One of the most popular groups at the HEC Paris MBA is our Women in Leadership Club. We recently talked with newly elected club President Lalaine Inumerables to hear about upcoming projects and ask her why WIL’s mission resonates so much with students.
Hosting impressive speakers has always been a mainstay of the MBA’s Women in Leadership Club (WIL), but the group’s event with Ambassador Delphine O was unprecedented.
Thanks to her role as the Secretary General of the United Nation’s Women’s Global Forum, O was able to share a global perspective on everything from gender equality (“the experts at Davos estimate that if current trends continue, the world won’t reach full gender equality for 200 years”) to the pandemic’s global effect on education (“11 million girls around the world may never return to school”).
During the event, which was moderated by the club’s VP of General Counsel, Erwin Bruder, the Ambassador and former French parliament member also answered questions about how individuals can contribute to gender equality.
“It’s a waste of time being offended,” O said. “Personally commit to making improvements at your own workplace, and speak out when you see bias. Everyone has a role to play in raising awareness.”
Still, as noteworthy as that February evening with the Ambassador was, the event was just one of many not-to-be-missed activities that WIL has in store for students. For example, last week the club organized its first-ever collaboration with three other top business schools. Participants chatted with prominent alumnae in luxury (HEC Paris’ own Suzane Dubois), tech (SDA Bocconi’s Gaia Micliavacca and LBS’s Pancham Gajjar) and consulting (ESADE’s Christina Kraus). Next up is a discussion with Managing Directors from J.P. Morgan. That will be followed by an event with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, an authority on leadership, gender and business, coordinated by club’s VP of Events, Alayne Kane. And that’s just for March.
“What makes the club so special is that we’re not limited to any specific industry,” explains current WIL President Lalaine Inumerables, MBA ’22. “We can take on so many topics. For our event with J.P. Morgan, we’re going to ask how they managed to create an inclusive work culture and for tips for breaking into finance. We’re also looking at ways to contribute, such as organizing a charity run in June.”
With about 150 active participants, WIL is one of the HEC Paris MBA’s most popular clubs. Lalaine attributes that popularity to the group’s ability to bring people together. “Our events show how we can all be better people,” she says. “Supporting women is a topic everyone can relate to. With the pandemic, everything is so unstable in the world right now. It’s a great feeling to come together to contribute to something good.”
Lalaine also explains that many of her classmates are family business owners, along with those who will become high-level managers or go on to careers in the C-Suite. “There’s a lot in this club for everyone,” she says. “Any great manager needs be able to extract the best from the talent in their workplace, and a big portion of that talent is going to be women.”
To read about past WIL projects, click here.