IMD International

IMD and W.I.N to hold women in leadership event

February 2011

From rural communities to corporate boardrooms, the world of business is being transformed by women. But it’s no longer just a matter of equality. Companies with women in management positions perform better, and businesses are increasingly taking note. How will a leadership shift to more women influence our future? Engage in this event on Twitter: #IMDwomenWIN

IMD, the leading global business school, and W.I.N, the global women’s leadership organization, will join forces in exploring the topic of women in leadership on March 10-11, 2011. The event, which will be held during the same week as the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, will take place on the IMD campus located in Lausanne, Switzerland.

IMD Professor Ginka Toegel, who directs IMD’s Strategies for Leadership program (open just to women executives), and Professor Martha Maznevski, who directs IMD’s MBA program, will be two of the several speakers during the event.

“There has been a great deal of research done which demonstrates the value of having gender diverse management teams,” states Professor Toegel. “For example, companies that have more women in leading management positions tend to score higher on organizational effectiveness criteria. Equally, women board members tend to be very well-prepared for meetings, which raises the benchmark for others. This subsequently leads to better discussions, and better decisions.”

“The facts speak for themselves – today women are having a greater impact on business and politics than ever before,” says Professor Maznevski. “But have organizations adjusted to the new gender landscape that will in all likelihood continue to evolve? Unfortunately, the majority have not.”

The event will explore topics such as how women are having success and which companies are leading the way in developing female leaders and what can be learnt. Break-out sessions will focus on topics such as women on corporate boards; communicating clearer and better; negotiating win-wins; being a feminine leader; work-life balance; finding clarity; and understanding and being conscious about constant dilemmas and choices in prioritizing work, family and self.

The event will draw female leaders from a number of different professions – business leaders, athletes, artists and futurists – to share their experiences. Keynote speakers include:

Liv Arnesen (Norway) is an educator and explorer. In 2001, Arnesen and American polar explorer Ann Bancroft become the first women in history to sail and ski across Antarctica’s landmass — completing a 94-day, 1,717-mile (2,747 km) trek. As an explorer, Arnesen has also made international headlines by becoming the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole, and by leading the first unsupported women’s crossing of the Greenland Ice Cap.

Adriana Gardella (United States) blogs on women and entrepreneurship for The New York Times, and writes for the paper’s small business section. She has been an editor for Fortune Small Business magazine, and a columnist covering management and career issues for CBS Interactive. Her writing on a wide range of subjects has appeared in publications including Newsweek, Money, and National Geographic Traveler.

Petraea Heynike (South Africa) is an Executive Vice President at Nestle, responsible for strategic business units, marketing, sales and Nespresso. She’s served Nestle since 1972 in a variety of executive offices in Canada, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Dr. Jemilah Mahmood (Malaysia) is Chief, Humanitarian Response Branch at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The UNFPA is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. Mahmood previously served as President of the Malaysian Medical Relief Society (MERCY Malaysia) and founded the organization.

Mirella Visser (The Netherlands) is founder of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership. Her new book, to be published in early 2011, The Female Leadership Paradox, explores how women can optimize their careers.

Josefine van Zanten (Switzerland) is the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for Royal Dutch Shell. In this role, she is responsible for Global D&I thought leadership and strategy development of the Shell Corporation.

The event is a unique collaboration between a leading business school and a women’s leadership organization. WIN Founder and Director Kristin Engvig says that "now more than ever before it is crucial for businesses and women leaders to understand the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for both women and men in championing a more balanced business environment. We will explore this and other related questions and offer fresh insights on female leadership.”

“IMD is most delighted to be a part of this special event,” adds Professor Maznevski. “By organizing the event we hope to empower, develop and connect women leaders by showcasing the best practice in female business leadership.”

The cost of the program is 550 Euro per person with a 100 Euro discount for IMD Corporate Learning Network members as well as for WIN Corporate Network group members and professional women's networks who are confirmed partners for the 2011 WIN Global Leadership Conference. Proceeds will go towards a Scholarship Fund.

Learn more about the event.

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