BPW Europe blog
Here you find actual information about BPW activities.
On 5th April the Presidents of BPW Europe met in Brussels
The annual Presidents Meeting and General Assembly of BPW EC AISBL took place on the 5th April 2014. 32 Presidents and delegates from all over Europe participated in the meeting this year.
Many countries have been active with Equal Pay Day activities and reported about there events. Some of them joint Equal Pay this year for the first time like: Iceland, Ireland Poland and UK. BPW Germany brought one of their red flags and handed it over to BPW Ireland for next year.
In the afternoon breakout sessions for certain topics facilitated the exchange of good practices and ideas. This was the group for Young BPW.
A new Young BPW Representative and ECC member was elected for the next years: Maria Socratous from BPW Cyprus. We thanked Miette Dechelle for all her efforts and comittment for Young BPW in Europe in the last three years.
The board of BPW EC AISBL (from left to right)
Alexandra Preuss-Ribaric, Finance Director, Germany
Miette Dechelle, Young BPW Representative, Belgium
Sabine Schmelzer, Regional Coordinator Europe, Switzerland
Guiseppa Bombaci, Executive Secretary, Italy
Caroline Couvreur, Elected board member, Belgium
Alert on backlash against women’s rights: EWL delegation meets Commissioner Reding and cabinet member of EU President Van Rompuy
[Brussels, 9 April 2014] A delegation of members of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) met with two key representatives of the European Union to discuss gender equality. On Friday 4 April, they met with Ms Sarah Nelen from the cabinet of the President of the European Union, Mr Herman Van Rompuy. On Wednesday 9 April, they met with EU Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Viviane Reding. On both occasions, the EWL delegation, headed by EWL President Viviane Teitelbaum, delivered a strong message calling on reinforced commitment of the European institutions to achieve gender equality and protect and promote women’s rights.
At the meeting with Ms Sarah Nelen, EWL members highlighted the growing attacks on women’s rights, materialising through a backlash of policies denying gender equality and especially women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, and detrimental effects of the crisis and austerity measures on women’s lives and institutional mechanisms for gender equality. They also pointed out that there is a lack of consistency between EU external and internal policies: while the EU develops strong messages about gender equality outside Europe, including at UN level, it has a weak approach to gender equality within its boarders, with a lack of harmonised action on many issues, such as violence against women or women’s economic independence. Sarah Nelen stressed on the need to support more women in decision-making and equal participation at the top jobs of the European institutions. This is exactly the goal of the EWL campaign for parity democracy. Sarah Nelen also confirmed the commitment of Mr Van Rompuy to gender equality and women’s rights. The delegation handed over a document with the articles of the EU Treaty and Charter of Fundamental Rights refering to equality between women and men.
The EWL delegation that met with Ms Reding, on 9 April, was composed of EWL President Viviane Teitelbaum, Soroptimist representative Claire Pahaut, and Business and Professional Women Europe representative Amélie Leclercq, as well as three members of EWL Secretariat: Acting Coordinator Pierrette Pape, Policy Officer Irene Rosales and Communications Officer Elvira Buijink.
Ms Reding thanked the EWL, Soroptimist and BPW for their work, highlighting their role in supporting women’s networking and leadership. The Commissioner called on the EWL to continue pushing for an EU directive on women on boards and to monitor the realisation of equal pay in the Member States. She informed that she has asked the European Institute for Gender Equality to collect consistent data on violence against women. She shared her worry with regards recent attacks on women’s rights, such as sexual harassment at work, and the persistence of stereotypes. The EWL delegation thanked Ms Reding for her work as Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, and her commitment on the issues where the EU can make a difference when it comes to gender equality. Ms Reding also received the EWL frame with the articles of the EU Treaty and Charter of Fundamental Rights referring to equality between women and men.
The first Young BPW Symposium was a great success for all the participants and for us as the organizers.
Have a look at the video:
And here are some testimonials from Participants:
- I got the power and inspiration to continue my BPW work. I needed that very much. Thank you!
