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EWOB members gather to discuss gender diversity in the workplace

On June 1 2022, we kicked off a series of in-person events with EWOB members, starting with Brussels! 30 EWOB members from across Europe took the opportunity to meet and discuss diverse topics related to gender diversity in leadership. They also gain insights on how to get on board. Special guests are invited to present on a topic of their expertise and to facilitate the conversation.

Silvia Wiesner, EWOB Committee Chair and Managing Director at Unilever BeLux, welcomed us at the Unilever offices.

Hedwige Nuyens, EWOB Chair, led the conversation with 2 guest speakers:

Marie-Bernard Guillaume, our first guest, is the Partner and Director Executive Search at Mercuri Urval. She discussed how to get noticed by executive search firms when looking for a position at C-suite or Board level. She highlighted some key points:

  • Be noticed. Don’t fall for the “Prince Charming Syndrome” and wait for someone to ask, “Would you be my CEO?” Tell people, “I could be your CEO!”
  • Be connected.

Additionally, she explained the Mercuri Urval approach to matching roles and candidates. It starts with understanding the strategy of the company and the ideal organisational set-up. From there, you can determine the profile needed to deliver against the strategy.

Silvia shared the Unilever approach to gender equality. It has led to 52% of the managers globally being women compared to 38% back in 2010. Unilever is firmly convinced that diversity drives better results, and that inclusion makes the difference. Organisations with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets. They are also 6x more likely to be innovative and agile. And benefit, for instance, from higher job satisfaction and engagement as well as lower employee turnover.
Silvia explained that, thus, the Unilever strategy does include gender as a critical component. This is translated into many levers:

💡 Lead from the top & measure what you treasure

💡 Address unconscious bias, e.g. with recruitment guidelines and with training

💡 Organise mentorship and development programs

💡 Offer support for new parents & flexible work options

💡 Carry out advocacy and ensure unstereotype brands

💡 Benefit from external collaboration

If you would like to attend our next Meet&Peer across Europe and participate to various online events focused on gender diversity in the workplace and how to get on board, join our Memberzone!