WELP – Women’s Empowerment In Leadership Positions*


Challenge we are addressing….

Women still account for only 7% of board chairs and presidencies, 6% of chief executives, and only 21.7% of members of boards in the largest companies. So, even though progress has been made, Europe is still a long way off from achieving not only the Commission’s target quota of 40% of women on boards but also of having women in leadership positions within those boards. In addition, in the European Union there are only four countries where boards of directors have at least 30% women. Boards continue to suffer from an underrepresentation of women in leadership in the corporate sector and on boards of directors.

EWOB proposes three programs which will look at the current pipeline of female executives and address the most obvious gaps in enabling female professionals to reach the top of their careers.

*Part of EU call: Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme, Call: REC-AG-2018

With above defined goals of WELP project we are going to introduce 3 connected pillars of program:

C-Level School will develop senior female change agents who understand future business challenges to lead successful transformation. The first year of our C-Level School is already starting in September 2019.
Cross border Digital Strategy Mentoring Programm to build a pipeline of 20 female professionals who can confidently tackle various topics relating to digital strategy creation and will be able to put themselves forward for leadership and board positions which require these skills.
Implement next generation of Global diversity index (GDI) to benchmark 600+ European corporations in different D&I KPI’s through which we can than measure level of success and progress in the future. EWOB launched its first index in 2018 and we intend to extend the index to the majority of large European companies in order to put a spotlight on the companies and countries in different corporate sectors which are an example of best practice in Europe.
Overall as is the case with all of EWOB’s activities, the complementary communications activities, and also the large events which will be organized at the end of year 1 and 2 of WELP project, will provide an awareness raising component which will reach well beyond EWOB’s own membership. This awareness raising will lead to highlighting once again the issues around conscious and unconscious bias and the importance of a change in attitude and organization culture.


C-Level School Day 1

“Digital Transformation: Innovate to compete in the digital era” was the theme of the Day 1 C-Level School hosted on September 27th at the Brussel Stanhope hotel.

More than 40 outstanding women from 13 EU countries have met to inspire each other, to discuss and to learn about the digital future from truly inspiring speakers: Cristina Catania and Tomasso J. Ulissi (McKinsey Italy), Tomáš Mátl (Colours of Data), Tanja Richter (Vodafone Group UK) and Martin Pejša (Creative Dock).

EWOB’s C-Level School aims at the development of senior female leaders who understand business challenges and are able to guide organizations through transformation successfully.

Aimed at female managers eligible for positions of major responsibility over the next two years, the C- Level School training will be delivered by international business entrepreneurs and corporate experts (men and women) from a variety of backgrounds e.g. technology, digital strategy and human resources. It will enhance and improve the participants’ core skills enabling them to have access to more complex and high-level senior roles. The training will focus on both the soft skills and technical skills which are most useful in roles in the C-Suite and will incorporate topics such as cognitive enterprise, digital strategy, the role of AI in business, management skills etc. In addition, the school will encourage international networking, via the regular face-to-face meetings, favoring cross-border fertilization and a better understanding of the international business environment.


The program is composed of 3 days, starting with an opening networking evening in Brussels at the end of September, followed the next day by a full day session dedicated to external factors which are impacting current corporations. We will discuss digital disruption, how artificial intelligence is impacting our way of working, role of Big data and much more. Presentation of case studies and experience from others will open discussion how these changes impact individual organizations.

The 2nd session is planned for the end of October and we will welcome participants in historic city of Prague. This session will focus on best practices of successful corporations (agile led organization, digital processes implementation, company culture and governance).

The last 3rd session is scheduled for the end of November in Brussels. This session will be about personal development of our female talents to equip them with skills of successful leadership in times of transformation. Last day will finish with ceremony evening in which not only our partners will be welcome but as well representative from EU commission.


This mentoring program will focus on education, information sharing and inspiration building in the areas of business digitalization (transforming to industry 4.0), business-driven big data leverage and opportunities and threats of those for today’s organizations. The content will include a compilation of industry trends and insights from reliable publications and experts, real case-study examples and hands-on exercises for the mentees. Next to enhancing their self-confidence in the area of business digitalization, the training will provide an additional incentive for their recruitment as NED candidates. The mentoring material will also be provided to EWOB member companies, to support the training and development of their female members to a NED position.


