On Monday, October 12, 2020, the well-loved Women in AIPPI session took place. This year’s topic was the advantages of being female in a corporate and technical workplace. Hosted by AIPPI Bureau member, Isabelle Chabot, the invited keynote speaker was Gwen ten Berge of VMI Group in the Netherlands.
Gwen entertained about 150 attendees with some revealing anecdotes of her experiences in male-dominated work environments. As part of her speech, she shared the tricks and tips she had employed in her career. The results of an audience poll showed that using humour to get a point across was a favourite strategy.
Gwen, and indeed the audience, dwelt on the importance of having mentors to accompany your progress. Even if you are the only woman at a certain level, it is still possible to build a support network.
Many of the points Gwen raised in her keynote address were eagerly discussed by attendees and facilitators in the two networking sessions. Throughout, the focus was on positive actions that women can take in the workplace.
The assembled Women in AIPPI did not let the meeting’s virtual venue hold them back as they all boogied at their desks to a Katy Perry song as part of some well-received fun at the very end.
In this strangest of years, the atmosphere and camaraderie felt during this session was as close as can be to the real thing.
Thanks to Gwen and Isabelle and also all of the breakout room facilitators who did a great job: Renata Righetti, Anne Marie Verschuur, Annie Tsoi, Nazli Korkut, Lena Shen, Linda Lecomte, Sarah Matheson, Regina Quek, Maria Inez Araújo De Abreu, Paula Clancy and Raffaella Arista.
Many of the attendees expressed the wish to do something like this more often. AIPPI will examine some options for this post-Congress. In the meantime, the attendees spontaneously suggested to create a Women in AIPPI community WhatsApp chat group which is already very active. If you would like to be added to this group, please contact Isabelle by email.