Connecting, inspiring and empowering women to lead the way
Thanks to the initiative of our members Milena Harito, ORANGE Chairman & CEO’s office, and Myriam El Ouni, Group Head of Sales for Financial Services Institutions at Europ Assistance, our members met in Paris for a dinner on the 26th of November 2019!
In the framework of a new series of networking dinners for WIL Members only that we are willing to launch in different European cities, this gathering allowed the WIL Members based in Paris to catch up and exchange in a cozy and warm atmosphere just before the Christmas break.
Group picture of the participants.
We hope that the premiere in Paris will only be the beginning and will lead to more such gatherings, also in other European cities!
Following on from International Womens day 2019, the city of Levallois-Perret in Paris hosted their #Experientielle event!
The event offered women in leadership positions the opportunity to share and exchange their professional experiences, discussing both the forward-looking changes that have occurred to enable and facilitate female leadership, whilst also acknowledging the shortfalls that still pertain.
Among these testimonials, two were from our Talents. The first was from Julie Carrier, Solutions and Sale Manager at Microsoft and participant of the 4th edition of Women Talent Pool programme (WTP). Among other useful pointers, Julie emphasized the importance of finding a mentor who has a different mindset, understanding and maybe even values, as in doing so, she stated, it helps enlarge one’s horizons!
The second was from Myriam El Ouni, Group Head of Sales for Financial Institutions of Europ Assistance , Founder of CleveHR and alumna of our WTP programme. Myriam discussed the importance of taking into account neurodiversity and provided tips on how to improve one’s visibility and social engagement on LinkedIn.
We are very proud of our Talents and commemorate all that they are doing! They set a fine example of female leadership and we therefore encourage them to carry on in their leadership endeavors.
Alongside the many inspirational talks, the event had an interactive element, with workshops and discussions with many inspiring women networks!
Comparatively, the workshops offered were on how to deal with sexism in both in a work and personal setting, how to speak with charisma, how to unearth your strengths, how to implement a network within your company or organization, and much more!
Alongside other associations, WIL also had the chance to present its missions, aims and accomplishments with the participants.
The event was a great way to identify and acknowledge how much female talent is out there and how we must continue to support and facilitate one another to continue to grow and flourish, so finally, we can establish complete gender balance!
"The most important thing is to take care of yourself. You must have energy, be optimistic, positive and resilient, because more often than not, your team will look to you for support and direction. What people want to see is someone they can trust and have confidence in, therefore self-care is above all a necessary requirement. The more senior you get, the more you need to take care of yourself. I wish I had realized this earlier!”
These were some of the inspiring words shared by our member Ariane Gorin, President of Expedia Partner Solutions, who kindly hosted our ‘Expedia Afterwork in London’, on the 21st of February 2019 and introduced WIL to the Expedia community!
Picture: Ariane Gorin (left) in conversation with Thaima Samman (right).
In addition to the networking session, the participants had the pleasure hearing Ariane’s testimonial in conversation with our President, Thaima Samman.
Ariane was amongst the first participants of the inaugural Women Talent Pool program in 2012, and today, as one of three women on Expedia Group’s executive leadership team, she is an inspiring example for her career choices, challenges and successes!
”WIL’s Talent Pool Program was a turning point for me. I was given the opportunity to open my horizons which later helped me step out of my comfort zone! WIL was a nice starting point in uncovering opportunities beyond my immediate professional environment.”
“I have blazed my own trail as a mother, daughter, sister and spouse, because inevitably, they are all intertwined and related – and I aspire to help others to do the same.”
Thanks to our host, Expedia Group, the evening was a great occasion to come together, not only with our members, our talent pool participants, and guests from Expedia, but also with two other women’s networks: Osborne Clarke’s ‘OC Women’ community and the Pink Shoe Club.
Left picture: (from left to right) Maggie Semple OBE and Helene Martin Gee. Right picture (from left to right): Enrica Acuto Jacobacci, Emanuela Palazzani and Alessia Gasponi.
Thank you to the speakers and participants, and to Expedia Group for hosting the event!
“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!“
Mary Honeyball addressing the participants
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.
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.
Béatrice giving a presentation about the network
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!
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 parity, mentorship, the importance of diversity and the benefits it can deliver. As well as education as a powerful force for change, leadership and much more throughout the numerous workshops and breakout sessions.
Amongst the high-level speakers, the Summit welcomed Bill Morneau, Canadian 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!
“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!
The 8th of March 2018 marks an important day for all WIL members and WTP Participants alike. International Women’s Day is not only a day to celebrate and praise women but also a day to remind us to remain motivated and unite as we #PressforProgress.
This year, WTP Participants and Alumni came together in two major cities, Brussels and Paris to reconnect, network and celebrate the day.
Afterwork Cocktail at LinkedIn in Paris
Myriam El Ouni, WTP Alumni welcoming participants and board members to our first afterwork of the year
In Paris, WIL partnered with LinkedIn France, allowing both alumni and new participants to the 4th Edition of our Women Talent Programme to enjoy an Afterwork Cocktail in their Headquarters. Our President Thaima Samman and Board members Nathalie Wright and Béatrice Delmas-Linel also joined the event and shared some insights on the importance of putting words into action by continuing the drive to ensure the promotion of women.
All in all, this reunion provided a great opportunity to the participants get to know one another and network before the Kick Off Event of the 4th Edition of our WTP programme in Paris on the 15th of March 2018.
Thank you, Myriam El Ouni, Global Account Manager at LinkedIn France for making this event happen and we look forward for further cooperation with LinkedIn!
Afterwork in Brussels
Over in Brussels, WTP participants and Alumni enjoyed two activities to commemorate International Women’s Day. Firstly, WTP Participant Ioana Banach invited them to join other organisations of around 150 participants, including the European Women’s Lobby for a photo op. The picture below, as you can see show them forming the shape of the International Women’s Day logo and was a great way to get organisations together to honour the day! After the photo op, WTP participants and alumni enjoyed a dinner together, sharing their previous involvement and future expectations of WIL’s Women Talent Pool programme and network.
More than 25 WIL members and guests were given the opportunity to meet and exchange over a one-day event, organised with Softlab, and particularly rich in cultural discoveries and insightful discussions on the topic of women leadership.
Following the success of a first meeting held in November 2016 at the Italian Senate's Committee on Foreign Affairs, WIL Europe organised a second encounter with its Vice-Chairman Paolo Corsini, who shared some insights on the representation of women in the public and private sectors and on the role of gender equality in ensuring economic growth.
Softlab's President Sargis Ghazaryan stressed the importance for Softlab to experiment and implement gender inclusive best practices, while WIL Board Member Emanuela Palazzani reminded the audience of WIL Europe's role in promoting the advancement of women across Europe:
WIL Europe's "W" stands for "Women" but also for "Winners". Winners never quit and quitters never win (Vince Lombardi) and we are ready to take up the challenge of women's leadership.
The meeting was preceded by a networking lunch and a visit of the exhibition "Trajan. Building the Empire, Creating Europe" presented, for WIL members and guests, by the Curator of the exhibition and Softlab technological Partner.
The exhibition, hosted in the famous Mercati di Traiano at the heart of the ancient city, allowed the participants to reflect on the relationship between the Roman Empire and current Europe but also stressed the strong power of women surrounding the Emperor, seen as forerunners of U.S. First Ladies.
It was also a great example of the role of technology in delivering inspiring experiences, as the participants discovered the many interactive and visual experiences developed by Softlab, technological Partner of the exhibition.
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