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  • 27 Nov 2017 15:27 | Anonymous


    Laura Batchelor


    Managing Director

    Fipra International

    Laura is Managing Director of Fipra International, a leading network of public affairs and government affairs advisers in over 50 markets globally. Laura has over 20 years experienceas a public affairs professional and has focused on developing Fipra’s services in Europe and Washington DC since the company was founded in 2000.

    Now based in Brussels, Laura advises both companies and associations on EU legislation, policy and antitrust matters. Laura is responsible for Fipra’s Diversity and Inclusion policies and as the Head of Fipra’s healthcare practice, Laura has been instrumental in assisting stakeholder coalitions on policies relating to patient access to healthcare, financing models for innovative medicines and healthcare reform. From 2001 to 2002, Laura worked in Washington DC, advising on transatlantic antitrust issues and during this time established the Fipra network in the USA.

    Laura has been Vice-Chair of Business for New Europe (BNE), a coalition of business leaders advocating for positive engagement in the EU. 

    Laura graduated in Modern Languages from Somerville College,Oxford in 1994, and completed a Post Graduate Certificate of Education at King’s College, London in 1995.

    *****

    Diane Côté

    Chief Risk Officer

    London Stock Exchange Group

    Diane is the Chief Risk Officer and Executive Team member of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). Diane was previously Aviva Plc's Chief Finance Operations Officer, Standard life’s Group Risk Managing Director and Group Head of Audit. Prior to this, Diane held the position of Aviva's Chief Audit Officer. Diane also has many years' experience holding senior positions within Standard Life Assurance both in the UK and in Canada; she has worked for Prudential Assurance and for Ernst & Young. Diane is a CA-CPA.

    In addition, she is a Non-Executive Director at Novae Syndicates Limited and chairs their Risk and Audit Committee. Diane is the Executive Sponsor and Co-Chair of the LSEG Women’s network.

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    Catherine Olive

    Partner

    Osborne Clarke

    Catherine has many years’ experience of advising on complex corporate and real estate matters and leads Osborne Clarke’s Paris-based practices in both areas. A large proportion of Catherine’s work involves acting on mergers and acquisitions, joint-venture, corporate reorganizations and equity and debt instrument issues for private and public companies and investors. She has an extensive and long-standing experience of cross-border transactions and inbound investments in a great variety of business sectors.

    Her corporate law practice includes advising listed companies on corporate governance, market regulations and employee share schemes.

    Catherine has also a significant experience in the transactional real estate field, including acquisitions and disposal, sale and lease back transactions and commercial leases. In connection with her real estate work, she has developed a solid knowledge of the hotel and leisure and retail sectors.

    Admitted to the Paris Bar in 1994, she is a graduate of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and holds a master degree and a post graduate degree in business law from Paris I-Pantheon Sorbonne University. Before joining Osborne Clarke she had been a partner at Landwell & Associée (PwC) since 2002.

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    Elisabetta Righini


    Counsel

    Latham Watkins

    Elisabetta is counsel in the Antitrust & Competition Practice in Latham & Watkins' Brussels office. Her practice centers on international and European law, with a particular focuson State aid.

    Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, Ms. Righini worked at the European Commission for 15 years, initially as a member of its Legal Service, and most recently for five years as a senior member of the Cabinet of former Competition Commissionerand Vice-President Joaquín Almunia.

    She is a visiting professor at the Centre of European Law of Kings College’s Dickson Poon School of Law in London, where she teaches State aid law and EU energy law, and a member of its Advisory Board.

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    Isabelle Leung


    Director of Public Affairs & Communications

    Huawei Technologies

    Isabelle joined Huawei in February 2012 as the Director of Public Affairs & Communications. She leads the investment policy in France and is responsible for the development of relations with public authorities, regulatory authorities, professional organizations, academics and the media. She serves as General Secretary of the Board of Huawei in France.

    Isabelle began her career with the European Commission in the Environment Department and then joined the Philip Morris International Group in Switzerland, before joining the Microsoft Public Affairs team in Paris, which she held for 7 years before joining Huawei. Isabelle took part of the 'High Potential' programs of Philip Morris, Microsoft, and still does at Huawei today.

    Ms. Leung is Franco-Chinese and grew up in West Africa before joining France to pursue her studies. Her international experience was instrumental in her choice to work for global companies. In order to participate in the fight against poverty, Ms. Leung committed herself to a Charity Organization which aim is to develop social and professional integration for the unemployed and homeless.

