the POLIN Museum, a museum steeped in history of the Jewish Community in Poland throughout the years and was followed by the Keynote speech of WIL Member, Kristin Schreiber, Director of COSME Program and SME Policy, European Commission. Kristin demonstrated the European Commission’s vision and contribution to the topic discussed and provided a much-needed framework for the basis of the following discussions, as, in her own words, ‘CSR is a tough animal to grasp’!

    The first Panel Debate of the day on ‘Financing Sustainable Development’ was moderated by WIL Board Member, Line Pélissier, Diversity Director at Orange and brought together speakers from an assortment of organizations : Henryka Bochniarz, PhD, Polish Economist, former Ministry of Industry and Trade, founder and head of the Polish Confederation of Private Employers ‘Letwiatan’ and President for Central and Eastern Europe Region of Boeing International Co, Robert Sroka, ESG Director for CEE at Abris Capital Partners and Elia Trippel, Policy Officer at the European Commission (DG FISMA).

    From Left to Right: Line Pélissier, Henryka Bochniarz, Robert Sroka and Elia Trippel.

    The final Panel Debate of the Annual Gathering focussed on CSR in 2018 and Beyond. Moderated by Helle Frank (Jul-Hansen) Liautaud, Global Social Responsibility Ambassador at VMware. The Panel Debate brought together WIL Board Member Brigitte Dumont, CSR Chief Officer, Orange and Giuseppe Santoro, Country Leader, Dow Poland to share their vision by demonstrating concrete examples and best practices in terms of CSR and sustainability.

    From Left to Right: Helle Frank (Jul-Hansen) Liautaud, Giuseppe Santoro and Brigitte Dumont.

    ‘At Orange, we generate value to benefit as many people as possible. Digital innovation generates shared value and progress both for our company & society as a whole.' Brigitte Dumont

    ‘At Dow Chemical, we are committed to redefining the role of business in society.' – Giuseppe Santoro

    To finalize the proceedings, our Women Talent Pool participant Patricia Nunez, SMB and Channel Manager Iberia Lenovo, summarized the day in our wrap-up session.

    Wrap up of the second panel debate by Patricia Nunez

    The wrap-up of the panel debates led to a networking lunch within the POLIN Museum for all participants, followed by a cultural visit to the Museum, an inspiring and moving finish to a great Annual Gathering!


    From Left to Right: participants in the POLIN Museum and during their cultural visit.

    Thank you to all of those whom participated to the event, your motivation and interventions made for our Annual Gathering to be a rousing success. We look forward to welcoming you at our upcoming initiatives in the future!

    For further information, please contact:

    Laura Watson

    Main: +33 970 403 310

  • 19 Apr 2018 15:31 | Anonymous


    EU Luncheon Debate

    April 11th, 2018

    WIL's EU Luncheon debate at the EU Parliament, Brussels, 11th April 2018

    Please see here for the long report of the event.
    Please see here for more pictures.
    Want to share your feedback? Answer this survey!

    Wednesday the 11th of April saw the WIL Network come together to meet and discuss ‘The New Face of Digital Transformation: Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and Blockchain’ with a focus on how to make users understand and remain comfortable during the transition induced by these cutting-edge innovations, that will be transforming health care, transportation, education and much more.

    50 WTP participants, WIL members, Alumni and Guests assembled at the European Parliament in Brussels, where we were hosted by MEP and fellow Board Member Pervenche Berès for a Luncheon Debate and had the opportunity to hear a high-level panel:

    • Pinuccia Contino, Head of the Unit "Product Safety and Rapid Alert System”, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers at the European Commission
    • Paulina Dejmek-Hack, Member of Cabinet, Financial Advisor of the President of the European Commission, J-C. Juncker
    • Benjamin Docquir, Partner at Osborne Clarke
    • Antonietta Mastroianni, Senior Vice President IT Development at TDC Group
    • Marina Niforos, President and CEO at Logos Global Advisors and Advisor to IFC/World Bank Group

    The first part of our event, ‘Reimagining the Art of the Possible’, invited the audience to stretch their minds and envision new possibilities, by clarifying the concepts of AI, IoT and Blockchain, while revealing their transformative power through concrete examples of the actual applications and solutions of each of these technologies but also of combining them. 

    From left to right: Marina Niforos, Anna Sarr

    The second part of the debate focused on the ‘Role of public authorities and of the EU’ in accelerating the development of these new technologies and overcoming the related challenges.

    Carrying on tradition, Dalila Rahmouni, Political Advisor in Digital & Internet Governance, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and participant to the 4th edition of our Women Talent Pool concluded the Luncheon debate with a wrap up of the discussion.


    From left to right: wrap up of the session by Dalila Rahmouni, Q&A session and networking time

    This event was a great example of the WIL network coming together to understand and clarify crucial concepts and societal issues. 

    We look forward to welcoming you all to our upcoming events!

