On Saturday, March 16th, we will be celebrating Women Empowerment and the 32nd Anniversary of PWI at the Fondation Universitaire in Brussels.

Event Theme - #InspireInclusion, in link with the International Women's Day theme. 

When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world.

And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there's a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment.

The aim of the IWD 2024 #InspireInclusion campaign is to collectively forge a more inclusive world for women.

Speakers - Empowering voices advocating for #InspireInclusion

We are proud to announce our speakers:  

Anca Dragu - Former Minister of Public Finance - Governor of the National Bank of Moldova.

Anca Dragu is an economist by profession, she graduated Faculty of Finance, in 1996. She specialized in international economics at George Washington University. She has a Ph.D. in Economics at the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest (2010).

In parallel with this long-life learning process, after the position at the National Bank of Romania she worked for the IMF between 2001 and 2013. Between 2013 and 2015, she worked as an economic analyst at the European Commission, a comfortable and well-paid position she will give up to accept the Minister of Public Finance position.

She was the Romanian Minister of Public Finance, the second woman in Romania in this high position, after Ioana Petrescu. During this period (November 17, 2015 – January 4, 2017), the Romanian economy experienced a period of growth. 

She was President of the Senate of Romania in 2020-2021. Dragu was the first woman in the history of the Senate to hold this position. In 2022, she obtained Moldovan citizenship and was appointed Governor of the National Bank of Moldova in December 2023.

The mother of a teenage boy, Anca Dragu is an example of meritocracy. She is living proof of promoting gender equality. In several interviews, Anca keeps advocating for more women in positions of powers. She stated that "It is not okay for only 20% of IMF economists to be women. That’s why we see so little care for topics like children, education, senior care, maternity, health." She added that she found that when building strategies in mixed teams, they work much better than single-colour teams. "We need a change of mentality at the level of society, but also at our level, of women, we need to be a little more courageous," 

Dr. Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov - Professor Maastricht University - Head of Department Genetics and Cell Biology

Dr. Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov, is a passionate scientist, educator and mentor dedicated to advancing the frontiers of Biomedical Sciences. She studied biology at Tel-Aviv University, where she received her Ph.D. degree in the field of genetics of breast and ovarian cancer. In 2002, she moved to the Netherlands (Maastricht University) and started a new research line in the field of fatty liver diseases and liver cancer.

Shortly after her transition to Maastricht, she developed novel non-invasive diagnostic tools and treatment approaches which marked a paradigm shift in the field. She registered numerous patent applications, received inventor awards and translated her studies into clinical trails.

Dr. Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov grew up in Israel as an Iraqi immigrant and had to overcome quite some cultural biases to be able to pave her path towards becoming an outstanding scientist. She never gave up on her dream of studying sciences and is a leading example now for female students in STEAM programs.

Dr. Yang Li - Founder and CEO Fuvision - DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) Director

Dr. Li Yang is an expert for cross border project management with focus on innovation technology. She has spent the last 23 years in helping family owned and middle size companies from German speaking region to set up and run their subsidaries sucessfully in China. 

As German director for China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), she organizes international scientific and technology conferences and visits; collects and evaluates with other scientists from Europa projects for China Technology Competitions; leads Sino-German research teams to China; mentors and coaches for young startups. Li holds a Ph.D in Economics from the New Castle University and has a master degree of Journalism.

Dr. Li Yang entered university at the young age of 15 and had her first masters at the age of 19. She started her career as Chief Interpreter and Assistant to General Manager in AMECO-Beijing, the biggest Sino-German Joint Venture between Lufthansa Group and Air China. She was not not responsible for daily smooth operation, but also enganged in other Joint Ventures and cooperation activities with partners from different cultures.

She is a sparkling inspiration for many young female entrepreneurs, always full of ideas, dynamism and enthusiasm!! 

Marc de Guiran - Strategic Advisor Imubit - Co-Founder Laugh Think Play

Marc De Guiran is an experienced Global CRO of Technology/Digital Sales and Marketing. He has 20+ years of leadership experience skilled in Sales Management, Strategic Business Planning, Go-to-market Strategy and Business Transformation. 

Natural leader and coalition builder with proven track record of developing 100+ MUSD channel business across EMEA. Experience in establishing alliances with large multinational players (i.e. Microsoft, Accenture etc.).

In his professional career, he witnessed and understood profoundly the challenges women faced in a corporate environment. And mostly he could see that the presence of women, and a diverse team in general, enhanced the results and performances of those departments. 

His passion for wellbeing at work inspired him to co-found Laugh, Think, Play which has the aim to remember, reclaim and restore what it is to be human across all landscapes.

Katie Gallus, the moderator

Katie Gallus is a freelance journalist, moderator and geographer passionate about future-oriented topics and people dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to her work as a freelance journalist for media outlets such as Deutsche Welle she has worked for the United Nations in New York City, conducted research in the Georgian Caucasus, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, and Brazil; lived in Central Cameroon near cocoa fields, worked as a filmmaker in Sierra Leone, and independently travelled to Iraq, Eritrea, and Ethiopia for research purposes.

Katie Gallus works in English, German, and French on digital ideas, globalization, international development cooperation and human-environmental relationships. She is a trained lifeguard and mediator for crises regions and serves as an honorary ambassador for Deswos e.V. and the educational initiative German Dream.

More reasons to attend 

  • Listening to top notch speakers -  corporate and community leaders with a track record of supporting Equity, at a local and global level. 
  • An opportunity to celebrate and Inspire Inclusion - This event is a celebration of the achievements of women, with a focus on advancing equity in our communities, workplace and the world. 
  • An excellent networking moment - This event is attended by 100+ women working in the private and public sector in Belgium (members and friends of PWI), delegates of our corporate partners, and men part of our men allyship network.
  • An evening filled with inspiration, taking place in an exquisite location - Through the evening's keynote speech, and celebratory moments, your evening will be filled with great moments. The event is hosted at Fondation Universitaire in Central Brussels. 

The agenda of the evening

  • 18.00 - Doors open, welcome and registration

  • 19.00 - Keynote speeches

  • 20.15 - Networking dinner (up to 10.30 PM) 

Will we see you there? 


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