    *****

    Sarah Morris


    Chief People Officer

     Aviva

    Sarah joined Aviva in August 2015 as Chief People Officer. She is responsible for the leadership of Aviva’s People, Communications and Transformation strategy and a key member of the Group Executive Leadership Team. 

    Sarah has worked in both business and functional roles across multiple sectors, in a range of industries, countries and cultures. Sarah is now leading the cultural shift at Aviva, which is in the process of transforming itself into a digital first business.

     Sarah is a member of the 30% Club steering committee and of HRH Countess of Wessex Women in business forum. She joined Aviva from US data and technology specialists, Thomson Reuters, prior to that she held a number of roles at BP oil and gas, RSA insurance and Dixons Carphone retailing.


  • 02 Nov 2017 14:51 | Anonymous

    Artificial Intelligence and Cloud computing - What do they have in common with the Healthcare? The WIL had a fruitful discussion on this topic with Racha Abu El Ata – Djebou, who, only a few years after participating in the first edition of our Women Talent Pool programme (WTP) in 2012, has recently been promoted as Health Industry Sales Director at Microsoft. Racha has been with the IT company for more than 15 years and is passionate about innovation, predictive analytics, and data science. If you are skeptical about artificial intelligence or would like to learn how it can act as an enabler for changes in medicine and healthcare, take 5 minutes and read our interview with her!

    1.    After 15 years at Microsoft, you have recently been promoted to a Health Industry Sales Director. How will technology transform healthcare and where are companies like Microsoft focusing?

    Healthcare is an important industry to be transformed in France and other developed countries in the next few years, as the costs for healthcare spending, fueled by the aging population and chronic diseases, are projected to rise from currently 12% of GDP to nearly 18% of GDP in the next 10 years. There is thus a good opportunity to change the industry and technology is at the heart of this transformation.

    Microsoft has also gone through a reorganization in the beginning of last year and has decided to focus on the following priorities: manufacturing, financial services, retail, education, government, and health being one of them. In order to assist the healthcare transformation, Microsoft is building specific offers and solutions such as engaging patients and empowering care teams.  

    “The costs for healthcare spending, fueled by the aging population and chronic diseases, are projected to rise from currently 12% of GDP to nearly 18% of GDP in the next 10 years.”

    2.      What is the most exciting development that you are seeing within the field of e-health solutions at Microsoft?      

    The mathematical algorithm to analyze the health data and the power of cloud computing to simplify the analysis and make it faster. Without the algorithm and cloud services, we could still perform the analysis, but that would be very costly and would take an unimaginable amount of time.

    3.      In particular, what role does artificial intelligence (AI) play in health sector today? Leading thinkers have attacked the concept—such as Stephen Hawking who voiced his concern. Do you think we should be scared of Dr. Terminator and why ?

    Artificial intelligence (AI) enables society to have a good understanding and analysis of what has happened in the past and what may happen in the future. To give an example, currently,  a patient receives a treatment and is sent home with no further analysis if the treatment he has received was the right one. Technology can help us customize the treatment with the patients’ data such as age and lifestyle, which can be analyzed in a short period of time (see the previous question).

    The above example shows that if we anticipate and prepare for the change, AI can be an opportunity for the society as a whole. It is true that AI and improved automation will disrupt the job market and will indeed contribute to a job loss, but it will, at the same time, create job opportunities that never existed before, such as data scientists.

    Education thus plays an important role in anticipating and addressing these changes, therefore governments and educational institutions should work hand in hand with industrial leaders such as Microsoft and others to train the next generation(s) and prepare them for the future employment market.

    “Technology can help us customize the treatment with the patients’ data such as age and lifestyle.”

    4.      You have joined Microsoft in 2002, while many people were and are still knocking on the company’s door. What makes it so attractive and how does it foster innovative and creative thinking among its workforce?

    Microsoft is a very emphatic company and while it is very demanding it is also extremely rewarding. There is a possibility for an employee to stay with the company until his/her retirement while taking up diverse roles. I have changed six roles since I have joined the company,  but I have the feeling that I worked for several companies and on many different topics.

    I also truly appreciate the fact that our top management is constantly questioning its model, innovation, and organization. As said previously, we went recently through a significant reorganization into six vertical industries, which shows that management is not afraid of changes and this gives me confidence for the future.  

    Microsoft is playing a big role in society and citizenship, which is of great importance to me, as I could not work for a company that would not care about making the world better place.

