Newsletter N°2

European Women on Boards

Welcome from the Co-Chairs,

Dear EWoB members and friends,

As the Summer winds down and the days become shorter, we are looking forward to a hectic Autumn at EWoB, with a number of activities taking place in October.

After many months of hard work, we are ready to launch two new platforms which we hope will enhance the contribution EWoB makes to highlighting the existence of valuable “board ready” talent pool and to improving the efficiency of the “market” for board mandates at European level.

On 6th October we will be launching a first-of-its-kind online platform, the EWoB Knowledge Centre, which shares best practices, business models and resources to encourage gender diversity in the boardroom, for more innovation and competitiveness.

Drawing on a range of international and cross-sectoral contexts, the Knowledge Centre showcases practical advice, ideas, strategies, articles, studies and examples of best practice that can be used to develop and justify gender-diverse business models. It includes interviews with senior directors and business leaders – women and men – who have already embraced gender diversity on corporate boards, and who provide guidance, know-how and inspiration for others to do the same.

The Centre provides tips to women with board ambitions to make this a reality – from how to gain confidence, to building knowledge about competition, and taking part in coaching and networking programmes, such as those offered by EWoB members. Resources targeted at the wider public present up-to-date knowledge on the ongoing debate concerning how to increase the efficient participation of women on corporate boards.

The platform also features a checklist of the major arguments and best practices underpinning why and how companies should work to achieve gender diversity on their boards, and encourages businesspeople to connect with EWoB members for support and guidance in promoting women on boards.

The following month, on 25th October, we will be having a full day of activities as we mark the closing of year one of the EWoB Mentees’ programme, followed by the launch of the EWoB Talent Pool and presentation of the EU project results. The Talent Pool is an online database of board-ready women from throughout Europe and from a range of sectors. Companies who are looking for a board member will be able to access this Talent Pool free of charge and for a limited period from its launch on 25 October. The day will be a combination of a closed event, for EWoB members only, and an event taking place in Brussels in the afternoon, which will be open for the attendance of interested stakeholders. More details will be available on our website over the coming weeks!

We hope you will enjoy reading this second edition of our newsletter, one which we hope will provide you interesting information not only about our work at EWoB but also the important work our members do at the national and international level.

With best regards,

Marie-Ange Andrieux and Cécile Coune

EWoB Co-Chairs

An introduction to our members

Following on from the introduction in our first newsletter to Belgium’s Women on Board and France’s AFECA, this month we would like to introduce to Finland’s Board Professionals and Norway’s Institute of Directors.

Board Professionals Finland (BPF) is a rapidly growing organisation, with over 140 members, representing high quality and successful women directors active at executive and top levels in different organisations and companies. BPF’s aim is to promote diversity and advocate for highly professional and ethical board work, as well as to bring together professional, qualified women directors for networking, and to support the further development of women directors in Finland. Iris Karjula, EWoB Vice Co-chair, is the Chair of BPF and represents BPF on the EWoB Board of Directors. Further information, in Finnish, can be found at http://boardprofessionals.fi

The Norwegian Institute of Directors aims to improve companies’ value creation through good corporate governance. The Institute provides members with arenas for the exchange of boardroom experience, and encourages the sharing of knowledge and new ideas about board work, i.e. in the form of best practice descriptions. Following the introduction of gender quota legislation in 2008, the boards of Norwegian listed companies maintain a minimum 40% of either gender, but the top management teams have a long way to go before both genders are equally represented. Turid Solvang, EWoB Vice Co-chair, is co-founder and Managing Director of the Norwegian Institute and represents the Institute on EWoB’s Board of Directors. For further information about the Norwegian Institute of Directors, see: www.styreinstitutt.no

News from our members and partners

On 8th September, Belgium’s Women on Board switched into a higher gear with a new governance empowering Women on Board’s ambitions. At an event held at Belfius, and in the presence of more than 250 participants, the new ambition, supported by sharpened governance, was presented. The new Chair of Women on Board, Françoise Roels noted that “the presence of women in a board of directors leads to better results and stimulates the development of talent. Today, we are reinforcing our organisation to meet this exciting challenge”. More information about the event, together with the press release issued to mark the occasion, can be found at here

On 29th September, EWoB member AFECA launched its Guide to Best Practices and the results of a benchmarking of the status of women in the accounting profession at European level, with participation of 24 professional institutions in 22 countries. The best practices guide and the benchmarking results are available in English on the AFECA website here. Both publications were launched at a meeting held during the 71st Congrès de l’Ordre des experts-comptables which took place in Brussels, Belgium, from 28 to 30 September 2016.

On 30th September, EWoB member FidAR published its new trend indicator which showed that more and more top managers favour the German quota system for women on supervisory boards. The Trend Indicator also showed that target figures for women in management positions are still lacking acceptance. To see the full press release issued by FidAR please visit here

The European Confederation of Directors Associations (ecoDa’s Chair is Turid Solvang) is a partner once again of the next European Corporate Governance Conference. The conference, which will take place on 27th October in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, has for theme “Digitization and Transparency – transforming the future of corporate governance?” Further details can be found here.

BPF is organising a number of events in the Autumn, including, in October, “Good Corporate Governance” – a morning session with PwC, and “Experiences and Learnings as a Female Executive and Public Influencer” – with a presentation from a Member of the Parliament. In November BPF will have its annual conference, aimed at 300 board professionals and executives, which will focus on future trends and change and growth and, finally, the year will be brought to a close in December, with a “Christmas lunch” get-together for members.

EWoB Members: should you have any news that you would like us to include in our next newsletter (to be published on 15th November), please send an email to communication@ewob-network.eu by c.o.b. on 10th November.

In other News:

We were very interested to see a recent interview, carried out by viEUws, in which the Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourová, argued that women on boards were ‘a smart business decision’. If you have a few minutes, you might like to watch the interview at here. The aim of the interview was to discuss and assess the implementation of quotas as a means to bring more women on boards. The role of the European Commission, and the impact of the media and businesses as catalysts for change are also discussed.

Save the Date

On 25th October 2016, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., in Brussels, EWoB will be hosting the event ‘Realizing Europe’s Potential with European Women on Boards’ Talent Pool’ to (1) present the results of the EWoB Network Project (co-funded by the Progress Programme of the European Union) and (2) launch the EWoB Talent Pool, our online database of board-ready women. The programme includes a keynote speech by Saskia Van Uffelen, CEO Belux Ericsson and a panel discussion on ‘Gender-diverse governance and innovative leadership strategies’. The launch event will be followed by a cocktail reception. Registrations are currently open and will close on 10th October. It will also be possible to follow the event on live stream, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. here

Follow us on social media

We have a presence on social media so please don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter! In addition, we have recently created a LinkedIn Group so please, if you are a LinkedIn member, join us there!

If you are an EWoB member and use social media as part of your communication activities, please email us (communication@ewob-network.eu) with your FB and Twitter handles – we would be happy to follow/like you and to help your message reach a wider audience by sharing and re-tweeting your posts.

Thank you for sharing this newsletter with your contacts!

Our Sponsors

Thank you to the Progress Programme of the European Union which co-funds the EWoB Network Project.

We are also grateful to Deutsche Bank, PwC and Sodexo for their ongoing support.

Disclaimer: This newsletter has been produced with the financial support of the Progress Programme of the European Union. The contents of this newsletter are the sole responsibility of European Women on Boards asbl and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.

 

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