CEO Champions Commit to Action and Accountability at Women's Forum for Economy and Society

More than 20 CEOs outline specific leadership actions towards progress on women's advancement

Oct 15, 2010, 12:05 ET from Ernst & Young

DEAUVILLE, France, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- An inaugural group of more than 20 CEOs and leaders came together in a private meeting to discuss how male and female leaders should continue to make progress on women's advancement through specific and measurable actions. In addition, a CEO plenary session highlighted the outcomes of the private meeting.

The meeting, held during the Women's Forum Global Meeting in Deauville, France, resulted in six commitments agreed upon by the CEOs.

The six CEO Champion commitments:


As CEO, be visibly committed and embed women's advancement into business strategy

Build women's advancement into the strategy of the company operations, driven by the CEO and leadership team. Change our workplace culture and mindset and empower both men and women to drive women's initiatives.


Require diverse candidates as a priority

Recruit, develop, and retain diverse candidates as a priority. When considering candidates for leadership positions, at least one woman will be on every candidate slate.


Hold ourselves accountable for progress

Define stretch goals around increasing women in our boards, executive committees, or running major parts of our businesses.  We will each measure progress and present a thoughtful game plan at Women's Forum in 2011.


Build the CEO Champion network

Work together to increase the dialogue among our peers - and create peer pressure - to build our network of CEO Champions, including a "plus one" strategy for next year's Women's Forum (each CEO to bring one or more of their peers).


Create a catalogue of best practices and engage in cross-company mentoring of talented women.


Develop ways to foster balance between personal and professional lives for men and women in our workforces (focusing on all generations in the workforce).

"The inaugural meeting of CEO Champions was highly productive and successful," said James S. Turley, Global Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young, who co-hosted the meeting with the Women's Forum.  "We all recognize both the power of diverse perspectives in our leadership ranks and the critical role women play in economic growth around the world. As business leaders, we must take personal action toward further progress – this is as strategically important to our businesses as revenue growth, product innovation, or geographic expansion.  I look forward to working with the other CEO Champions to build upon the initial success of this groundbreaking initiative."

"I am very pleased to see such influential male CEOs joining with women CEOs at this year's Forum. It is a historic moment for us," said Aude Zieseniss de Thuin, Founder and Chairman of The Women's Forum for the Economy and Society. "Today, they have gone a step further: they have committed themselves, individually and as a group, for this necessary promotion of women -and beyond- of diversity. These 'enlightened' CEOs are truly blazing the trail, and I look forward to the upcoming discussions and to welcoming them back next year in a much larger group."

"As women senior executives, it is part of our accountabilities to engage with these CEO Champion's commitments," said Dominique Reiniche, President Europe, The Coca Cola Company. "Together with men, as a winning team, we will accelerate and scale empowering women as business leaders in our companies and the communities we serve."

"I am proud to be one of the founding CEOs for this important initiative and I am personally committed to working towards the objectives we have identified together," said Chris Viehbacher, CEO, sanofi-aventis. "Improving our ratios of women leaders is not a question of doing the right thing from a social or moral perspective but as a catalyst for improving our commercial and corporate decision-making and sustaining economic growth."

The CEO Champions who participated in the private meeting and agreed to the six commitments include: Molly Ashby, CEO, Solera Capital; Philippe Castagnac, CEO, Mazars France; Mercedes Erra, Executive President Euro RSCG Worldwide; Olivier Fleurot, CEO, MS&L Group; Denise Koopmans, former CEO, LexisNexis Analytics; Michel Landel, CEO, Sodexo Group; Anne Lauvergeon, CEO, Areva; Wendy Luhabe, Chairman, Women Private Equity Fund; Jean-Yves Naouri, COO, Publicis Groupe; Christian Nibourel, Managing Director, Accenture France; Deanna Oppenheimer, CEO Western Europe & CEO UK Retail Banking Barclays Bank; Dominique Reiniche, President Europe Group, The Coca-Cola Company; Heiner Thorborg, CEO, Heiner Thorborg GMbH & Co; James S. Turley, Global Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young; Chris Viehbacher, CEO, sanofi-aventis; Nicholas Walsh, President and CEO, Chartis International; Aude Zieseniss de Thuin, Founder and Chairman, Women's Forum for the Economy and Society.

Additional CEOs who have already expressed their support for the CEO initiative moving forward include: Alan Boeckmann, CEO, Fluor Corporation; Clara Gaymard, President, GE France & President and City Initiative Leader, GE Initiative; Carlos Ghosn, President & CEO, Renault-Nissan Alliance; Damien O'Brien, Chairman, Egon Zehnder International; Patrick Sayer, Chair of the Executive Board, Eurazeo.

About the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society

Founded in 2005 by Aude de Thuin, the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society is an independent global forum of feminine inspiration. Recognized among the top 5 global forums worldwide, the Women's Forum is dedicated to building and implementing a more balanced world for all.

The Forum is a platform of debate, sharing, brainstorming and action where women are given pride of place for speaking out on all major societal issues that count today and will count tomorrow.

For more information:

SOURCE Ernst & Young