    5.      In 2012, you have participated in the 1st edition of our Woman Talent Pool Programme and only a few years later, you have reached a leading position. Could you share with us how the Programme has benefited you and what advice would you give to other participants?

    The participation in the Programme gave me an opportunity to network, travel, meet leaders and learn from them. The example of leaders as role models is important for young women, so they can witness the possibility of having a leadership position beside a balanced personal and professional life.

    “I have particularly enjoyed the training session about the “Good Girl Syndrome”, which made me aware that men are not the only one responsible for the lack of diversity and inclusion.”

    I have particularly enjoyed the training session about the “Good Girl Syndrome”, which made me aware that women often have fears about promoting themselves and do not seek for a promotion, because they think, that as long as they accomplish the necessary requirements, the opportunities will come along. For example, if they receive an opportunity for another job, they express doubts about themselves, even if they have 85% of all necessary competencies and skills.

    This training was extremely insightful as it changed my perspective and helped me to say that “I can do it” and that I have the right to ask for something. Moreover, it helped me in my management and leadership position towards others. I am now coaching other young women in Microsoft and I always try to make them aware and change these behavioral patterns.

  • 02 Nov 2017 13:44 | Anonymous

    Beyond our members and the participants to our Women Talent Pool programme, other great women are doing a fantastic work. At only 28, the brilliant Chloe Jones, EMEA Brand Advocacy Manager at Lenovo (UK), has already made her mark. Chloe is the finalist of the PCR Women of the Year 2015, an award recognizing the contribution of women in the UK PC & Technology industry. A “writer, creator and thinker”, in her own words, Chloe is also particularly active on social networks where she shares her views on a wide range of interests such as environment, education and equality.

    A great support of WIL, Chloe participated to our annual gathering in London on May 15th and 16th 2017, where we had the chance to meet her and learn about her already impressive credentials. 

    Want to know where Chloe gets her inspiration from and how she uses it as Brand Advocacy Manager? Read our interview!

    You graduated in English literature and drama and describe yourself as a “writer”. What prompted you to then specialize in marketing? How does your literary background help you in your current position?

    The skills that I had developed during my degree like self-presentation, analytics, creativity and writing really lend themselves to the world of marketing. I was keen to further these skills and use my creativity and my passion for people to create connections between a brand and consumers and really understand what makes people engage and react.

    Relationships with our “super fans” are important for improving customer loyalty, which helps add muscle to our brand’s customer acquisition and retention efforts.

    I started at Lenovo by managing and writing the EMEA email marketing campaigns and was recognized for my abilities to write engaging copy. This was a fantastic starting block from which to learn about the different audiences around Europe and how to engage with them. At the same time, our Vice President of Marketing was looking for new ways for Lenovo to have one to one relationships with our customers, and that led me to launching our first brand advocacy program, designed to create meaningful relationships with our brand’s “super fans”. These relationships are important for improving customer loyalty, which helps add muscle to our brand’s customer acquisition and retention efforts.

    Is there any English author that you particularly appreciate or that you consider to be a great inspiration?

    There are a lot of remarkable English authors. I could list some classic inspirations, such as William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien and Virginia Woolf. A modern day role-model has to be J.K. Rowling : she has inspired a whole generation to love reading and has written strong and independent female characters in her books. She embodies that having both passion and an idea can transform your life. Currently, I am reading ’Swing Time’ by Zadie Smith, she’s an amazing inspiration, who won prizes for her first book at just 25 years old. She writes beautifully and comes across as a very well-grounded woman. For example, she has no social media accounts because as she says, it gives her “the right to be wrong.”

    For more than two years, you have been the owner of Lenovo EMEA’s first Brand Advocacy Program, an online community aiming at turning customers into brand advocates. Why do brands need advocacy programmes?

    In a really crowded market like technology, where companies are producing similar products, brands and relationships are keys to ensuring we can move beyond a one-time purchase. Social brand advocates are incredibly influential. As brands like Lenovo seek to reach new and wider audiences it’s imperative they engage their advocates and nurture those relationships. Brand advocates add a depth to brand marketing; due to their loyalty and their satisfaction in a brand they go deeper with their networks to share their positive brand experience. This helps to create and increase brand awareness.

    Sometimes, a positive experience with a brand can simply be a successful customer service experience. Going a step further, dedicated advocacy programs help build trust and loyalty, foster valuable relationships and develop online and offline engagement. Providing this positive brand experience, in any capacity, is essential for brands who want to be customer centric.

