• 01/12/2007

The Conference Centre brings together women leaders from all over the world

The Valencia Business and Profesional Women AEP/ BPW, together with the Spanish Federation of Business, Professional and Management Wom en (FEEP), organised the 1st "World Wom en Leading the Millenium" Conference. The meeting, first of this nature to be organised in Spain, brought together women leaders from all over the world who stand out in their respective fields, from politicians such as Ségolène Roya, candidate to the presidency of France who participated by videoconference, to business executives such as Natalia Garzón, RENFE DG for Economics , Finance and Planning, economists such as Isabel Giménez, DG of the Stock Exchange and Financial Studies Foundation, writers or media professionals.

The main objective of the conference was to setup an interactive forum, where both lecturers and participants could share experiences on matters affecting professional wom enand suggest ways to encourage social, business and personal change in current circumstances. One of the major subjects is the conciliation of working and personal life. Nuria Chinchilla, head of the Labour and Family International Centre at IESE Business School and an expert in this subject, kindly answered ePalco´s questions : Why was Duch a conference necessary? Anything which implies setting to work and reflect on wom en in the new millenium and our role in the making of a better world constitutes an interesting initiative . Conferences such as this have been or ganised World wide before , but Spain does not seem to be conscious of what is going on and that is why this conference is absolutely necessary.

Which conclusions are youre aching? We are arriving at conclusions that many of us had already been considering and analysing but which have still got to be explained to society. What is clear is that the contents of this conference have been worth explaining because of their importance.

What are the limits and the achievements towards conciliation to which you refer in your presentation? We have external limitations, also called the glass ceiling, which are related to business men looking for their clones. But there is also a concrete ceiling which is the one women set them selves when they decide they are unable to assumeres ponsibilities . As regards the latter, businesses play a very important role by not all owing women to grow professionally, but also their personal environment. The latest IESE study points out that 20% of wom en state that their husbands hinder their careers .

Is it easier for women to have their own business than to be part of someone else´s It is not easier, but it is more flexible. That is why so many women start their own business they are not constrained by a manager and arigid hierarchical structure which may force them to travel when this is not absolutely necessary.

How is women´s silent revolution taking place There are more and more women working in businesses who have a certain degree of power and a feminine way of working which humanizes the environment. By massively joining the labour market we are producing an impactinit, making it more flexible. The silent revolution means placing femininity at the service of society. How does it feel to be the only woman in Spanish Top Management It gives me hope to know that there is at least one and that I have the opportunity to talk to lots of people about these matters which are crucial to our lives. The closing of this conference implies an important step for women in the business world .