Annual Gathering Warsaw, 14-15th June

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


© European Network for Women in Leadership 2018

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