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PWN Global Newsletter Q1 2019


"The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) could hurt women’s careers and widen the gender gap". This main headline from last week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) presents a challenging road ahead on our mission to accelerate gender balanced leadership. Let’s collectively change that paradigm. Let’s turn this rapidly evolving digital society into an enabler of female leadership. At PWN we believe in the opportunities for women in the digital economy.

Gender parity again was on the agenda in Davos but perhaps less prominently than in previous years. We are happy that our corporate partner Mercer took the lead and celebrated their 5th anniversary of When Women Thrive. While the latest Global Gender Gap report from WEF might paint a disturbing picture of gender equality having stalled, Pat Milligan, Head of the Multinational Client Group and When Women Thrive at Mercer, claims this Fourth Industrial Revolution gives women renewed opportunity. And we agree when she says diversity and inclusion has moved from a tangential discussion confined to HR, or Employee or Business Resource Groups, to an essential discussion among business leaders defining and building their workforce for the future.

Increasingly we are seeing that organizations are putting gender diversity on the strategic agenda. It is also becoming apparent that the digital economy provides potential to develop and implement bespoke solutions. The shift to ‘bespoke’ is one that is encouraging, as it takes us away from the rather naïve notion of a ‘one size fits all’ solution to gender inequality, and it shows the real commitment of business leaders to get it right. 

When done well, the results are remarkable. Sodexo is well known for its enormous commitment to ‘getting it right’. Their latest insights show how bespoke the effort needs to be to reap business potential. They have shown in their case management teams need to have between 40 and 60% women, no more, no less. When they do hit the right number, all metrics go up significantly. For instance: 8% higher operating margins, 9% higher client retention rates, 14% higher employee satisfaction compared to those management teams that are not gender balanced. These insights would not have been possible without digital technology.

Digital therefore can be an enabler of gender balanced leadership for business. If we are aware of, and aim to fix the biases in Artificial Intelligence (AI) – as WEF cautions us: with the significantly higher percentage of men in tech roles, there is bias in programming – we can use data and digital tools to improve recruitment, retention and talent management. And let’s not forget how technology is also helping women themselves in having a better work-life balance, allowing for more flexibility, more effective time management and therefore higher productivity. 

Female ambition and business culture are increasingly becoming two sides of the same coin, and particularly when we use digital technology to deliver on bespoke solutions. The good news is that we see many men who want to play a part in supporting women and gender balanced leadership in the digital era. At WEF, it was JP Morgan’s chief, Jamie Dimon, who stood up and addressed men’s reluctance to directly engage with women. “If you are a leader, you cannot do that”, he said passionately. At PWN we have a growing number of male leaders who share this thinking. We will continue to sponsor this debate and we look forward to engaging you in discussion and action!

Want to be part of this exciting journey? If you haven’t done so alread: get in touch; join a local city networkvolunteer and help us make a difference – you’ll have a great experience, develop yourself and, very importantly, have a lot of fun!

Enjoy your read and make sure to share the news. 


Sonya Richardson, President, PWN Global



Sonya Richardson
PWN Global



Rob Baker
PWN Global

Q1 2019 newsletter introduction note authored by Sonya Richardson


PWN Gender Balanced Leadership

Women in Business Life or Only Successful Women in Business Life?


What do we expect from a working woman? To become successful at work? To become equally successful at home? Do you think that we expect a lot from women? Read on to discover the thoughts of Funda...


PWN Mentoring

PWN Milan: Celebrating 10 Years of Mentoring in 2019


PWN Milan is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its mentoring program in 2019, with a book!

The book stems from the willingness of the association to tell the story, the evolution and the...


PWN Madrid's Mission in Action: Mentoring to Grow


Since its foundation, PWN Madrid has continuously developed its Group Mentoring Program, which, in each edition, consolidates its success by achieving the adhesion of a growing number of...


PWN Geneva-Lausanne: A Mentor's Journey


PWN Geneva-Lausanne launched its mentoring program in 2017 with Karin Harder, with a transition to co-leaders Natalie Wilkins and Chris Nassivera in February 2018. With three mentoring cohorts...


