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PWN Paris volunteers' highlights 2019/20

PWN Paris volunteers' highlights 2019/20

We have asked some of our volunteers from various PWN Paris teams and programs to share with us their stories of volunteering for PWN Paris and their highlights or favorite event of the last season. Here's what they had to say:

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Ariane Cojan, Entrepreneurship Club

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I joined PWN for one year in 2017 as I was starting my journey to become a garden architect, and I really enjoyed the enthusiasm, candidness and diversity of the network. After graduating in June 2019, I decided to volunteer to give back, continue meeting new people and get energized by the positive energy of the network and events.

I was afraid of being isolated as an entrepreneur, and thought being a volunteer would be a rich experience. I wanted to test the saying: "The more your give, the more you get back". I have not been disappointed.

Meeting so many entrepreneur.e.s has both created a sense of belonging to a bigger community while comforting me in the idea entrepreneurship is really about uniqueness of values and projects. I'll also add that being a volunteer has boosted my attendance to PWN events this year and created connections while preparing different events: I start to know other volunteers and PWN members, and so each new event is more fun!

Favorite event or highlight of the past season?

Hard to choose. I think the Mastermind Breakfasts where entrepreneur.e.s share their challenges and think though them together have generated super high quality discussions, very focused and great connections. We moved from every month to every 2 weeks events during the Covid-19 crisis and the solidarity was a boost at a moment where being a (young) entrepreneur felt like a great vulnerability. The feeling of community was very powerful to go through the crisis, and remains until now.

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Kerstin Leibold, International Hub

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I was already a member for some time, but never had the time nor the trigger to get more involved - until early 2019! Then, I felt it was the good timing to share my passion for international business & relations, to intensify these aspects in the network. I met Valeria Bini, who had the same ideas, so we created the International Hub, a new transversal program, which kicked off last September!

The exchange with great, inspiring women from Paris and all over the world means new ideas, professional contacts and friendships! I enjoyed bringing our ideas to life as a group: a lot of fun and a real learning experience at the same time ;-)

Favorite event or highlight of the past season?

We started looking for volunteers for the International Hub team during summer 2019 and expected a lot of difficulties... you can imagine the great surprise when our quick 'call for volunteers' in July brought immediately 10 highly motivated and active women to the team - all on board for September 2019!

As I focus now on my growing consulting activity, I am happy to pass on the lead of the International Hub to 3 highly committed members of our fabulous team, which has so well connected and organized events since the beginning!

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Christine Mourgues Bastide, Develop - Unleash Your Talents

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Since 2016, I have been a member and a volunteer in PWN. I began as a Mentor for 3 years. Then last year, I decided that I wanted to participate more actively in the workstream. I've chosen Romaine's Develop program for the English opportunities with her and for the energy that arose during her session at the June 2019 All Day PWN-Paris Event.

I co-coordinated Unleash Your Talents with Juliet Atkinson. This program represented one event per month approximately. Juliet and I drove alternatively one event out of two. It was the perfect rhythm for us as we are both working full time in private companies. This PWN volunteer role within a workstream organizing team brought me the pleasure of networking, the fun of evening cocktails, the pleasure to meet and to know better some very bright people.

Favorite event or highlight of the past season?

For me, the best evening of "Unleash Your Talents" program was Alex Germeau's session on "Deflate Conflict and Adapt Communications for the Best Result" on Nov. 7th, 2019. She started by introducing herself while using some Lego-Play pieces. Very quickly, she invited us in small groups to experiment with various tools she shared with us on conflict and communication, from better breathing to exercise on how to react differently depending on the context. Fun and team brainstorming, plus various lessons learned. A great evening!

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Katia Samburgaro, International Hub, Membership Experience & Communications

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I decided to join the network in March 2019 after the event “Diner au Sénat” in which the Chief People Officer of Kering, Beatrice Lazat, shared her experience as an international professional. Being Italian and having worked and lived in 3 different countries, it became to me an evidence that PWN was an inclusive and multicultural environment I wanted to be part of.

