PWN Romania: Taking Our Mission to Francophone Diplomatic Circles

Following the recent partnership between PWN Romania and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our colleagues in Bucharest have embarked on a high-level, diplomatic initiative to promote both the organization and our global mission, as well as create closer ties between Francophone countries and their famous women. 

PWN Romania at Romania Embassy in ParisThe first event of a planned series took place in Paris, in March 2020, as the Romanian Ministry of External Affairs and PWN Romania organized an evening dedicated to celebrating francophone women, on the occasion of "International Women's Day", and as part of this year’s “Cinquantenaire de la Francophonie”. 

Organized at the Romania Embassy in Paris, the event was honored by the presence of H.E. Luca Niculescu, Ambassador of Romania to France, who gave the welcoming speech and moderated the panel on women’s roles in contemporary society. 

Virginia Otel, President of PWN Romania and our PWN Global Member of the Year, delivered a presentation speaking about PWN Global and PWN Romania, covering its programs and main achievements. Carmen Petcu presented the very unique project that PWN Romania has been working on for over a year - a digital platform to honor the memory of outstanding women from Romania who lived at the end of 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, called the “Museum of Remarkable Women in Romania”. A short movie, showing the some of the women – front-runners on their field of activity – was received with enthusiasm and appreciation by the audience.

Jarka Houssin, PWN Paris Board member, was a guest speaker in the panel that followed and debated the role of women in contemporary society, panel moderated by HE Luca Niculescu, Ambassador of Romania in France.

PWN Paris colleagues Isabelle Lange, Cecile Bernheim, and Virginie Ameaume and others also attended the event.

Francophonie is, as you might already know, strongly tied to the history of PWN Global. The global network was established in 1996 by Avivah Wittenberg Cox, a Canadian living in Paris at the time.

Since the establishment of PWN Romania in Bucharest, at the end of 2011, the local team has carried out several projects in partnership with the francophone community and PWN Paris.

More recently, PWN Romania participated in the Women's International Conference of the Francophonie held in Bucharest in November 2017, in the presence of more than 900 guests from around the world. 

Last April, the City Network organized a welcoming cocktail for colleagues from PWN Paris visiting Bucharest, alongside representatives of the French business community in Romania. The meeting was held at the French Institute in Bucharest, in the presence of His Excellency Michèle Ramis, Ambassador of France in Romania.

Currently, four PWN Romania mentors are part of the international SWinG project, coordinated by the French Federation of Sport on Company, a project that has attracted 10 partners from 7 countries, including PWN Paris (details on our website).

PWN Romania’s partnership with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at several other events to be organized by Romanian Embassies in other francophone countries.  Unfortunately, the CoVid19 pandemic has put everything on hold, but our colleagues back in Bucharest remain optimistically confident that things will get back on track as soon as life goes back to normal. 

On 6th March 2020, Virginia Otel, President of PWN Romania, moderated the ”Roundtable on Gender Equality Policies in French companies”, organized in the context of the International Women’s Rights Day by the Embassy of France in Romania. The event that brought together representatives of large French companies in Romania with a successful track record of implementing gender equality policies throughout their organizations as well as members of PWN Romania.

HE Michele Ramis, Ambassador of France in Bucharest welcomed participants and Mrs. Mihaela Andreianu, Secretary of State, Agency of Gender Equality between Women and Men, delivered the opening remarks.  The panel members, who were top and senior executives from companies such as Orange, Renault, Michelin, Accor, and the French Chamber of Commerce in Romania, participated in panel discussions and shared best practices in terms of gender equality policies and programs in their respective companies.

Virginia Otel, President of PWN Romania awarded  PWN Global Member or the YearFinally, in this period, Virginia Otel has unsurprisingly featured, once again, in Forbes Top 50 most influential women in Romania! Chapeau Virginia!! We’re so lucky to have you as part of our global network!


Copy Editor: Rebecca Fountain, Head of Marketing and Communications, PWN Global
Date: April 2020

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