    What makes a good advocacy programme? Could you tell us more about the actions you are implementing?

    There are two key points for a good advocacy program : first, a good advocacy program should empower the customer by being a dialogue between a brand and its advocates. Secondly, advocacy starts inside the company. Thus brands who want to make a significant impact should have employee advocacy programs as well as super fan programs.

    A good advocacy program should empower the customer by being a dialogue between a brand and its advocates.

    Bringing the brand story to life in a relevant and meaningful way is important to do both online and offline. I run hosted programs for top advocates and influencers at European trade shows to give them ‘insider’ experiences with our brand and products. These face to face interactions and experiential activities really help to foster lasting relationships and they complement our efforts to create online social engagement. Giving our fans these experiences also shows them how we value them and how we want to have their feedback so we can improve what we do and how we do it.

    Steve Jobs had predicted a post-PC era due to the rise of smartphones and tablets and it’s true that the PC market has been going through a few years of declining sales. Where do you see it heading over the next few years?

    Tablets haven’t really evolved since they first hit the market, but consumers want more and more from them, but the form factor doesn’t always support. There are more and more apps developed to support productivity, but the form factor of tablets doesn’t make it a pleasurable experience. At Lenovo, we spent time watching people using their devices, using pen, detachable keyboard etc and decided to bring something revolutionary to the market: ourYoga Book. The Yoga Book gives the user the same paper-like writing experience but also has a fully functioning and responsive keyboard. In terms of forward thinking and innovation, this “PC plus design” is where we need to focus our strengths and keep ahead of the declining PC area.

    Coming back to your love for literature and passion for education, do you think that the digital transformation of the classroom has a real ability to improve student learning outcomes?

    The education sector is on a trajectory to reducing the digital divide. The continuation of compulsory computing skills within the curriculum has opened up a range of digital careers for students that were previously inaccessible. Today’s students require more than textbook learning and memorization. They need digital tools that allow them to do more than ever before. Lenovo has pioneered the way in purpose-built educational devices : we recently launched the updated Thinkpad 11e family and Lenovo N23 Chromebooks.

    Allowing these new methods of teaching represents a lot of capability and potential for improving student learning outcomes.

    Although many classrooms feature tech, most are still teaching from the front of the class with an electric board – it’s not that different from how we’ve taught for hundreds of years. Technology can bring new possibilities to the classrooms such as flipped and blended learning, and over the next 6 to 8 months we are likely to see an increase in the adoption of augmented reality and virtual reality within education- technologies such as Google Tango on the Lenovo Phab 2 have a range of use cases in the classroom. Technology allows the gamification of the teaching experience such as manipulating objects in a virtual environment, allowing pupils to try out future careers or test themselves in virtual scenarios. The new generation of 2-in-1 devices gives teachers more versatility within the classroom. Allowing these new methods of teaching represents a lot of capability and potential for improving student learning outcomes.

    However, when it comes to literature and reading, I am still an old-fashioned advocate of picking up a good old book and turning real paper pages!

  • 30 Nov 2016 14:58 | Anonymous
    On October 20th, WIL Team - Julia Contrea and Lucie Gabriel was honored to conduct an interview with Laurence Rossignol, the French Minister for Families, Children, and Women’s Rights at her Ministry in Paris. We discussed with the Minister about various subjects, from her personal commitment to gender equality, to the launch of the new joint Action & Mobilisation plan against sexism, but also the situation of women in France and Europe.


    The video is in French, but you'll find below an english write-up of the interview. 

    1. Sexism is a concept widely used in Gender studies nowadays yet rarely defined. What would be your definition of sexism?

    The subject of sexism, as it is a core issue for the French Ministry for Families, Children and Women’s Rights, which launched in that regard a joint Action and Mobilisation plan on social media to fight daily sexism, on September 8th, 2016, along with 30 women’s associations. The plan will run for 6 months until March 8th, 2017, which is the International Women’s Day.  During these months, the objective is to encourage men and women to speak up against daily sexism, and to share initiatives to fight it with an hashtag: #SexismePasNotreGenre. In view of the elusive definition of sexism, the French Minister started the interview by giving her own: “A set of secular behaviors that bring women back to their conservative roles and prevent them from accomplishing their goals and moving forward”. Sexism is also defined as a set of attitudes that reduce women solely to their sex.

    2. The Plan is based on figures and data from the joint CSA-French Ministry for Families, Children and Women’s Rights’ research study: “Perception of equality between men and women in France”. Did any of these figures surprised you or even choked you? 