  • 29 Mar 2018 17:38 | Anonymous

    “It is crucial for women’s networks to bridge across sectors and countries to connect and promote women leaders”, said Beatrice Delmas-Linel, WIL Board Member and Managing Partner at Osborne Clarke, during a networking reception organised by WIL Europe and hosted at Osborne Clarke in Paris on the 26th of March.

    WIL President Thaima Samman welcomes GlobalWIN Vice Chair Stephanie Peters and Femmes et Diplomatie President Pauline Carmona, along with the entire congregation.

    GlobalWIN, a bipartisan NGO based in Washington DC, provides a dynamic forum for female leaders to grow personally and professionally, while contributing to key policy debates. It was our great pleasure to welcome their delegation of Congressional Staff Members, and representatives of their Board of Directors and corporate sponsors and to hear about their visit to Paris.

    Similarly, Femmes et Diplomatie is an association focussed on the advancements and interests of women by improving the working conditions of all agents of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The association is based in Paris and we were happy to welcome President Pauline Carmona, Associate Director Asia and Oceania at the French MEAE whom stated during her words that of the objectives of Femmes et Diplomatie is “to promote role models and show that it is possible to have a balanced work life while still reaching tier 1 positions’.

    Members of WIL Europe and GlobalWIN including Board Member Beatrice Delmas-Linel

    WIL Board Members Marina Niforos and Nida Januskis were also present at the networking afternoon with WIL's President Thaima Samman reiterating the importance of putting words into action and how this meeting was a great example of transatlantic female cooperation.

    The afternoon was a great opportunity to meet our US counterparts and have insightful discussions as we continue working together on the promotion of women across continents.

    Thank you to our friends at GlobalWIN and Femmes et Diplomatie for attending this afternoon, we look forward to seeing you soon for another event together. And many thanks to Osborne Clarke for hosting the event and for all your initiatives to advance women leadership!

    More pictures of the event are available here.

  • 22 Mar 2018 16:04 | Anonymous


    Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digitial Economy and Society with the participants 
    of the 4th edition of our Women Talent Pool programme

    To access the full report click here. 
    The pictures of the event are available here.
    To read the full speech of Commissioner Gabriel, click here.

    The future of Europe is digital, and women cannot be left outwere among the words of Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, who joined us for the launch of the 4th Edition of our Women Talent Pool (WTP) programme and met with nearly 90 WIL members and guests. Among them were the 46 selected talents that she will accompany as Godmother of this edition throughout the 18-month programme.

    The kick-off event began with the welcoming remarks of WIL’s President, Thaima Samman, Partner, SAMMAN Law and Corporate Affairs and Line Pélissier, Group Diversity Director at Orange, followed by the testimonies of our WTP Alumni Beata Dobrowolska, Racha Abu El Ata and Cristina Hoffmann Muñoz-Seca, delivered during a lively panel session moderated by WIL Board Member Marina Niforos, President and CEO of Logos Global Advisor.

    From Left to Right: Line Pélissier and Marina Niforos

    The Commissioner was warmly welcomed by Christine Albanel, Former French Minister for Culture and Communication, Senior Executive Vice-President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity, Partnerships & Philanthropy at Orange and Bénédicte Javelot, Chief Strategy Officer at Orange, who both took this opportunity to underline Orange’s positive initiatives in the promotion of women in the digital sector.   

    During her Keynote speech, Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, introduced the initiatives of the European Commission with regards to the digitalisation of Europe and the promotion of women in the digital sector

    Women’s empowerment is not only one of my priorities, but also, and more importantly it is a matter that touches to the progress and prosperity of our modern societies.

    I am honoured to have been named Godmother of the Women Talent Pool programme. This initiative has the power to get talented women professionals together and give them the tools to step in the highest responsibilities.  


    Putting words into action, the WTP participants were then divided into small groups were divided into small groups and had the opportunity to meet and network with 13 WIL senior level members: Béatrice Delmas-Linel, Emanuela Palazzani, Catherine Ladousse, Sylviane Toporkoff, Enrica Acuto Jacobacci, Wassila Zitoune-Dumontet, Serena La Torre, Claire Bouchenard, Viktorija Smatko-Abaza, Milena Harito, Jennifer Schenker, Christine Marlet and Anne Houtman.

    From Left to Right: Cristina Hoffmann, Line Pélissier, Marina Niforos, Racha Abu el Ata, Beata Dobrowolska

    During the day, the participants were also offered three engaging trainings, the first on Emotional Intelligence, held by Axele Lofficial, Executive Coach and Manager of the Key Account Development Team at BPI Group, the second on the importance of networking for leaders held by Marina Niforos, President and CEO at Logos Global Advisors, and the third on decision biases and stereotypes held by Laurent Derivery, President at Valeurs & Development.

    Thank you to all participants and partners! We are looking forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!

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