EWoB Network Project Results, a summary (Video)

pictures from the mentoring event
Pictures from the mentoring event
 Mentors and Mentees
Mentors and Mentees


Closing Event for the EWoB Mentoring Programme: In the morning, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., EWoB hosted the closing event of its EWoB Mentoring Programme.  The event was open to mentors and mentees and the topics covered included a lively panel discussion on sharing of mentoring experiences.  The panel, composed of three mentors and three mentees,  was moderated by Muriel Anton, EWoB Director and Founder/General Manager of Odyssey.    In addition to the mentor/mentee panel discussion Ms Anton moderated a lively discussion, which included all participants at the event, on developing best practice for the EWoB mentoring programme.  As part of the discussion EWoB unveiled the key findings of the survey results which showed positive feedback from both mentors and mentees.  A key outcome from the closing event was understanding the value which participants placed on mentoring which , as indicated by EWoB’s co-Chair Cécile Coune, was about “give and take, something that benefits both mentors and mentees”. The full audio recording of the event is available on the EWoB website (on the Mentoring and Training project page) from 23rd November.

Launch of the EWoB Talent Pool:

Watch the video on the presentation of the EWoB Network Project’s results

Immediately after the closure of the EWoB Mentoring Programme, EWoB hosted the launch event for the EWoB Talent Pool.   With more than 150 key stakeholders present, including EWoB members’ members, the event started with a presentation by Cécile Coune who outlined the key achievements and results of the EWoB Network programme:

  • Established as premier European network and increased membership to 10 organisations in 9 countries. Expanding progressively to the whole European Economic Area
  • Produced two in-depth reports on gender diversity on European boards:

Realising Europe’s potential: Progress and Challenges (quantitative study, EU co-funded)

Realising Europe’s Potential: Experiences and Best Practices (qualitative study)

  • Launched EWoB Knowledge Centre: a unique platform for companies, directors and stakeholders which showcases best practice, advises board-ready women and provides resources for businesses
  • Hosted/co-hosted multiple events across Europe:
    • Best Practice Exchange Seminar, London (2014)
    • ‘Women and power: take or wait?’ Helsinki (2014)
    • Mega-event with WOB Belgium, Brussels (2015)
    • ‘Female capital and competitiveness, Paris (2015)
    • EWoB and PwC Mentoring Launch, Amsterdam (2015)
    • EWoB Mentees’ Mentoring Launch, Brussels (2015)
    • EWoB Mega-event with FidAR, Berlin (2016)
  • Established first EWoB Mentoring programme
    • 23 EWoB Mentees and 23 Mentors (Chairs/CEOs of listed companies), Cross-border, cross-sector
    • Dec 2015 – Oct 2016
  • Lauched the EWoB Talent Pool, an online database of cross-border, board-ready women which increases visibility of female board candidates, connects them with companies. Presently with approximately 150 women candidates ready – to be rolled out throughout 2017.

Watch the video on the speech by Ms Salla Saastamoinen, Director for Civil and Commercial Justice, European Commission, DG Justice and Consumers 

Watch the video on the speech by Ms Saskia Van Uffelen, CEO Belux Ericsson

Two keynote speakers presented at the launch.  The first speaker, Salla Saastamoinen, Director for Civil and Commercial Justice at the European Commission, DG Justice and Consumers, noted that “having more women on boards would be very welcome for the European business environment: for a number of years now, an increasing number of studies suggest that women’s presence on boards enhances the performance of companies”.  Ms Saastamoinen also added that “a diverse composition of the companies’ leading bodies should facilitate independent opinions and critical challenge, thus contributing to enhancing the firms’ governance and robustness”. 

The second keynote speaker, Saskia Van Uffelen, CEO of Belux Ericsson nv / sa, highlighted the fact that “creative, solution-focused individuals are needed to face future challenges given that 2/3 of today’s jobs will not exist in 2020”.  Ms Van Uffelen, emphasised the importance of “investing in people” and the need for “acquiring digital skills”.

Watch the video on the panel discussion

Salla Saastamoinen, Cécile Jodogne, Sanna Wester and Karima Zahi, Programme Director
Salla Saastamoinen, Cécile Jodogne, Sanna Wester and Karima Zahi, Programme Director

The EWoB Talent Pool was presented by Sanna Wester, a member of the Talent Pool’s Admission Committee.  Ms Wester provided an overview of the quality and quantity the profiles in the Talent Pool as well as interesting statistics and highlights from some of the profiles show-cased.  Ms Wester noted that the Admissions Committee ensures impartiality and guarantees the quality of the EWoB Talent Pool.  She furthermore noted that the EWoB Talent Pool provided an opportunity for candidates to make a difference in the boardrooms of Europe.  Initially, admission to the EWoB Talent Pool is limited to EWoB members only but the admissions will be open to a wider pool of candidates, who meet the Admission Committee criteria, from mid-2017. 


Watch the video on the Talent Pool presentation by Sanna Wester, Chair of the EWoB Admission Committee

Watch the video on the speech by Cécile Jodogne

Immediately after the presentation of the Talent Pool, Corinna Hörst, Deputy Director, Brussels Office, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, moderated an interesting and topical debate where points discussed included the ongoing existence of unconscious/unintentional bias and the strategic planning that is required to ensure gender diversity and inclusion in all boards.

Finally, closing the event, Cécile Jodogne, State Secretary to the Brussels Region and Minister of   the French-speaking Brussels Government, highlighted the important role organisations such as EWoB play at a time when ‘women remain under-represented, especially in private companies’.

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