    Laurence Rossignol drew two conclusions from the study: First, that the fight for gender equality is far from being over yet, as women are regularly exposed to sexist remarks at their workplaces, and 63% of women and girls modified their behaviours or wore different type of clothes due to fear of sexist attitudes. For young girls (15 - 20 years old), this percentage rises to 72%. But on the other hand, the Minister highlighted encouraging progresses: More and more people call themselves feminists (57% of the respondents and 61% of young girls) and an average of 97% of respondents recognized that women are often exposed to daily humiliations because they are women. Overall, sexism recognition in the public space has increased in the past few years, and led to a larger mobilisation from the civil society to fight against it.

    As the Minister pointed out, the joint Action and Mobilisation plan #SexismePasNotreGenreaims to act as a driven force of mobilisation against daily sexism. The plan is supported by more than 30 women’s associations and institutions in charge of labelling the initiatives shared with the hashtag #SexismePasNotreGenre. Combatting gender-based harassment and humiliations requires indeed strong collective commitment from both governments and society.

    3. You are known for your strong commitment for gender equality in the French political landscape. Was there a particular event that drove this early feminist commitment ?

    Moving the discussion to a more personal level, the Minister talked about how, being raised in an openly feminist environment, she has always been stunned and offended by discriminatory behaviours she witnessed as a young girl. Later, as a college student, she got involved in a feminist group where she led actions for women’s rights. “In those days, humor was our best asset to make our voices heard without being disqualified as “grumpies”. It is still true for the 2000’s feminists. But in the late 70’s we had a lot of fun being feminists, because we wouldn’t let anything go.

    4. In regards to the recent events in Pologne ( attempts to limit the aborption' rights by the government), do you think that women's rights in Europe are now being challenged / threatened?

    The Minister gave a nuanced response: Citing the well known French feminist Simone de Beauvoir, she cautioned that women’s rights have always been controversial in Europe, and therefore are staying under threat in the context of economic, political, and social crisis. But Laurence Rossignol also reminded that the attempt to restrict abortion’s right in Poland has faced a major resistance all over Europe. There are two driven forces concerning women’s rights in Europe: on a one side, there are existing antifeminists movements that try to undermine the granted rights, but on the other side there is a strong mobilisation from the society to keep fighting for these rights.

    4. What are your Ministry's top priorities in regards to women's rights in the next months/ years? 

    The Minister recapped the top three priorities of her Ministry in regards to women’s rights: Sexism, that should be combatted to allow existing laws to be properly applied, gender equality at work, to allow women to access financial independence, and gender-based violence. In this last category, Laurence Rossignol also included the “rape culture” that contributes to trivialize behaviours of sexual harassments in western countries. 


  • 07 Sep 2016 11:14 | Anonymous

    On Thursday, September 8th, 2016 the French Ministry for Families, Children, and Women’s Rights launched the joint Action & Mobilisation Plan against Sexism, presented by the Minister Laurence Rossignol. 30 associations and institutions are supporting Laurence Rossignol’s initiative, such as Cercle Inter’Elles, headed by WIL member Catherine Ladousse, Grandes Ecoles au Féminin or Social Builder to name a few. This key initiative against daily sexism is also supported by Thaima Samman, President of WIL Europe, along with personalities from the cultural sector, and economic and political elites such as WIL Member Delphine Ernotte Cunci, President of France Télévisions, Sarah Ourahmoune, Olympic vice champion of boxing, Julie Gayet, actress, and Axel Kahn, doctor and essayist, to mention but a few.

    The plan will run for 6 months until March 8th, 2017, which is the International Women’s Day.  During these months, the objective is to encourage men and women to speak up against daily sexism, and to share initiatives to fight it with an hashtag: #SexismePasNotreGenre.

    French journalist and public figure Audrey Pulvar moderated the two evening panels. The first one gathered speakers from the associative world: Emmanuelle Laroque (Social Builder), Clarisse Reille (Grandes Ecoles au Féminin), Sabine Salmon (Femmes Solidaires), Annie Guilberteau (CNIDFF), Marie Françoise Potereau (Femix’Sport) and Laurence Beldowski (Toutes Femmes, Toutes Communicantes) who shared with the guests their insights on sexism in universities, in the workplace, in sports and in the medias. The second panel had Anne Le Ny (actress), Dominique Beshenard (actor), Dr. Axel Kahn (Scholar), Dr. Ghada Hatem Gantzer and Mercedes Erra (CEO of Havas Worldwide) who discussed about their perception of sexism and how it should be fought.

