14 May 2013
10 May 2013
On June 20th 2012, WIL Members gathered together for their second General Assembly in an ambitious format: in two locations - Brussels and Paris, as well as by phone/Web conference. After overcoming the technical issues (perversity of inanimate objects ;-)), Pinuccia Contino, Head of Unit Multilingualism and Translation Studies, EU Commission & WIL Secretary General, presented an overview of WIL’s Achievements. Then, Elena Bonfiglioli, Senior Health Director EMEA, Microsoft & WIL Co-founder, presented the outcomes and next steps of the very successful WIL Women Talent Pool program.
The past year has been very successful in terms of developing and strengthening partnerships. These include an enhanced WIL’s partnership with INSEAD, a new Women Talent Pool programme sponsor - Qualcomm and strengthening of relations with Administration Modèrne, AmCham France and European Movement Network Germany.
WIL Secretary General also presented the outcomes of last years’ WIL events, starting from WIL’s first General Assembly hosted at the Orange Campus in Paris, by Stéphane Richard, CEO and Chairman Orange in July 2011. Some of the main issues tackled during WIL’s 2011/2012 events, included Improving corporate governance, nourishing the female talent pipeline (also in ICT), EU competitiveness, boosting women’s leadership in arts and through arts and the question of women on boards. Some of the main outcomes included strengthening the European dimension of the network (including discussion on setting up a WIL German chapter) and WIL’s involvement in various initiatives, such as WIL Appeal for Europe, WIL Compendium of Best Practices, participation to Commission’s public consultation on Women on Boards, and finally, the launch of the Women Talent Pool as WIL’s flagship programme.
Mrs. Contino also took the opportunity to announce the upcoming WIL events: the Biannual meeting in partnership with GlobalWIN, WIL’s Washington-based partners (October 2012, Paris) and a session on women in the digital society during the Global Forum in ICT, which will take place on (13th November, Stockholm).
Bertrand Salord, Government Affairs Manager, Microsoft Europe & WIL Treasurer, shared with the WIL Members the details of the organisation’s Financial Accountability and the outcomes of the vote held prior to the meeting.
After a brief summary of the first outcomes of the Women Talent Pool Programme, Elena Bonfiglioli, Senior Health Director EMEA, Microsoft & WIL Co-founder, shared its next steps and activities planned for the coming months (both online and offline). She also encouraged WIL Members to share ideas on the WTP, stressing the value of the contribution senior women can bring to the Emerging Leaders.
Women Matter Report Presentation
During the second part of the General Assembly, WIL Members and guests were invited to join a presentation of the outcomes of the McKinsey "Women Matter 2012, How to make the breakthrough?" research. Two research co-authors, Sandrine Devillard, Director at McKinsey and Wieteke Graven, Senior expert at McKinsey, joined the GA from Paris and Brussels.
In the 2012 Women Matter edition, McKinsey benchmarked European companies on the types and effectiveness of their diversity policies. The findings helped each company to identify the key challenges they are facing with regards to improving female representation in top-level positions as well as assess the most impactful measures to address these. According to the report, more companies see gender diversity as a top strategic priority than they used to in 2012, however there is still a long way to go.
Getting more women to the top is driven at societal, institutional and individual level.The leadership behaviours more frequently applied by women, which include people development, expectations and rewards, role models, inspiration, participation in decision making, improve organisational performance. Nevertheless, women are undrrepresented at all hirearchical levels, not only at top management.
There are several reasons why so few companies are successful in addressing the gender balance issue within their organisation. Many measures are not implemented in the most effective way in terms of visible actions, communication and participation. Commitment at the top also does not necessarily cascade to middle management. According to research, there is often also a lack of focus – companies do not know the exact challenges (the facts) and do not involve the target group.
Successful companies on the other hand have a good understanding of facts and figures on diversity and target initiatives at their particular challenges. More visible senior management commitment is also crucial, as it contributes towards a change in mindsets. Women develop best as leaders through training & coaching, mentoring and networks, as well as role models.
According to the findings of McKinsey’s studies, the key to reaching a better balanced environment is to build a whole gender diversity ecosystem; gender diversity needs to be on top of the strategic agenda. Changes are necessary in gender diversity indicators, HR processes and policies and company infrastructure. It is also crucial that the CEO and executive team visibly monitor progress in gender diversity programs. What counts is: senior management commitment, tracking, culture and diligent implementation.
As a result of the Women Matter study, McKinsey identified 13 gender diversity measures: flexible working conditions, visible monitoring by the CEO and the executive team of the progress in gender-diversity programmes, programmes t o encourage female networking and role models, facilities to reconcile work and family life, mentoring of junior women…
Below you can download the full report.
To learn more, visit the McKinsey website.
If you have specific questions regarding the study, feel free to contact Caroline de Boer, Assistant to Wieteke Graven: Caroline_de_Boer@mckinsey.com