It is my pleasure to share with you all the fantastic results of the first ever women´s event to be organized by IE outside of Spain and sponsored by Citigroup Russia, which took place on the 25th March 2010 in order to celebrate International Women´s day. It was an amazing success in terms of public (more than 300 women registered and 150 attended the event), impact on media (Forbes Women,The Moscow Times and Vedomosti), companies and attendees. Our IE alumni were directly involved in the event and profited from it deeply.

The auditorium of the World Trade Center in Moscow, one of the most prestigious locations of the busy Russian capital, received more than 150 young professional women last March 25th all eager to take part in a unique event organized by IE Business School and sponsored by Citibank Russia, in which they were introduced to cutting-edge techniques for successful networking, met several business contacts and strengthened their links with IE. From IE, professor Pino Bethencourt, spoke about the new trends for women´s professional development and Deise Leobet, International Development Director for Europe & CIS at IE spoke on the obstacles for business women. Finally Olga Sabanina, Senior Human Resources Generalist at Citibank  guided us through Citibank´s best practices.

“It is a fantastic opportunity that IE is giving to all of these young Russian women to exchange professional contacts and to learn how to grow professionally” said Larissa Skuratovskaya, representing the International Women´s Forum (IWF)- Russia.

Also called “Network your Way to Success”, a record number of 300 women registered for the event in IE´s webpage, Facebook, LinkedIn and Smallworld from top Russian companies to international corporations located in Russian territory and also from abroad. Proctor & Gamble, BP, PricewaterhouseCoopers were some of the companies represented in the conference and also in the speed-networking activity that took place after the presentations. During the speed-networking attendees were able to practice the just-learned networking techniques and make business contacts.

“It was amazing” said Ekaterina Koroleva, chief of the international division for TTK, one of the major Russian Telecommunications companies, after meeting the director of a company she had been looking for months to do business with TTK with no success. “And there she was, standing next to me during the IE cocktail”.

Citibank not only sponsored the event but also contribute with a keynote speaker, Olga Sabanina, the bank´s Russian vice-president. “Citibank strongly supports women in business and we are really happy to be part of an event such this one”, said Sabanina at her presentation, while explaining Citibank Best Practices to close the gender gap.

The event had a strong impact on IE´s female alumni, who were invited not only to attend the event, but to play active roles: “Indeed the event was a success and I´m writing you to tell you that I keep on receiving proposals of cooperation for my company from people I met at the event:)))”, wrote in a post-event e-mail IE Alumni Ekaterina Koroktova, a Business Development manager for J&J Russia. “We all hope you will be able to replicate it soon in other countries”.

“I ran out of business cards fast” said Anna Plotkina, one of the attendees. “It was so useful and I met a woman (she was sitting next to me) who is doing the IE Online EMBA and works in a sister company to mine (very small world), so we had a lot to discuss during the event and now I´m planning to submit my application to IE”.