Founded in 1997 in Milan, Italy, WIN (Women’s International Networking) was the brainchild of Norwegian social entrepreneur, Kristin Engvig. WIN is an independent global women’s leadership organization - one that inspires women worldwide. WIN has become the reference for modern women working internationally, conscious men and those organizations active in the field of women’s leadership (including personal leadership), development, diversity & inclusion.
The annual WINConference, is the organisation's primary activity and following this model, WIN has grown steadily year after year, with regional conferences and meetings worldwide. The Global WINConference has been attended by nearly 12,000 people from almost every country across the globe. The annual conference is designed for women and men who want to be part of shaping the newly emerging paradigm of achieving results through authentic action.
CEO: How would you describe WIN? Is it a company, a not-for-profit entity, an advisory body or a consultancy?
Kristin Engvig: It is sort of all of the above. We are a benefit organization working to bring a way of leading and being in the world into organizations and into life. We inspire, we also educate and somehow ‘create’ agents of possibility.
"Global’ means seeing yourself in another person, operating across cultures with ease and embodying this way of thinking in all your actions and values."
CEO: What does WIN do?
K.E: WIN runs a network for companies active in diversity and inclusion, women in leadership and social corporate responsibility issues. The global WINConference held annually in Europe is a leadership summit /training, inspiration and transformation event for over 800 participants, including on average 10% men. Regional WINConferences are held in India in March and Japan in May and WIN also runs WINConnect evening networking events.
Pictured: Kristin Engvig
CEO: WIN’s mission is to empower, develop and connect leaders through a feminine, authentic and global vision. What does this mean?
K.E: ‘Global’ means seeing yourself in another person, operating across cultures with ease and embodying this way of thinking in all your actions and values. You accept other’s differences and work on raising global consciousness, finding what we have in common for the benefit of everyone. ‘Authentic’ means contributing with who you truly are and not being what other people expect you to be, nor trying to project a certain image of yourself. It goes beyond your individuality and is rather what comes through you as your true self. We are never isolated but are in relationships with thoughts, things and others constantly.
Feminine: Within all of us, men and women, there is the feminine and the masculine. The masculine values can be those of competition, rational analysis and action. The feminine are those of collaboration, receptivity and empathy. The world has previously been run more by masculine values and so we focus now on integrating the feminine and making that integration welcome in the world, at work and within ourselves.
CEO: What do you think holds women back in corporate life? Is it their own inhibitions? Is it their conditioning?
K.E: There are always some sticky floors and we must work on our confidence but still a lot of lack of progress has to do with the context. We must work on accepting the values of both women and men and become used to seeing women in charge, women and men collaborating and women leading the way.
Current leaders have a responsibility to support and develop women, and all of us, both men and women, have a responsibility to look at our own values and behaviors. Political institutions must reinforce legal rights and equal possibilities for everyone. Interaction with different people from other countries and travel helps as well, as it educates us to accept and value difference.
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