    During the event the audience was also presented with key figures and main outcomes from the CSA research study: “Perception of equality between men and women in France”.

    To conclude the evening session, the Minister Laurence Rossignol took the stage to thank the audience and all the ambassadors, and to explain the program’s outlines for the next 6 months. She particularly stressed out the major role that social media will play in this campaign against sexism.  

    Please support this fundamental gender equality initiative by sharing your views on sexism by using #SexismePasNotreGenre!  



  • 22 Jul 2016 11:25 | Deleted user

    Great opportunity from WIL Member Myriam Maestroni, CEO Of Economie d'Energie SAS & E5T Foundation President, to attend E5T Summer University on August 24th & 25th in La Rochelle (France)

    This 2016 edition will be focusing on the COP21 outcome, objectives as well as policies and will bring concrete proposals for the COP22. High-level speakers will be discussing about ecology issues such as new eco-energy paradigm, E5T eco-mobility or E5T individual and collective housing.

    Please note that this is a french speaking event. Click here for more info.

    The Foundation E5T "Energy, Energy Efficiency , Energy Saving and Territories " is a french think tank which goal is to "think and act". It is an open platform where stakeholders can exchange ideas and discuss about the problems inherent to the energy transition. It aims to mobilize in an innovative format collective intelligence around this new reality by appealing to the representatives of the various actors and stakeholders in the energy sector (business, political, administrative , teachers, students).


  • 01 Jul 2016 16:55 | Deleted user

    Laurent Derivery is the CEO of Valeurs & Developpement, a consulting firm specialized in Management, Human Resources and Diversity. V&D bases its approach of diversity on researches and studies conducted in partnership with public and private actors.

    WIL: Valeurs & Developpement co-piloted a study with IMS-Entreprendre pour la Cité on gender and stereotypes in 2012. Could you please tell us more about this study and its outcomes?

    L: The study was conducted with 1200 managers in 9 different enterprises, and among them, about 300 were interviewed on their perception of gender stereotypes. The study focused on three types of stereotypes:

    - Autostereotype: what a man/woman think of his/her gender group (what women think of other women, and men of men)

    - Heterostereotypes: What a man/a woman think of the other gender group

    - Metastereotypes: what a person thinks the other gender group think about him/her (what a woman thinks another man think about her; what a man thinks another woman think about him)

    First we discovered that both men and women’s autostereotypes are positive, which is a constructive evolution compared to previous results. It means that women and men have a good image of themselves. What is interesting is that when it comes to heterostereotypes: men have a very good opinion of women, and they even have a better opinion of women than they have of themselves, while it is exactly the contrary for women. They have a bad image of men.

    Additionally, it is worth to be noted that, the more women take on leadership positions within a company, the more men and women’s stereotypes turn negative. Women have a good image of women in operational positions, an “ok” image of women in managerial positions and a bad opinion of C- level women managers. They do not want to identify themselves with these women.

    How do you explain that? Would you say women are impacted negatively by stereotypes associated with leadership positions?

    Currently, C-level women suffer from a very negative image and are not role models for other women in lower positions. There is a strong perception, shared by women and men, that these women tend to be career-minded and adopt a tougher managerial style. Many of them behave like men and adopt a masculine attitude to be respected.

    In that case, what would be a good manager, according to the respondents?

    A surprising outcome of the study is that both men and women agreed on gender based differences between a male manager vs a female manager: Men are perceived as more gifted in leadership skills, i.e. tough skills (action, decision making) while women are more gifted in soft skills (empathy, compassion behavior skills). That is one key learning. On the other hand, when men and women are asked to describe their ideal manager, they agreed on an androgynous profile: someone very balanced, who possesses a combination of “tough” skills and “behavioral” skills.

    In conclusion, what would you say is the main outcome of this study?

    Diversity is the key. In an unbalanced environment (whether in a male dominated or female dominated environment), the stereotypes are worse than in a mixed or balanced environment. In particular, the perception of well-being among workers is positively impacted by a balance environment.

    It is crucial to create an inclusive and diverse policy.

    How could organisations optimize their diversity and inclusion policies? What “good practices” should they apply?

