Global Female Leaders Summit 2015

What is the first thing everybody will tell you to do when launching your own investment fund? Yes, you got it, NETWORKING.

And that’s what I did; I signed up for the Global Female Leaders Summit to be held in Berlin on April 21 – 23, dutifully paid the inscription fee, packed my bags, took the ICE (German’s high speed train joining Hamburg and Berlin in less than two hours) and got ready for lots of networking.

After a successful launch in 2014 the Global Female Leaders Summit 2015 hosted over 230 attendees from more than 20 countries for an inspiring and energizing 2 days of networking and summit program, covering a broad range of topics addressing leadership, emerging markets, energy, healthcare, luxury brands and digitalization.

The quality of the speakers was impressive. But if I had to choose just one, it would definitely be Helena Morrissey. This woman is simply incredible. She joined Newton in 1994 as a fixed income fund manager and was appointed CEO in 2001. Newton manages currently more than £50bn for pension funds, charities and through funds available to individual investors. As if that £50bn were not enough to keep her busy, she is married with NINE (yes, I wrote it correctly: NINE) children and in 2010, she founded the 30% Club, a cross-business initiative aimed at achieving 30% women on UK corporate boards by 2015 through voluntary, business-led change .
As the chart below shows, the United Kingdom has experienced an authentic breakthrough during the last 4 years regarding female presence on Boards. As of March 2015, nearly 24% of the Board members were female. More importantly, as Helena Morrissey said, it is now seen as a “business issue” and not a “woman issue”.

In my opinion, 30% Club approach is not only refreshing versus the “Womens'
30% Quote” imposition in Germany (“Frauenquote”) and other European countries but has also proved very efficient. So, that this has now become an international approach, with 30% Clubs in the US, Hong Kong, Ireland and Southern Africa.
I shall tell you about what effectively emerged in terms of networking from the summit next time….