I started volunteering in the summer 2019 with the International Hub Programme and then with the Communication Team, helping on the digital communication activities. More recently I took the lead of the Membership Experience Programme where, with a small and highly motivated team, we work on improving the experience and answer the needs of the PWN Paris member community.

This is my very first experience as a volunteer and what I appreciate is the high professionalism and motivation of all these ladies who make their “savoir-faire” and “savoir-être” at the service of the network. I enjoy the content of each PWN’s rendez-vous, whether it’s a workshop, a conference, or a pure networking event. I also like the agility of PWN, for instance during the lockdown all the activities were transferred online and it was possible to attend several webinars and to keep the connection with the members. I met many people with different backgrounds, which enriched me a lot and I also made new friends.

Favorite event or highlight of the past season?

I think that one of my favourite event this year is a webinar held at the beginning of April “How can we keep ourselves safe and sane during this time of personal and professional confinement and whilst in relationship”. I liked it because it was a 1.5-hour very rich workshop that help me a lot and allowed me to have an intimate and authentic exchange with other participants.

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Nathalie Vallier, The Board Network

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I am a volunteer within the network of independent directors, The Board Network because this network is in line with my values and my conviction that governance today must evolve in its composition, with more diversity in particular, but also in its functioning by genuinely challenging the management team and supporting it in making its strategic choices. This is what we call at TBN modern, efficient and sustainable governance.

Being a member of the TBN board allows me to work concretely on the promotion of this new governance. The values of ethics and commitment of our members as well as the richness of their experience as independent directors of companies or organizations of various sizes bring a lot of concreteness in this process and contribute to nourish extremely concrete reflections allowing ideas to move forward.

Favorite event or highlight of the past season?

The event we organized on March 5, 2020 on the theme of climate issues for boards of directors and management teams, introduced by Brune Poirson, Secretary of State for Ecological and Solidarity Transition, illustrates our proactive approach to gradually moving the lines.

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Lana Yoo, Young Talents

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I volunteer for PWN Paris because I strongly support the organisation's missions: advancing women's opportunities, leadership, and equality in the professional world. Management studies demonstrate that diversity brings strength and innovation to organisations. However, many organisations' leadership are not diverse and most do not (yet) include women. It is important to work on these issues to make inclusive leadership a reality.

PWN members come from many different fields and backgrounds, but we share the same passion for promoting women's leadership and opportunities in the professional world. As a volunteer, I have the chance to share ideas with other volunteers and ask feedback from members in order to support these missions by organising events. Also, volunteering gives me the opportunity to work with people outside of my industry, which lets you learn new ways and ideas of working.

Favorite event or highlight of the past season?

I do not have a specific favorite event; rather, I am fond of the collective memories from all of the events in which I have participated, namely the moments of connection and discussions with other members. I appreciate the warm and friendly space that PWN provides to members for sharing and exchanging on our professional experiences.

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Adeline Bonnet, Network, Young Talents, Communications

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When I joined PWN a couple of years ago, I was not super involved in the network, only attending some events from time to time, sometimes meeting new people but never seeing them again. I did not really know how to network and how to start talking to strangers. Volunteering was a way to overcome my lack of confidence, to really meet people from the network and to bond with them. Now I feel I truly belong to the PWN family, and I feel grateful to meet so many different and inspiring women.

I also truly believe in PWN's mission to act for more gender balanced leadership in business and society. Volunteering is a way to contribute and help achieve it.

Favorite event or highlight of the past season?

Definitely the launch of the PWN program early this year! It was so great to connect with super interesting people, to get to know them better and to start building a true community. We are looking forward to continuing this fantastic journey!

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A big, heartfelt THANK YOU to all the fantastic PWN Paris volunteers for your ongoing commitment, energy, creativity and hard work - we deeply appreciate you all and know that our network wouldn't be where it is today without you!

Not a volunteer yet? Check our current calls for volunteers and join the community!

Testimonials collected by Justine Hardy & Anna Zgadzaj, PWN Paris Communications

Read more blog posts on these topics:
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