    There are several action plans to put in place. First, you have to create an inclusive environment by assessing the following 5 points:

    - Fight discrimination and perception of discrimination through transparent processes

    - Create a satisfactory work environment, because frustration generates negative stereotypes

    - Look for gender neutral manager profiles; who have a good mix of tough and soft skills

    - Implement as much diversity as possible in teams at all levels of the organisation

    - Ensure your employees a good work-life balance

    The second plan is to work on mentalities: To involve more men in their initiatives, companies must better communicate on their gender equality commitments/initiatives and show how it benefits the company as whole (not only their women employees) by bringing economic growth and performance. Managerial policies must encourage awareness raising between women and men and have them discuss about stereotypes.

    Finally, the organisation must work on the HR processes, ie make sure procedures are not discriminatory. But it is also a matter of fighting against glass walls as much as against glass ceilings. We need to think out of the box and distance ourselves from the traditional linear career. Companies should value and offer women transversal career development opportunities, and chances to pursue non linear career paths.

    You mentioned a correlation between mixed teams and economic growth, how in your opinion diversity drives performance in a company?

    It has been proven that diversity drives performance and well-being. Sodexo’s study assesses that a team which respects male-female ratio (40 - 60%) enhanced significantly its performance. Which means diversity is not only a women’s issue. It matters for both gender. Men, the dominant cast, could feel threaten by women taking over responsibilities at work. But that is not the question. The real question is: how can we drive performance and well-being?

    It brings us to the question of managing diversity. If you have a very diverse team but you do not manage communication well, you can easily create a very conflicted environment. On the other hand, you could manage your team in a way that differences could boost creativity and performance. Gender diversity is a driver of better relationships among the team.

    As the CEO of V&D, you place diversity at the heart of your Human Resources approach. Could you explain more in details V&D’s approach of diversity?

    Diversity arises the question of inclusion: Talents should be managed in a way they feel recognized and valued as an unique individual, and that they are part of a team and a system. The role of a good manager is to allow the individual to be himself, to feel good and in return to work well in the team. In that sense, individual well-being is a driver of performance for the whole organisation. The individual and the system must work closely, in a circle, and solutions must be found together.


  • 30 Jun 2016 16:42 | Deleted user

    Women are under-represented in the fast growing digital sector: they only represent 15% of IT students and 21,7% of them are working is this sector. In an article published by Les Echos today, Thaima Samman, President of the European Network for Women in Leadership, along with Catherine Ladousse, President of Cercle Inter’Elles and Claudine Schmuck, President of the IT group of Sciences Po Alumni, call on the government to take decisive measures to involve more women in the tech sector. They are supported by 25 women’s organisations, including: Alter Egales, IT group of Sciences Po Alumni, Duchess France, Elles bougent, Elles@ESIEA, Fédération des femmes administrateurs, Femmes business angels, commission du Syntec Numerique,Cercle InterElles, Financielles, Grandes écoles au Féminin, Girlz in web, JUMP Equality, Social Builder, Voxfemina, WomenUp, to name a few.

    Women are facing more obstacles than their male counterparts to make their way in the tech industry, yet, the article points out how gender diversity is also a matter of performance for digital companies: having more women involved in the IT sector would increase the economic growth of the EU by 9 billion a year! Diversity is a driver of creativity, innovation and growth, especially in the highly competitive digital sector. Therefore, 25 women’s networks are taking a stand today #4WomenInTech.

    http://www.lesechos.fr/idees-debats/editos-analyses/0211070157078-il-est-urgent-de-renforcer-la-presence-des-femmes-dans-la-tech-2010928.php

  • 17 Jul 2015 19:09 | Deleted user

    On Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 Women in Leadership (WIL) Member Isabelle Roux-Chenu, Group General Counsel of Capgemini held, in partnership with the National Diversity Council, a great event in Paris as part of the Capgemini gender balance program she is leading called Women@Capgemini. The evening event, focused on ‘Boldness and Creativity as drivers of success’ and featured 4 great panel speakers, including WIL Board Member Katherine Corich, Founder and Group Chair, Sysdoc.

    A dynamic session, the event discussed with the panellists some of their boldest moments in their careers so far and how, now that they are at the top, they manage to incorporate gender balance into their organizations and continue to be bold and creative in leadership. With many inspiring stories from different backgrounds including perspectives from the private sector, a large NGO, and from an entrepreneur, common themes emerged- which included: ‘walking the talk’, making values a key part of the business, and believing in yourself and your abilities.

