EWoB network covers 8 countries with 9 members, all top tier organisations promoting women on boards. The EWoB membership began with a first circle of founding members in 4 European countries (Belgium, Finland, France and Norway). Soon after EWoB’s foundation, the UK joined as fifth member, and was followed by other new members from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Our objective is to expand the EWoB membership to cover all of the European Union and EEA area.
Women on Board
Represented by Cécile Coune, co-founder
Women on Board is a non-profit association created to promote female access to directorship roles within Belgian enterprises (public and private). In December 2009, a group of five women sharing the vision of increasing female board representation in Belgian private and public enterprises decided to create a “pool” of women with skills and experience beneficial to many boards. Women on Board has now achieved its primary goals:
- to create a pool of talented women ready to take up board positions, and
- to facilitate access to this pool for Belgian enterprises searching for female directors.
With a pool of more than 265 skilled women, the Association is providing private and public enterprises with free-access to the pool. Its objective of convincing enterprises to make the change happen and promoting and facilitating greater female board representation is progressively materialising, as witnessed by the fact that more and more companies are contacting Women on Board and appointing female board members. The access to the pool’s database is free of charge both for enterprises and search firms.
Women on Board has five founding members: Sonja Rottiers, Emmanuèle Attout, Marie Evrard, Françoise Roels and Cécile Coune. Together with their male fellow board members, Philippe Lambrecht, FEB/VBO Secretary General, and Dirk Tirez, BPost Secretary General, they form the board of directors of the association, meeting at least four times a year. Trees Paelinck, the General Manager, is in charge of the daily management of the association. Four volunteer members are responsible for Finance, Internal Communication, External Communication and Board mandate prospection. Together, they form the Executive Committee. They are assisted by a Project Coordinator and a selection Advisor.
The admission of members is in the hands of the Admissions Committee, gathering quarterly. Women on Board is supported by 20 partners.
Represented by its founder, Muriel Anton
Odyssey is the first central and eastern European cross-company, cross-industry mentoring program for women. It is a non-commercial mentoring project supported by female and male leaders, which creates an ideal platform to match aspiring talented female professionals with experienced mentors. In the long-term, Odyssey hopes to establish a culture of mentoring in the CEE region, provide a center of excellence for the development of female business leaders and increase diversity in the local business environment.
Our history: Odyssey was launched in March 2010 under the leadership of Muriel Anton (then CEO, Vodafone CR), Petr Šimůnek (then Chief Editor, Hospodářské noviny), Jan Bubeník (Executive Partner, Bubenik Partners) and Pepper de Callier (Founder, Prague Leadership Institute). It is now running its sixth season in the Czech Republic, second season in Slovakia and first season in Hungaria.
Represented by its Chair, Iris Karjula
Board Professionals Finland – BPF – is a rapidly growing organisation with over 140 female members, representing high quality and successful women directors’ active at executive and top levels in different organisations and companies. We work for strengthening diversity on boards through public discussions, professional networking and seminars as well as inspiring activities for the members.
The objective of Board Professionals BPF Finland is to promote diversity and advocate highly professional and ethical board work as well as to bring forward professional, qualified women directors by an arena for networking and further development for women directors in Finland. Regular activities include seminars with top notch speakers, training programmes, mentoring programmes, networking with other women leaders’ organisations in Finland. The association has decided to strengthen its international networking and collaboration in order to create a platform for seeking cross-border directorships for its members.
BPF is lead by a board, consisting of a Chair and seven board members.
Association des Femmes Diplômées d’Expertise Comptable Administrateurs (AFECA)
Represented by its Honorary Chair & Board member, Marie-Ange Andrieux
Association des Femmes diplômées d’Expertise Comptable Administrateurs (France)
AFECA, created in October 2010, is chaired by Françoise Savés, and represented for EWoB by Marie-Ange Andrieux, Honorary Chair and Board member of AFECA.
- To contribute to reach quotas set by the French law (Loi Copé Zimmermann January 28th, 2011i.e. 40% of women on boards in 2017, in large and medium-sized enterprises), by providing board ready certified public accountant women,
- To contribute to board’s performance and ethics through competencies, expertise and professional deontology of certified public accountant women,
- To contribute for certified public accountant women by their professional expertise and all work capitalized by their institutional bodies, to disseminate best practice of corporate governance, of risk management, of financial and extra financial reporting, of evaluation of tangible and intangible assets, and thus to contribute to innovative business models for a “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”,
- To provide certified public accountant women with services of training, coaching, mentoring in line with board’s and boards committees’ needs,
- To promote and value the women capital of the profession,
- To develop visibility of the organization in the economic and financial community, at national, European and international level, including with surveys on women on boards in France and events or other communication actions (press and media) dedicated to governance and competitiveness, in order to identify and disseminate best practice
Organization and governance
AFECA is a non-profit organization with 500 members, all chartered accountant women. AFECA’s objective is to enlarge this membership in the long run, knowing that in France, there are 5200 chartered accountant women out of 20.000 chartered accountants. AFECA’s organization is supported by 12 regional delegations, covering the French territory, ruled by the Charter of Regional Delegations (a set of values, ethics principles and goals of strategic development).
