Deise Loebet, IE’s International Development Director for Europe and CIS

With the economic crisis in the Euro zone reaching its climax, women should be twice as concerned about their professional future than their male counterparts. Research has shown that in times of economic depression women are the first to lose their jobs and, when macroeconomic recover takes place again, they are the last ones to be hired by companies. Furthermore, the crisis also puts a halt to women’s goals to reduce barriers to their way to the top.

Internationally renowned as one of top leading management institutions and a think-tank for innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability, IE is aware of the problem and is launching several projects and initiatives to help professional women to make it to the boardroom.

“To foster women in business has been one of IE’s main goals for the past 20 years, therefore we have accumulated a great deal of knowledge to help women in this period of great concern”, says Deise Leobet, IE’s International Development Director for Europe and CIS. Mrs. Leobet will be coordinating the discussions of the European Professional Women (EPWN) and IE Conference that will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, next November 3rd.

Among the pro-women initiatives being carried on by IE, is the creation of special funding/financial opportunities for young and high-potential female professionals, the creation of mentoring programs to help them to pursue opportunities in different areas and industries, especially in times of crisis when innovation and entrepreneurial spirit is a must, as well as a research center focus on women issues to reduce the so-called gender gap.