Set up in 2009 by seven proactive women from the BNP Paribas Group in Luxembourg, MixCity Luxembourg seeks constructive ways to promote equal opportunity in the workplace for its members from the BNP Paribas Group in Luxembourg. In 2013, with support from BGL BNP Paribas’s “Positive Actions” programme, MixCity Luxembourg became a mixed professional network, which now has more than 100 members, male and female employees of the group in Luxembourg.
On 14 February 2014, MixCity Luxembourg invited other equal opportunity actors from Luxembourg and the Greater Region to the first MixConnect event, held at the head office of BGL BNP Paribas. No fewer than 15 networks took part: independent networks like the Federation of Female Entrepreneurs in Luxembourg (FFCEL), Femmes Leaders and the Female Board Pool; company networks, including networks from PricewaterhouseCoopers, State Street, Société Générale, BNY Mellon, and Deloitte; and women’s networks such as Dress for Success and Soroptimist.
There were two highlights of the first event.
Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission, gave the opening address, stressing the importance of a gender mix in business for Europe’s economy. She described what companies, governments and the EU can do to have more women on corporate boards.
This was followed by a mixed roundtable on women’s networking. Michèle Detaille, CEO of No Nail Boxes, Christiane Wickler, Managing Director of the Pall Center Group and MP, Nicolas Henckes, Secretary General of the Union of Luxembourg Businesses, and Bernhard Dedenbach, founding partner of BD Associates SA, gave their definitions of networking and how it had contributed to their careers. They also offered practical advice on how to develop, maintain and use one’s contacts.
As Fabienne Dasnoy, the chair of MixCity Luxembourg, explains, “Equal career opportunities for men and women cannot be legislated into existence. Legislation is only a catalyst that, combined with other ingredients, accelerates a process. But it cannot change the culture of a company or a society by itself. It is up to the people concerned – men and women – to become actors for change in their companies and countries. That is the idea behind MixCity Luxembourg and the aim of MixConnect: to work together as citizens to promote a more balanced gender mix at every level of our company and the Luxembourg economy.”
Ms Reding said she was “delighted with this open initiative in Luxembourg,” and encouraged it to continue.
From left to right:
Michèle DETAILLE, No Nail Boxes ; Nicolas HENCKES, UEL ; Christiane WICKLER, Groupe PALL Center ; Viviane REDING, Vice President of the European Commission ; Fabienne DASNOY, MixCity Luxembourg ; Bernhard DEDENBACH, BD Associates ; Thierry SCHUMAN, BGL BNP Paribas
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