On December 15, 2015, The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in partnership with the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) hosted Dr. Elisabeth Denison, chief strategy & talent officer Deloitte Germany and EMEA talent leader of Deloitte for a discussion on what the private sector is doing to create an environment in which female leaders can thrive. The panel was moderated by Rosa Balfour, senior fellow at GMF and Joanna Maycock, secretary general of the European Women’s Lobby and co-host of the event, contributed with some remarks.
Dr. Denison started by presenting how both her professional and personal background shaped her standpoint and perspective on the subject matter. She made some remarks on the current work system which is holding back on innovation and does not provide enough facilities for women to succeed. Elisabeth stressed the importance of the collaboration between politicians, societies and companies in order to make a real change in women’s advancement. In this regard, she mentioned Deloitte’s initiatives such as the Leadership Program and the Mentoring Program aiming at getting more women into leadership positions by assessing not only their performances but also their potentialities.
Joanna Maycock provided the audience with factual data illustrating the current gender imbalance in the workplace at a European level. She made an appeal to the European institutions to make gender equality a priority in the political agenda and called upon a greater commitment of them in taking the lead in this very much relevant issue. Maycock also pointed out the need for further dialogue among the different stakeholders and a new approach from all the actors in order to fight against the different factors that prevent women to progress in their careers.
The discussion was followed by a lively debate addressing a number of issues such as the importance of the education system in changing the mind-sets, the need for engaging men more deeply into the debate and the challenges existing in the different working environments.