- Each time I participate to the events, it gives me so much empowerment and energy to continue BPW work. I got new tips, really good ones and met wonderful women. Thank you!
- I caught the real aim of BPW. And I’ll take it in my small club in Italy. We’re acting on the future.
- It was a fantastic experience and I will bring in Italy to my club the spirit and the vision of International BPW. I will try to give power to Young Women for the future, because they must combine in only one person 3 aspects: job, family and the activities of the Association. Thank you so much, perfect organisation!
- And here we are…boosted once more after wonderful Symposium.
- I am overwhelmed with energy and new ideas. I’ll bring them all to Ukraine and get to know you how the things are. I am sure this event is a great push for us to go forward.
- Seules nous sommes invisibles, ensemble nous sommes invincibles.
- Bring lobby missions on EPD to our 40 club presidents of BPW Switzerland next week.
- Pouvoir se rencontrer de tous ces pays différents, c’est formidable.
- Echanger et apprendre au cours de rencontres comme toujours « énergisantes » !
- All these young women are so capable and passionate about Young BPW, I am looking forward to the next Symposium to see more of them.
At the presidents’ meeting in Brussels in May 2013 the new taskforce “European Lobbying” was officially approved. The main goals of our taskforces are: establishing a lobbying network and raise awareness for lobbying amongst Europe’s federations and clubs. At present we focus on two topics: equal pay for equal work and female presence on corporate boards. Since July a group of 4 women has been working on setting up the taskforce and making contacts with major organizations already working on the two topics (e.g. European Commission, European Economic and Social Committee).
Further short term objectives are:
- to produce relevant contacts amongst decision makers and interest groups
- to create a calendar with all important events taking place in Brussels on our core topics
- to write four summaries of our activity for BPW Europe’s newsletter or blog
- to provide lobbying material for BPW Europe’s federations and adhered clubs
We also will participate actively at some events to strengthen our ties to those organizations and promote the vision and mission of BPW.
Susana Binder + Daniela Rigassi
It was an inspiring and motivating first Young BPW Europe Symposium in Lille under the topic: Act on your future in a professional and business world.
Members from 10 different countries came to Lille to participate in this symposium. The program started with three high level panels on the first day, including our International President Freda Miriklis and Vice-President Huguette Ablokan Dossa and Past International President Tuulikki Juusela.
In the evening at the gala dinner the Young BPW Award of BPW La Spezia was given to a Young BPW member of Germany, Mandy Hindenburg, who is the president of the club BPW Essen.
The second day was more interactive starting with workshops for elaborating a roadmap for Young BPW in Europe. Other workshops focused on personal development like the PEP Personal Development Programs and Success teams and Speed Networking. Other workshops focused on Fundraising and lobbying.
If you attended the symposium, please add your comments about the symposium.
We are looking forward to the next Young BPW Europe Symposium in 2014 in Tallinn?
At the national conference of BPW Poland on 5 October in Poznan, the Equal Pay Day campaign was officially launched for the next year.
BPW Europe Regional Coordinator Sabine Schmelzer highlighted the Equal Pay Day activities in Europe and worldwide and the Minister of Gender Equality presented the situation in Poland.
BPW Poland already organized an Equal Pay Day event in 2011 and will now continue in the next years.
One challenge will be to define the correct Equal Pay Day date, as the official percentage of the gender pay gap does not show the real pay gap.
1. Young women on BPW Boards
How do you learn how a board functions and how to behave in a board meeting? The best way is “learning by doing” in BPW.
All clubs and federation are encouraged to take one young BPW member on their boards.
This would be a win-win situation for the young women and for the board. Young women can learn how it is to work on a board, gain experiences in larger meetings, take responsibility for certain areas and gain self-confidence as a board member. This experience can be transferred to her professional career.
