Newsletter N°3

Welcome from the Co-Chairs,

Coune & Andrieux

Dear EWoB members and friends,

It is our pleasure to bring you our third, and final, newsletter of this year, and to update you on the recent EWoB activities, and our plans for the last weeks of 2016.

As you will recall, at the beginning of October we launched our first-of-its-kind online platform, the EWoB Knowledge Centre.  The Knowledge Centre is an online hub which gathers best practices, business models and other resources to encourage gender diversity in the boardroom, for more innovation and competitiveness.  Our Knowledge Centre has separate information tabs for companies/boards and for potential board members.  We are pleased to report that the different website pages related to the Knowledge Centre have seen ever increasing traffic and we encourage you to look at the resources available!

On 25th October we had a very successful day in Brussels, Belgium, with the closing event for one of our mentoring programmes and the launch of our Talent Pool.  Both events were extremely well attended and the feedback received has been extremely positive.  You will find a summary of the day’s proceedings in this newsletter and you can also find photographs taken at both events in our photo gallery.  If based in Europe, companies (public and private), NFP associations and search firms have free access to the database of the online EWoB Talent Pool by signing a Charter of Engagement detailing their obligations.  If you are aware of companies, associations or search firms which are currently looking to fill an NED position please make them aware of our Talent Pool: we currently have 150 CVs of board-ready women in our database.

Our work in mentoring and training continues, and at the end of November we will be having the opening event for year II of our EWoB Mentors programme, a programme which has been developed in partnership with our key sponsor PwC Europe.  The launch event will be held in Berlin, on 30th November.  Both EWoB and PwC Europe believe that mentoring, as well as being key to successful progress along the career path, provides a very enriching personal development opportunity to both mentor and mentee.

On this note, we leave you, hoping you enjoy our newsletter and wishing you continued success in 2016.  We look forward to being in touch again in early 2017!

With best regards,

Marie-Ange Andrieux and Cécile Coune

EWoB Co-Chairs


EWoB events of 25th October 2016, a summary

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 will be available on the EWoB website (on the Mentoring and Training project page) from 23rd November.

Launch of the EWoB Talent Pool:

Cécile Coune, EWoB Co-chair and project owner
Cécile Coune, EWoB Co-chair and project owner

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.
Ms Salla Saastamoinen, Director for Civil and Commercial Justice, European Commission, DG Justice and Consumers
Ms Salla Saastamoinen, Director for Civil and Commercial Justice, European Commission, DG Justice and Consumers
Ms Saskia Van Uffelen, CEO Belux Ericsson
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”.


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. 


Sanna Wester, Chair of the EWoB Admission Committee
Sanna Wester, Chair of the EWoB Admission Committee

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’.



An introduction to our members

Following on from the introduction in our first newsletter to Belgium’s Women on Board and France’s AFECA, and to Norway’s Institute of Directors and to Board Professionals Finland (BPF) in our second newsletter, we are pleased to now introduce you to FidAR and IoD UK.

FidARSince 2006 FidAR has been striving for more women to be appointed to the supervisory boards of German companies.  An anchor member of EWoB, FidAR is represented on the EWoB Board of Directors by its chair, Monika Schultz-Strelow.  EWoB’s most recent collaboration with FidAR was the successful annual event held in Berlin on 7th July at which EWoB’s study, Gender Diversity on European Boards: Realising Europe’s Potential: Experiences and Best Practices, was launched.  Recently FidAR celebrated its 10th anniversary with German Minister Manuela Schwesig praising FidAR for its ongoing contribution towards more equal opportunities in the economy.  The press release issued on the occasion can be found here.  Further information on FidAR’s recent work can be found here.

iod The Institute of Directors is the UK’s longest-running organisation for professional leaders with around 35,000 individual members.  It was founded in 1903 and granted a Royal Charter in 1906.  The IoD UK is represented on the EWoB Board of Directors by Dr Roger Barker and by Lady Barbara Judge, first woman chair of the IoD UK, who is a member of the EWoB Advisory Board.  More information about the IoD UK’s recent activities can be found here.


News from our members and partners

womenonboardbeon 7th November Belgium’s Women on Board launched the Women Intergenerational Digital Dialogue (WIDD) Programme.   The programme aims to improve the digital skills and competencies of Women on Board members by reverse mentoring with young high potential women knowledgeable on digital transformation.  In return the young, high potential, women will be introduced to corporate governance and executive management.  Further information can be found here.

Marie-Ange Andrieux, Co-chair of AFECA and EWoB, is co-author of “Le grand livre de la formation” (Dunod/October 2016), a French reference book on training strategy and best practice.  In the concluding chapter of the publication Ms Andrieux underlined that training should be considered as “an Investment in Human capital, a key asset to deliver sustainable competitiveness and inclusive growth”. More information on the publication can be found here.

EWoB Members: should you have any news that you would like us to include in our next newsletter (to be published in February 2017), please send an email to by c.o.b. on 31/01/2017.

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, our LinkedIn Group continues to grow so please, if you are a LinkedIn member, join us there too!

If you are an EWoB member and use social media as part of your communication activities, please email us ( with your FB and Twitter handles – we would be happy to follow/like/retweet/share your posts to help your message reach a wider audience.

Thank you for sharing this newsletter with your contacts!





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.


Photographs taken by Inge Verheulpen and copyrights EWoB


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