Session #1

Opening/Kick-off session: Key industry trends, their challenges and opportunities

The presentation will describe the new, emerging ecosystem that companies need to adapt to in order to stay relevant. This ecosystem is formed by several trends:

  1. New opportunities that consumers have thanks to new technologies and internet-enabled services,
  2. Traditional industry entry barriers being removed by regulation, bringing innovation and competition into highly regulated and / or naturally monopolistic industries,
  3. New, disrupting, digital-centric services, such as Airbnb, Revolut, Uber

Content will help to stimulate the thinking about how to overcome the disruption threats, leveraging existing market position and consumer relationships. These can lead to creating new, attractive propositions, leveraging the interconnected system of legacy core-business complemented with new layer of value-added services, provided by an open market ecosystem.

Session #2

Introduction to Big Data, Data Analytics and Machine learning (webinar)

What is big data; why should executives care and what’s in it for them. Overlay components – advanced and predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Examples of typical use-cases for major industries. Do’s and don’ts to ensure business value and user adoption is driven from big data introduction.

Session #3

Bringing big data and analytics into the organization (webinar)

This seminar deals with matters that are important for the successful adoption of analytic programs in mature, large corporations. As transformation into a data savvy organization is a complex, long-term process, many things that can go wrong. As a result, more than 80% of programs fail in delivering business value. What are the key success factors for the adoption of big data and data analytic programs? What are the warning signs to watch out for?

Session #4

Closing Session: Big data – DIY

Hands-on session for the audience to frame the gained knowledge into an idea-map or an action plan for their roles and organizations. This will be a guided exercise, where participants will start from where their organization is currently in leveraging the power of the data and will think of where the opportunities, priorities and challenges of their businesses are that could be addressed with data, analytics and machine learning. The result will be an idea list of what data organizations should leverage, how to enable the insight and capability sharing across the organization and leverage this in their respective fields (e.g. Finance, Sales, Marketing, Product Management, etc.).

Digital Evangelists Welcome For Our Digital Strategy Mentoring Program

We are currently launching cross – border Digital strategy mentoring program. The program will start in Q1 2020 (launch date to be confirmed) with 20 mentoring pairs.  At the launch event, the mentors and mentees will meet for the first time and subsequent mentoring sessions will continue over telephone/skype as agreed by the mentoring pair (max 1 hour).  The program will last one year, and we recommend monthly calls, although we hope that each mentor can commit to at least 6 sessions with their mentee.  At our launch event, we will have a session on mentoring best practices to help the mentoring pairs in their plan development.

Here is a link to the potential mentor’s profile.

If you are the interested potential mentor, please apply at this link (until the November 1st.



Application for the programme will be opened in November 2019 and closed by Year End.

The Mentoring programme will kick-off in February 2020 in Brussels with a live meeting for mentors and mentees and the 1st session.

Same applies for the last (4th) session which will be delivered in Brussels.

Our associations network and partners will be informed about the Application launch in order to inform national women networks for candidates proposal. Stay tuned!


Gender Diversity Index (GDI)

EWOB’s European Gender Diversity Index is a comparative ranking that highlights the best practices of European companies in terms of gender diversity and has been set up with the purpose to measure the evolution of gender diversity at the top of the European corporate world.


The 2019 edition of the European Gender Diversity Index (GDI) will build on the work of the previous years and will expand its scope to include all countries and companies listed in the STOXX Euro 600, looking at 10 comparable criteria. In 2020, through the work done via EWOB’s extensive network, the GDI will expand its scope to include other European countries which are not part of the 17 countries listed in the STOXX Euro 600, such as for example Poland, but which might be interested in providing data for national companies. The inclusion of new countries will be carried out via a collaborative platform.


The GDI awards, which will be handed out during EWOB’s annual event in Brussels, aim at highlighting positive improvements and changes made by certain companies.

EWOB-Ethics & Boards Gender Diversity Index

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