AFECA’s Board is chaired by Françoise Savés with five Vice-Chairwomen. Five of its board members are designated by the President of Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des Experts Comptables (French Institute of Certified Public Accountants).
AFECA is supported by the Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des Experts Comptables (French Institute of Certified Public Accountants), which represents its major source of financing, along with membership fees and partnership fees.
AFECA has developed a long term partnership with Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes (Independent Institute of the Statutory auditors in France).
AFECA is affiliate member of ecoDa (European Confederation of Directors’ Associations) and founding member of EWoB (European Women on Boards).
1 – Gender diversity in the boardrooms: except for very laŕge caps, French quota law is not reaching its objective of 40% women on boards in 2017
The French CPA Women Association’ women on board national survey (in partnership with Telescop) presents a synthesis of the impact of the Copé-Zimmermann act (13 January 2011) setting quota of 40% women on boards in 2017, to be applied to listed companies or those with more than 500 employees with a turnover or a total balance sheet exceeding €50 millions over the previous three years.
The results have fallen short of expectations!
A dynamic carried forward by quotas.
For the 4th consecutive year, the French CPA Women Association, through its Gender Parity Observatory, has carried out its latest study on the representation of women (as of 1st June 2017) in boardrooms and supervisory boards of companies listed on compartments A/B/C of Euronext Paris and on Alternext Paris.
An opportunity for stocktaking and setting new objectives.
What lessons can be drawn?
-The objective of 40% of Women in the board rooms (second mandatory threshold) is not achieved: 34.8% for Big Caps (compartment A), 30.6% in Mid-Caps (compartment B) and 28.3% in Small Caps (compartment C)
-The companies must still recruit 493 female directors in order to be in compliance with the Copé-Zimmermann Act and evade penalties such as freeze of attendance-related fees and revocation of new appointments
– Women are still poorly represented in strategic governing bodies: committees and management boards
2 – The French CPA Women Association presents its Gender Parity Observatory in the professional bodies
Countless studies have demonstrated that gender diversity is an improvement factor for business performance, competitiveness, sustainable growth and job creation.
Whatever skills she or he may have, there is a specific feminine and masculine expression of leadership.
Still nowadays, by the weight of history, the standard and culture of leadership are mainly masculine. Therefore, the under-representation of women in the decision-making bodies will not allow a meaningful impact on governance and management within the accountancy profession.
We must strive for parity. Women leaders have specific inherent traits that are enough abundant to manage an organization: Collaboration, efficiency, Intuition, pugnacity…Female human capital is a lever for driving value in firms.
The French CPA women association has thus set up an Observatory including the last professional elections held in 2016. It will allow to monitor the gender diversity evolution and promote it. We believe in leading by example.
3 – Share dynamics of regional, national and European networks
– At regional level: to leverage AFECA’s network of regional delegations to contribute to platforms of innovation and competiveness to serve local growth and employment creation,
– At national level: to develop steady presence to and relationship with institutions representing stakeholders of corporate governance in the public and private sectors.
As a result, AFECA is registered in the French Guide of Haut Conseil à l’Egalité entre les femmes et les hommes, council reporting to French Prime Minister.
– At European level: to be active as affiliate member of ecoDa (www.ecoda.org) and as founding member of EWoB.
Represented by Virginie Chapron-du-Jeu, General Secretary
Financi’Elles is the French leading federation that unites today 12 networks of women executives in banking, finance and insurance sector. Financi’Elles is committed to helping improve and streamline women’s access to the top level of organizations in the finance sector. Financi’Elles is now a key player in the promotion of gender diversity and a corporate partner in transforming gender diversity practices. The alliance also partners with companies in the sector wanting to create their own network to promote gender diversity. Created in 2010, Financi’Elles represents more than 17,000 women from Axa, BNP Paribas, BPCE, Caisse des Dépôts, Crédit Agricole, Eurazeo, HSBC, Humanis, ING, Malakoff Médéric, SCOR, Société Générale.
Represented by its Chair, Monika Schultz-Strelow
FidAR – campaigning for more women on supervisory boards
Since 2006 FidAR has been striving for more women to be appointed to the supervisory boards of German companies. Our work has made a significant contribution to strengthening political and social awareness of the importance of appointing a larger number of women to senior management positions and board functions. FidAR is an independent non-partisan German network for women and men, who support the idea of equal chances.