PWN Entrepreneurship

PWN Rome's Female Founders Share Their Knowledge


PWN Rome recently hosted a round table event that featured a group of female founders who shared their powerful stories with a view to supporting would be entrepreneurs. 


PWN City Network News

PWN Lagos: Professional Grooming for Girls


PWN Lagos, one of our newest city networks has a sound selection of seasoned women from different professional backgrounds. Sandra Momah, President of PWN Lagos reports, "We are happy to announce...


PWN Lisbon: Youth Programme Ready for Take-Off!


Through their newly launched Youth Program, PWN Lisbon aims to be the leading network in Portugal for young women to find empowering, learning and sharing experiences, and connections in the early...


PWN Paris: Winter Tour of the Côte d'Azur


After the resounding success of PWN Paris visiting PWN Romania earlier in 2018, the team decided to set up another visit to another member of the PWN family, this time in Nice.


PWN Zagreb: Recognised for its CSR Efforts in Croatia


PWN Zagreb is the first nonprofit organisation promoting gender equality included among 65 other organisations that represent best Croatian contributions to UN Global Goals of Sustainable...


PWN Corporate Partner News

Lafargeholcim Join PWN Madrid 2019 Mentoring Programme


We are thrilled to announce that Lafargeholcim has once again renewed it contract to be a corporate partner of PWN Global.

Lafargeholcim Middle East & Africa IT Service Center contribute to...


Amazon Jobs in Poland


Amazon Operations partnered with PWN Global almost one year ago. The driver for this partnership was Amazon's real desire to create better gender balanced leadership in their operations functions. 


Expert's Corner

Knowledge Is Not Power! But What Is?


Ina Catrinescu: author, consultant, trainer, and founder of SHFT Happens is hosting a webinar for us in May on the topic of Creative Problem Solving. She kindly shared this great article with us...


How to Get (Major Transformation Programmes) Governance Right


Business change expert, Francesca Valli, who has helped to transform organisations such as Orange, Inmarsat and Reed Exhibitions, recently hosted a PWN Webinar on the topic of 'Strategies and...


Get 'In The Know' with INSEAD


PWN Global Parner, INSEAD has a great blog site that hosts thought pieces, expert opinions and first-hand accounts on the topics of career development and leadership, curated to guide users on...


HardTalk: Dealing With a Passive-Aggressive Boss


Founder of Hard Talk and former PWN Webinar presenter, Dawn Metcalfe shares her advice on how to deal with a passive-agressive boss in her brillian Dear Dawn column. If you've got that issue in...


PWN Member Offers

PWN Barcelona: Extends an offer to attend 4YFN with a special discount


If you haven’t ever visited Barcelona, then GSMA’s 4 Years from Now (4YFN) might just be the perfect excuse to pop over and see what you’ve been missing out on.  Atomico ranks Barcelona as the...


PWN Member Spotlight

PWN Nice Member, Shirley Thompson is Truly Oarsome


Have you heard of Shirley Thompson? This PWN Nice member is, literally, OARsome!

In December 2018, 60 year old Irish born Shirley Thompson set off from the Canaries to row 3,000 nautical miles...


Book Review

The HardTalk Handbook


If you like Dawn Metcalfe's article (scroll up in the newsletter) - you may want to consider reading her book that will help you discover the HardTalk that has been holding you back. 


Website Review

Jumpstart to Success


Daniela Ullman recently hosted a webinar for PWN Global - Jumpstart to Success - FREE to all! Want to find out more about Daniela and her great work, check out her new website that is launching...


News Round Up

Don't Burn Hapless Men, Turn Them


What did you think of Gillette's #TheBestMenCanBe Advert?


The Reason Female Entrepreneurs Get Less Funding


Why Does Being Kind Make You Feel Good?


Closing the GenderGap: A Missed Opportunity for New CEOs


Thank you to all our PWN Global Corporate Partners:

Mercer, Amazon, Europcar, Lafarge Holcim and INSEAD 


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