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2021-12-20 | All chapters

Cross-Industry Mentor Initiative Cycle 3 Kick-off and Cycle 2 Wrap-up

On 16th December 2021, the European Chamber held an event in Shanghai to wrap up Cycle 2 of the Cross-industry Mentor Initiative (CIMI) and to kick-off CIMI Cycle 3, following an earlier wrap-up event held on 15th October in Beijing.

Ms Bettina Schoen-Behanzin, vice president (VP) of the European Chamber and chair of the Shanghai Chapter, delivered the opening remarks, introducing the background to the CIMI and the commitments undertaken by the European Chamber Executive Committee and participating member companies to facilitate development of female leadership. VP Schoen-Behanzin then announced the official launch of the CIMI Cycle 3.

Ms Marie-Claire Swärd Capra, consul general of Sweden in Shanghai, delivered a keynote speech on women’s economic empowerment in Shanghai. She quoted the McKinsey Global Institute estimate that if women’s level of participation in the labour market was equal to men’s, as much as United States dollars (USD) 28 trillion could be added to the global gross domestic product by 2025. Ms Swärd Capra stressed that the equal treatment of women and men is not just a moral imperative – it is also good for business. The consul general added that resilient and successful business recognises women in all their diversity, and establishes an inclusive corporate culture and mechanisms for transparency and accountability.

By end of the ceremony in Shanghai, six new mentors expressed their interest in being part of this Initiative and providing strong support for female leadership. They also shared details on the critical role diverse leadership played in their own careers and the past and/or future impacts on society, their company and their family members.

Elisabeth Staudinger, Member of Managing Board at Siemens Healthineers AG

Renata Pavlov, Chair at Fincantieri China

Pius S. Hornstein, Country Chair at Sanofi China

Thilo Zimmermann, General Manager at SEB Shanghai Branch

Paul Lindblad, President at Wacker Greater China

Michel Tran Van, Chief Operating Officer at Airbus China

At the previous event on 16th October in Beijing, Ms Eva Valle Lagares, minister counsellor and head of Trade at the European Delegation to China, and Ms Jialei Lin, programme manager at United Nations Women in China, delivered keynote speeches. Both expressed their views on the challenges to building up a diverse and inclusive business environment, and shared their perspectives on the CIMI programme. They emphasised that promoting women's leadership needs concrete actions by everyone—including the government, company leaders and women themselves—to build the accountability laws, standards and targets necessary to track data and progress, and to continue to improve equality rates in the future.

Both events featured panel discussions, during which participants shared their observations on the reality of leadership diversity in both Europe and China, and the strengths females can bring to leadership. They also in particular looked at the measures put in place at the corporate level to empower and develop female talent into leaders, with specific targets set for 2025 and 2030.

Panel in Beijing, 16th October:

Jörg Wuttke, President of European Chamber

Jens Eskelund, President of Maersk China;

Michael Chang, Executive VP of Nokia Shanghai Bell

Ouyang Bo, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Siemens Greater China

Moderator: Mandy Qin, Organisation Development Director of SUEZ Asia

Panel in Shanghai, 16th December 2021:

Bettina Schoen-Behanzin, Regional Representative Asia, Freudenberg

Marko Tulus, CFO and Country Holding Officer, Sandvik China

Denis Depoux, Global Managing Director, Roland Berger

Bruno Weill, Chief Group Representative, BNP Paribas China

Moderator: Dr Ioana Kraft, General Manager of European Chamber Shanghai Chapter