PWI Magazine - Q2 2012

President's Editorial

President's welcome

Dear members and friends of PWI,
During the last quarter, I had the pleasure to present the 2011 results at our General Assembly, an event always important to the life of our association. Thanks again to all the members who attended. On this occasion, two new people were elected to the board: Corina Ciechanow and Monica Mate Marinas as Treasurer. The executive team has also expanded with Mary Terese Letorney’s participation as special events director.. If you didn’t have the opportunity to meet us yet, you can discover the team here.   ....[more]
Q2 2012

Topic of the Edition - Volunteering

An optimist wants to do something against resignation 

PWI -  Luc Simonet, what is the story of you founding the "Ligue des Optimistes/Optimistenbond" ?
Luc Simonet - It was in 2005. I had been a finance lawyer for many years but it came to a point where I did not feel enthusiastic about what I was doing anymore. I had had enough! I decided to take a sabbatical break. It was when my daughter said on a rainy day: "Shit! It's raining!” that I decided to print on umbrellas: "What a beautiful rainy day!” This was sort of the birth of the "League of the Optimists". PWI -  What does "optimism" mean to you? ... [more]
Q2 2012

Volunteering as a life-style & welfare pioneering

Hands-on-volunteering has been part of my life since I have been seventeen, when I became an activist of Amnesty International till the end of my university studies. I was part of the committee who enabled the liberation of three people imprisoned for their ideas and their religion, and I took the leadership of the campaigns against torture.
At the University of Verona I volunteered as President of the local AIESEC committee. For a couple of years - as a representative of a political party - I also volunteered as an administrator of a public library in Verona ...[ more ]
Q2 2012


"People are different because of their uniqueness, not because of their gender" 
PWI –  
What are your thoughts on quotas? Are mandatory measures the best means to getting more women into the boardroom and executive positions? Will quotas work? Or is it better that it happens organically, no matter how long it takes? 
Quotas in my opinion are a “necessary evil”.  It would be much better, if these measures were not needed, but it is so difficult nowadays to find gender equality applied in companies that quotas becomes a second best option. Over time quotas will be effective, when gender is no longer taken into account as a difference.
I believe that it is merit we must promote and merit is not linked at all to gender, it’s neutral. Actually, ,.... [more]
Q2 2012

"On the road to inclusion"

Maija, could you please introduce Cargill? What does Global Diversity & Inclusion mean at Cargill? 
Cargill is quite a unique company: a large international organization, employing 139,000 people in 65 countries. Cargill has a highly diversified business - international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Cargill was founded in 1865 in Minneapolis (Minnesota) where the headquarters are located and is a privately held company - family owned - with a unique and informal culture. 
Cargill was established in Belgium via a grain importing office in Antwerp in 1953. We now have over 1,000 employees in nine locations:... [more]
Q2 2012

Women & Career

"The most important lesson I have learned is to be fearless"

PWI – Jessica, I was interested in your profile because of the variety of positions you have covered and for the interesting mix of military, communication, project management and security skills. Would you like to tell me more about your current job?
I’m the Programme Security Officer for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency.  Our agency is in charge of the acquisition of unmanned surveillance aircraft for NATO.  As the Agency security officer, I am in charge of the information, industrial, and personal security. My main tasks ....[more]

Q2 2012

The Female Board Pool branches out to Belgium

Armelle Loghmanian: Claudia, PWI partners with your company, Cleverland, to launch the “Female Board Pool” in Belgium. It is an exciting venture. We want to build a searchable database with profiles of board-ready and board experienced women. We want to counter the often heard argument in male-dominated business environments that they do not find qualified women to fill the board seats that are available to them. PWI’s members and magazine readers already heard about the initiative through us. But what is the story behind? How did it all start for you?
Claudia Ritter : First of all, yes, it is an exciting and a timely initiative. We are building

Q2 2012

Labour Market

“A woman who makes the difference”
PWI -  
Paolo, you told us about an English midwife in Malawi, who is doing a fantastic job to help local women and care for them during their pregnancy; please tell us more about this story and how you got involved in this experience 
Rachel MacLeod is an English midwife I met in Malawi in 2011 while I was in the country working for an Italian NGO. I’ve seen her working in the maternity ward, that’s why I decided to tell her story using my pictures.
She told me her story: she practiced for nearly 14 years in Spain before moving to Malawi; where ...[more]
Q2 2012

Miscellaneous & mails to the editor

"Is your life set in delete mode?"

Is your Life being Deleted by You?
Our fast paced, high tech world competes for our attention with huge volumes of information - 200bn emails and 75 million blog posts daily, 500000 new books every year, 8bn web pages very minute, and it is not surprising when we hear statements from other people, such as “Are you paying attention to me now?”. Is it any wonder that we have developed short attention spans that operate in delete mode – in some cases, you may not even be taking notice of important people, places and events in your lives, so let’s hope it is not your actual life that you are deleting! ... [more]

Q2 2012

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