The European Business Summit took place in Brussels on 23rd and 24th May. Amidst exciting roundtables (some of which were well gender-balanced, and others could have benefited from the use of the Brussels Binder), we set up a booth in order to bring the Binder again closer to the relevant audience and potential users.
We had a very productive experience; collecting suggestions, starting discussions, and even attracting some new experts! Here are some of our impressions:
Support of the project
Many participants approached us, showing enthusiasm for the database:
Canadian male diplomat: “I will definitely use it because I cannot accept to take part in a panel if there are no women.”
A woman working at the European Banking Center at Tilburg University loved the idea: “My sector is totally male-dominated!”
Zdenka Rezacova, Director of Introducing Leaders: “Great initative! I am the organiser of events at the World Economic Forum, if you have very senior women, please send them to us. We are always in need of women in Davos.”
We had interactions with people outside Europe who were thrilled with the idea and wished it could extend worldwide (e.g. Pakistan and Japan).
Another participant stressed that gender equality and making sure women are more visible should and could be at the core of companies’ CSR strategies.
Joining the network
Some participants took the time to actually create their entire profiles in the Binder – it goes to show how easy the process is.
We received many tips and suggestions on how to expand our networks of both experts and users. Some made suggestions related to the website. Others proposed liaising with similar initiatives and asserting ourselves even more in the EU institutions. We were delighted to also receive offers of volunteering.
Thank you for that! We are happy to get feedback and do better, so that we move closer to the goal of hearing women’s voices in more and more important discussions.
Finally, we are always elated to hear the men have our backs. At the roundtable Empowering Young Entrepreneurs: Building institutional support, two male speakers affirmed: “I won’t speak anymore in panels not featuring women as speakers.”