IWiL-Logo

Approach & 3-Column-Concept

the concept

A Cross-Mentoring-Programme (CMP) gives women at the top level access to leading personalities and their experience. This facilitates a personal and open dialogue beyond company and corporate boundaries.

the goal

an exclusive and sustainable network for women at the top level

IWiL wants to offer companies and their women exclusive and long-term access to leading personalities in science, society and economy. The resulting network facilitates a broad exchange of experiences beyond the corporate mainstream. This prepares participants for entrepreneurial leadership challenges triggered by digitalisation and new business models.

Programmes for women at the 1st or 2nd level are almost non-existent.

According to scientific studies the number of women in leadership roles at the 1st and 2nd level can be significantly increased. Long-term programmes aiming specifically at those levels are expandable or non-existent. (source: ESCP Europe).

On the one hand this is a result of gender-specific distortions and biased notions of how real talent contributes to corporate goals. On the other hand, traditional views of career growth play a significant role. Adherence to vertical progression up the corporate ladder, rather than considering horizontal cross-company movement, can create upward limits and stifle careers. Women who made it to the top levels are overlooked by conventional talent management programmes and are increasingly likely to ‘jump ship’.

Implementation

Potential mentees are women who are expected to become or take over as director of subsidiary companies or take up a top management position within the next five years.
The companies either nominate candidates directly or issue an invitation to tender.

Mentors and mentees pledge confidentiality and, in a signed ‘letter of intent’, specify the form of communication (telephone, in person, via skype), the number of meetings, expectations, and goals.

Selection of participants

Since trust is an important factor in mentoring relationships, the mentees can indicate who they would prefer as a potential mentor. During a kick-off event potential pairs have the opportunity to meet and get to know each other. Taking feedback from this initial introduction into consideration, the Initiative will allocate final matches.

The matching committee

Establishing a matching committee, consisting of the Initiative’s management and three high-level HR representatives, further professionalised the nomination and selection process of the 41 mentees in the IWiL class 2019 and accounts for IWiL’s continued growth.
thyssenkrupp AG

Barbara Thiel

Ströer SE & Co. KGaA

Simone Kollmann-Göbels

DKV Mobility

Astrid Hundshagen

Deutsche Telekom AG

Tiffany Wilson

GEA Group

Marjolein van der Heide

EON

Wiebke Sparka

Mentee 2020 – Beate Erbse
Nufarm

Beate Erbse

Mentee 2022 - Ursula Porth
All for One Group SE

Ursula Porth

thyssenkrupp AG

Barbara Thiel

Why am I part of the IWiL matching committee?

I would like to empower women especially in the corporate world and by doing that get more women into leadership positions in German companies and make a contribution to gender equality.

What is my focus in the process of matching?

I am especially looking out for non-conformable candidates- so to speak not „normal“ CVs.

Ströer SE & Co. KGaA

Simone Kollmann-Göbels

Why am I part of the IWiL matching committee?

Women are not a minority, but when it comes to representation in important positions they still are. That is why we all have to pull together. For me, IWiL is one opportunity where we can do this!

What is my focus in the process of matching?

My focus in this process of matching is on supporting women maneuver through the current business world, with all its chances and obstacles, by matching them with their individual perfect match – A mentor that fits their experience, their industry and their personality best. For this, we need to take a close look at the individual personalities just as well as at the industry, expertise and network in order to get the most out of the mentoring relationships.

DKV Mobility

Astrid Hundshagen

“IWiL is insanely exciting for me because I am given the opportunity to listen to each other at eye level in a great network, and I am given new ideas for new inspirations through active exchange.”

Deutsche Telekom AG

Tiffany Wilson

Why I am part of the IWiL Matching Committee:

I want to motivate and inspire our women on their career path. Women are capable of so much more than they originally think and that’s where motivation and inspiration is key. Creating relationships and sharing experiences will than become even more important.

What is my focus:

Understanding what drives our female talents. Which experiences have they gained and where would they like to go. Than we can figure out if IWiL Community is the right time and place in order to accompany that journey.

GEA Group

Marjolein van der Heide

My motivation to support is that I’m honored and also highly motivated to be part of creating a strong network in which Female leaders get the opportunity in a highly professional way to develop themselves. This goes hand in hand with having the opportunity and the entrance to a strong network which only has the top female leaders in it.

EON

Wiebke Sparka

Why am I part of the IWiL Matching committee?

IWiL stands out by its quality, content and process wise. I truly believe it offers value add for each participant, mentee and mentor. By being part of it, I want to share my experience and actively contribute to gender equality.

What is my focus in the process of matching?

The critical part of mentoring is finding the perfect match. Within the process, I want to offer the candidate support to clarify their targets and vision, to find out what they want to achieve during the programme. From personal experience as a mentee and mentor, I believe everyone involved benefits from good mentoring: so what can the candidate bring to the table? In the end, it is not single people but the whole cohort that can make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience with long-lasting networks.

Nufarm

Beate Erbse

All for One Group SE

Ursula Porth

We would like to express our gratitude to Marjolein van der Heide (GEA Group), Tiffany Wilson (Deutsche Telekom AG), Stefanie Lütteke (Drees & Sommer), Astrid Hundshagen (DKV Mobility), Barbara Thiel (Thyssen Krupp AG), Tanja Albrecht (Software AG), Wiebke Stein (E.ON), Marion Mestrom (Brenntag) and Simone Kollmann-Göbels (Ströer SE & CO. KGAA) . We thank them for their commitment and expertise and are looking forward to further collaboration.

Tools

  • One per quarter, meeting preferably at the member company – mandatory participation
  • Each pair organises the mentoring-lunches themselves. Dates of meetings will be shared with programme coordinators to ensure quality control.
  • Contents of mentoring conversations are confidential
  • Topics of meetings may be diverse and include difficult leadership situations, communicating difficult or uncomfortable news, problems with superiors, negotiation strategies, team conflicts, work-life balance, dealing with stress and workloads, initiating and guiding through change, personal career planning etc.

  • Intensive training on various leadership topics
  • More information can be found on the website: www.leadershipnext.de
  • Optional participation
  • Group events: mentees, mentors und member companies are invited to these events and can further extend their network
  • Generally, the participation in these events is reserved to individual members and IWiL-associated companies. In addition, interested individuals who identify with IWiL’s aims are welcome to join. If you are interested, please send an email with complete contact details to initiative@iwil.eu.

The participants

Member companies

Every year each company suggests prospective female leaders (Mentees) for the Women into Leadership-pool. The selection and nomination process is conducted in-house toward the end of each year. Within and outside the company, being a member of IWiL sends a strong signal and impressively demonstrates a serious and real commitment to the long-term development of female leadership.

Mentors

Mentees can designate two preferred mentors among the leading personalities. During a kick-off event mentors and mentees can get to know each other in a speed dating format. The mentee’s expectations, goals and desired areas of competence significantly influence the establishment of a match. Mentors have a right to veto. The Initiative decides on and fixes the final matches.

Mentees

A nomination for the IWiL programme is a tremendous opportunity for mentees to become part of an exclusive network beyond their company and to gain personal access to a leading personality.
‘IWiL is an outstanding platform with
tremendous significance for women in leadership roles.
A good network and exchange of experience is important
and will only become more important in the future.’
Petra Schlieter-Gropp
Schlieter & friends Event GmbH & Co. KG | director
‘IWiL is an outstanding platform with
tremendous significance for women in leadership roles.
A good network and exchange of experience is important
and will only become more important in the future.’
Petra Schlieter-Gropp
Schlieter & friends Event GmbH & Co. KG | director