Represented by its President, Sandra Mori
Valore D is the first association of large companies formed in Italy in order to support women’s leadership in the corporate world. Our mission is to support and increase women’s representation in top positions in major Italian companies through tangible and concrete actions. Funded in 2009 by 12 enlightened companies, it now has 144 members.
The activity of Valore D in support of women’s leadership is developed in three directions: towards women managers, Italian companies and society as a whole. Valore D promotes an innovative corporate structure that overcomes the implicit gender bias and favors reconciliation, provides women managers the tools and knowledge relevant to their professional growth and proposes a new cultural model that includes the full participation of women in the economic and social life of the country.
Companies are at the heart of our association, as we believe that they have the fundamental role of transferring into management decisions the necessity of having more women be able to determine the strategies of industries. They can do this by identifying career paths based on talent and merit, creating talent pools where they can draw for summit positions and by promoting the recognition of a different kind of leadership from the prevalent one. Our role is to make all of this easier and faster, by encouraging the sharing of best practices and pooling objectives, instruments and strategies.
Through the innovative programme ‘In the Boardroom’, Valore D is helping over 200 women from the fields of business, academia and politics to strengthen their competences and skills, which are necessary to successfully perform the role of board member. The programme, launched in 2012 together with GE Capital, Linklaters and Egon Zehnder encourages companies to identify internal potential candidates and provides participants with training, coaching and networking opportunities, as well as with information and support in applying for board positions.
Talent Naar de Top and D&I Comapny
Talent naar de Top, in an alliance with Opportuniteit in Bedrif/Advies now under the name D&I (for Diversity and Inclusion)
Talent naar de Top
The Talent to the Top Foundation focuses on facilitating, encouraging and advising government, employers and top male and female talent who are intrinsically motivated to promote the recruitment, promotion and retention of women at the top of organizations. The Foundation developed the Talent to the Top Charter which is an employers’ code to make a voluntary commitment for an effective and sustainable gender diversity policy. Based on the Charter the 250 Charter signatories are monitored and benchmarked on a yearly basis. The foundation developed, in cooperation with executive search firms, a code for executive search firms, which aims to enhance their performance regarding gender diversity. The foundation also formed a high level group of Ambassadors, who will promote the mission of the foundation both inside and outside their organisation.
Represented by its Director, Yelly Weidenaar
D&I Company is the outcome of a merger in 2016 between two prominent professional organisations in the area of diversity & inclusion: Talent to the Top and Opportunity in Bedrijf/Opportunity Advies. D&I Company’s Community, Charter and Consultancy services help achieve genuine diversity & inclusion. Showing organisations, leaders and teams how to harness the power of diversity to build an inclusive, innovative organization is core business.
D&I Company links theory and practice and participates actively in public and political debate about diversity & inclusion, helping to move the conversation forward. The basis is gender diversity, the focus is inclusion.
Charter, Community and consultancy
Several hundred organisations have already signed D&I Company’s Charter. That means that they’ve committed themselves to improving gender diversity in their organization, supported by D&I Company. It also makes them part of the D&I Community, a vanguard of companies that perform better with regard to diversity & inclusion.
Experienced consultants and trainers are there to help organizations. They offer a wide range of services, from advice and analysis to workshops, training and courses.
Institute of Directors
Represented by its Non-Executive Director & Chair, Professor Dame Joan Stringer DBE FRSE
Founded in 1903 and granted a Royal Charter in 1906, is an independent, non-party political organisation of around 35,000 individual members. Its aim is to serve, support, represent and set standards for directors to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities for the benefit of society as a whole. In recent years, the IoD has actively promoted greater gender balance in boardrooms, both as a means of enhancing business performance and also in order to better align business leadership with the needs of a modern competitive economy. The IoD sees a greater role for women on boards as a prerequisite for improved corporate governance and business legitimacy.
The objectives of the Institute of Directors are :
- Promote for the public benefit high levels of skill, knowledge, professional competence and integrity on the part of directors, and equivalent office holders however described, of companies and other organisations.
- Promote the study, research and development of the law and practice of corporate governance, and to publish, disseminate or otherwise make available the useful results of such study or research
- Represent the interests of members and of the business community to government and in the public arena, and to encourage and foster a climate favourable to entrepreneurial activity and wealth creation.
- Advance the interests of members of the Institute, and to provide facilities, services and benefits for them.
The Board of the IoD provides the strategic oversight of the organisation and is made of Non-Executive and Executive Directors. The IoD Council is the membership oversight body and is comprised of Regional Representatives and Elected Members.
Our main sources of finance are membership subscriptions and revenues derived from delivering services such as director training courses.