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Wednesday 22 June 2016

ESCP Europe EMBA Women’s Network: Pledge for Parity!

On March 8th, International Women’s Day, ESCP Europe launched the Executive MBA Women’s Network in partnership with W4 — Europe’s first crowdfunding platform for women’s empowerment, founded by EMBA alum, Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke.

Lindsey was the guest speaker for our celebratory launch event, which brought together prospective EMBA candidates, current students, and alumni -- both men and women.

The official theme of this year’s International Women’s Day was, fittingly, “Pledge for Parity,” and at our inauguration we laid out our ambitious vision for the EMBA Women’s Network: spotlight the excellence of the ESCP Europe EMBA in accelerating women’s careers; highlight women’s (social) entrepreneurship and leadership; and promote gender parity within the programme. Yes, true parity: 50:50!

We invited Lindsey to speak also in her capacity as an EMBA alumna (class of 2009). She described the positive impact of her EMBA — “my career took a quantum leap” — as she shared her professional trajectory and spoke about the necessity of, and the opportunities to be yielded by, recruiting more female EMBA students and accelerating women’s careers and leadership worldwide. As she said on that occasion: “According to the World Economic Forum, it will take 117 years to close the economic gender gap. We’re all too familiar with the figures. Women hold fewer than 5% of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies and only 23 CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies. Almost universally, the higher up the corporate pipeline we go, the fewer women we find. And, of course, it’s not just business: women are conspicuously absent from leadership positions in *most* sectors. And yet societies stand to gain immensely from women’s increasing empowerment and leadership at all levels. Consistently, studies and initiatives, micro- and macro-, across all sectors, show that investing in women’s empowerment and leadership is one of the highest-yield investments, whether it’s in terms of improving organizational effectiveness, business financial performance, or a nation’s or region’s GDP”.

Through the EMBA Women’s Network, we aim to strengthen networking within our school and alumni community, focusing on issues relating to gender diversity and women’s leadership. We are also proud to clearly assert ESCP Europe’s positioning as a school committed to gender diversity and, of course, to encourage more women to reap the benefits of the excellent EMBA our school offers.

We’ll be hosting a series of networking events throughout the year and across all our ESCP Europe campuses, with a line-up of distinguished guest speakers, to spotlight and foster women’s career progress, women in leadership, corporate gender diversity, women’s entrepreneurship, and social entrepreneurship. These events (see the programme below) will welcome alumni, alumnae and all current EMBA participants. This will also be an opportunity for prospective EMBA candidates to meet with our community at ESCP Europe. Please do join us! We have other events and initiatives in store within the frame of the EMBA Women’s Network, so do watch this space.

So, #PledgeForParity! We look forward to building the EMBA women’s network with you and leading change together!

“A great thing to remember: think of each woman who excels in her career, who breaks new ground, shatters glass ceilings, becomes a role model and mentor, and drives progress in her company or her own business: with every step of her individual progress, we achieve progress for business, for the wider society, and the economy. Ultimately, each woman’s success benefits us all.” – Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke

Upcoming EMBA Women’s Network events (tentative dates):

  • Madrid Campus—June 29th
  • Berlin Campus—September 15th
  • Paris Campus – TBD

Please connect with us via email/social media for further information about these events.

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