    The panelists further shared anecdotes of their own experiences and their reasons for being bold in their careers; like for example following their values and personal priorities vs. hierarchical advancement; correcting issues impacting the bottom-line such as gender balance and diversity - and thus taking on the implementation of true gender equality practices within their companies; changing the way ‘business’ is conducted by letting products and services speak for themselves vs. dining out with clients as dictated by the traditional model of ‘doing business’. Overall, each panellist expressed the paths they followed and how, when and why they had been bold and creative within their personal and professional lives. All of which resulted in many great successes for the panellists, and positioned them at the top of their organizations. Closing the discussion, WIL Board Member Katherine Corich reminded all women to know their personal and professional worth and to negotiate their careers with confidence based on this knowledge.

    Women@Capgemini and WIL Member Isabelle Roux-Chenu are regularly conducting sessions on the theme of women in business. Keep an eye on your inboxes for information from WIL on these great activities conducted by our sponsor!

    About Women@Capgemini

    Women@Capgemini is a gloal program adopted in 2012, and supported by Capgemini Chairman and Group CEO, Paul Hermelin, to set the overarching guidelines around gender diverity across the group. It encapsulates all intiaitves that have been set up in Capgemini business units around the world and helps the regions that did not have a program to set one. It also allows to share best practices put in pace in the local programs.

    Women@Capgemini is based on the fundemental principle of "equal opportunities, equal chances". To learn more about this great program take a look at the flyer attached below or visit their wesbite by clicking here


  • 01 Jul 2015 19:10 | Deleted user

    Ernst & Young published a report, based on their survey, on global job creation and the new generation of young entrepreneurs in the spring of 2015. The survey included a sample of respondents from201 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winners, 2,144 global entrepreneurs in 13 economic sectors worldwide and 2,807 young people encompassing students, workers in their first jobs and those looking for a job. The study captures a snapshot of the ambitions of future entrepreneurs for the forthcoming years, giving us insight on the upcoming impact of the new generation of entrepreneurs on job creation and growth stimulation. The survey specifically distinguishes EY ‘entrepreneurs of the year winners’, from the rest of entrepreneurs, with EY entrepreneurs having a higher job creation rate and a higher rate of mentoring for young talent than non-EY entrepreneurs. EY entrepreneurs of the year winners are characterized as young talent with successful business plan selected by EY to serve as a source of inspiration for others. EY entrepreneurs work mainly in Insurance, Financial Audit, Financial Accounting Advisory Services, Dispute Services, Climate Change and Sustainability Services.

    This report aims at identifying what the intentions of new entrepreneurs are, in terms of employment, how confident entrepreneurs are in global and domestic economies, how much they expect from the talent pool of the new generation of employees and the motivations of young entrepreneurs to start a business.

    EY found that one of the main drivers of young entrepreneurs’ is their ambitions to develop access to new markets.The surveys also covers the various aspirations of young entrepreneurs, with the highest percentage, 38 %, wanting to start a business in order to leave behind a positive legacy. The survey also found that there is no considerable gender gap concerning entrepreneurial ambitions, indeed future entrepreneurs from both genders are confident in their ability to start their own business, and young women’s confidence is on the rise. Additionally the reports sheds light on the shrinking gap between emerging and developed countries, highlighting the benefit of emerging economies having greater market development potential and a cheaper workforce. Indeed young entrepreneurs from India and China appear to be more optimistic than those from Germany and Japan because they benefit from an economic context with a high growth rate a greater talent pool where their career ambitions are more likely to be fulfilled.

    Moreover, young entrepreneurs appear to havea lot ofconfidence in the talent pool and in their ability to put their employees’ skills to the best use. By consequence, according to survey statistics, young entrepreneurs are therefore willing to increase their workforce. As many as 47% of young entrepreneurs expect to increase their global workforce over the next year, which is a more encouraging percentage than the 30% foreseen by seniors entrepreneurs. This is a positive trend in entrepreneurship, as the report qualifies job creation as “the world’s economic lifeblood”. By creating jobs, young entrepreneurscontribute to raising the employment rate, and utilizing the talent pool which ultimately can lead to greater innovation and competiveness. Young entrepreneurs continue to have a positive impact on the job market which is a key factor for a healthy economy.

    In conclusion this is an optimistic report that highlights the confidence of the younger generation of EY (and other) entrepreneurs in exploiting market opportunities, creating jobs and innovating.The survey results stress that the next generation of young entrepreneurs, especially the ones from emerging economy, are confident in their ability to compete in a complex business world and are ready to hire new talent to help conquer new markets, which makes these entrepreneurs key to the future success of our global economy.

    To read the full EY report please click here.

    To see the report on the EY website please click here.


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