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WIL Breakfast Debate "Women in Leadership" at the European Parliament in Brussels - Wrap-up by Raluca Anghel, WTP Emerging leader

07 Mar 2017 17:21 | Anonymous

Raluca Anghel, Head of Office, European Parliament and WTP 3rd Edition Emerging Leader has accepted to do her own wrap-up remarks for the “Women in Leadership” Session, highlighting the critical points of the panellists and adding her personal touch to finish the event:

“To start with, one of the key ideas that we repeated by most of the speakers, and introduced first by Laurent Derivery, is that diversity is about talent management. The reason why this is so important is because, a diversity strategy that in fact is integrated in all talent managements strategies means that it is quantifiable and can be easily implemented and monitored: to ensure diversity in their teams, as well as fight against gender gap, organizations have to make sure that talent management processes are very well implemented. Companies also have to jump over the “gender-related positions” and the fact that women are appointed in certain so-called “female positions”. I also believe that companies should change the way they evaluate leadership, and that efficient talent management is the first step towards true and successful, if we may put it this way, leadership.

Avinash reinforced this idea and assessed that diversity is the key success factor for all organizations. But for diversity to happen, we need to have both diverse teams and women leading those teams, Organizations that are very fast at changing and innovating do not necessarily accept group way of thinking, but promote people with a more disruptive way of thinking. People who think differently come from different backgrounds, so what they can bring to every organization matters. Added to that, Avinash also highlighted that our society will be empowered and shaped by digital transformation. It will be a huge issue if women do not have a role in this digitalization, or if they do not take part in STEM studies and STEM-related jobs. This might be a great as threat for the future.

Moving on to Diana, I thank her for bringing her experience to the table, it was very inspirational. “Never accept the glass ceiling” is a strong statement that everybody should keep in mind. The glass ceiling is not necessarily something others impose on us, but also something we impose on ourselves, so we have to keep working to fight it. From Diana’s intervention, I’ll keep in mind to: have no fear, disrupt, and that the best gift we can give to the younger generation is encouragement.

Patricia pointed out that finding our own voice is key in our journey to finding our leadership style and our voice. Staying true to ourselves in our work environment is both very courageous and very inspirational. Added to that, having role models and “female champions” is crucial. I think a lot of women have mentors, but not many women have supporters that support them in their career development. Not many women dare to take that step and ask some of their key peers to become their supporters.  

As for Helle, as a Danish moving to France, and as a woman in a male dominated company, I think it is phenomenal that she encourages us to dare to be ourselves. Being a leader is also about finding the right balance between adjusting to your environment, and being yourself. We definitely need more women leaders, and is becoming a business case argument as STEM is challenging our assumption on business and management:  we need every men and women talents to innovate and adapt.  We should make sure that we are raising the next generation of leaders alongside as partners.”

© European Network for Women in Leadership 2018

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