For the board on the other hand, they get additional skills as most young women bring new skill, e. g. they are familiar with internet, websites and social media. This is an area where we always can improve our promotion for BPW.
Therefore we ask all clubs and federations to look for young women whom they can take on board as this is an opportunity to train young women for future board positions.
2. 10 Tips for young women
In order to gain more Young BPW members we created 10 tips for young women:
How to accomplish your goals
- a student?
- just starting or early in your career?
- wanting to develop into a leader in your chosen career?
- wishing to create or develop your own business?
- looking for the right balance between your professional and personal lives?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to two or more of these questions and are a woman
under the age of 35 then ...
... why not consider joining Business and Professional Women (BPW), a community of 30,000 members across 96 countries in the world?
BPW can help you!
10 Tips to achieve your goals
Through BPW you can:
- Meet and engage with role models and inspiring leaders.
- Expand your network of personal and professional contacts.
- Get help in planning your future and how best to carry out your plan.
- Try out new things and develop you skills through learning by doing.
- Join in many events and seminars at local, national and international level.
- Obtain training and mentoring in professional and business matters.
- Get together with other women just like you to meet and have fun.
- Gain and increase your self- confidence.
- Become more and more successful in your chosen career or business.
- Make a real difference to your life.
3. Young BPW Europe Symposium 18 - 20 October 2013 in Lille, France
We will organize the first symposium for Young BPW from all over Europe. The topic will be:
Act on your future - in a professional and business world.
You find more information under events.
On 21 March 2013 the central event of the new campaign "Equality pays off" was organized in Brussels. 150 European company representatives, women an men, met there to exchange their ideas on strategies to better access the labour force potential of women by increasing gender equality and thereby contributing to a reduction of the gender pay gap. Selected companies showcased their activities, results and experience of tapping into the female talent pool more effectively. BPW Europe was the only women organization that participated among 10 other companies.
BPW Europe was invited to have a booth among the companies to present ourselves and our best practices on Equal Pay. Besides this our our Regional Coordinator Sabine Schmelzer was invited as an expert to talk about remuneration at one of the discussion tables. This was very much appreciated.
There will be “Equality pays off” workshops with large companies in appr. 20 countries and BPW members can participate either as a normal participant or as an expert for equal pay. For more information about the dates of the workshops please look at the website of the EU-Commission.
The best promotion was that we could present the Equal Pay Day flag from Germany in the lobby of the hotel and it was visible to everyone! And in the afternoon I had the opportunity to present Equal Pay Day to all participants in the plenary. Therefore everyone in the audience knows EPD and the red bag as the symbol for Equal Pay Day now.
We are looking forward to further collaboration with the EU commission on equal pay or gender balance on board.
From 22. bis 24.2. 2013 the first European PEP Train-the-Trainer Certification took place in Munich under the direction of Johanna Marius and Conny R Montague.
European Coordinator and PEP Trainer “from the outset” Sabine Schmelzer was also present and could support the group with many practical tips.
17 highly motivated participants from 7 countries (Austria, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan) acquainted themselves with the modules of the Personal Empowerment Program, a program which was already developed in the 1960 by American BPW member Virginia Allan Young for the personal and professional development of women and which has been continuously improved since. The PEP Program offers to women the possibility to systematically prepare for leadership roles in the professional, social or private field.
The focus in this train-the-trainer certification were the topics behavior and communication styles in addition to presentation, negotiation and leadership skills, as well as the DISC model. It explains the four typical personality styles and offers concrete support and suggestions for managers.
Despite the tough program with a lot of trainer input and interactive exercises there was enough time to network and an excellent exchange of experiences happened in this team of committed and professional women from all over the world.
With the completion this certification the participants can offer and hold their own PEP Trainings . It is particularly enjoyable that there are two concrete follow-up projects already: one in Germany and one in Estonia.
After this successful premiere the program will be offered again in Munich in 2014: from 21. to 23.February 2014. For further information please contact Johanna Marius (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Conny R Montague.(email@example.com)