Climbing the corporate ladder can be challenging for many talented and career-oriented women. Business professionals will explore how to overcome these hurdles during the Women in Leadership Conference, organised by the Erasmus Centre for Women in Organisations (ECWO) at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). The conference will take place on campus on Friday 5 February 2016.

The Women in Leadership Conference is an inspiring networking conference for women and men involved in the business world. While women have physically succeeded in climbing the seven summits, the highest mountain on each continent, the metaphorical eighth summit – women’s ascent of organisations – may still be the greatest challenge for many.

Conference lectures, which include personal leadership journeys of top business leaders, will take place in the morning, followed by the official launch of the Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations. After a networking lunch, participants will attend their chosen workshops about entrepreneurship, communications, networks or success.

Speakers of the Women in Leadership Conference are:

  • Jacqueline Tammenoms Bakker – vice-chair Erasmus University Rotterdam; non-executive director at Tesco plc, Vivendi and Fiat Industrial; and trustee at Van Leer Group Foundation
  • Pauline van der Meer Mohr – non-executive director at HSBC Bank, and former president of Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Marlies Dekkers – creative director of high-end lingerie brand ‘Marlies Dekkers’, and multiple winner of the Business Woman of the Year Award
  • Rebecca Stephens – mountaineer, the first British woman to reach the summit of the Mount Everest
  • David Bond – international facilitator and executive coach, and adjunct faculty member of ECWO
  • Karen Stephenson – corporate anthropologist, and lauded as a pioneer and leader in the growing field of social-network business consultants.  

After the conference, participants can attend the inaugural lecture of Prof. Dianne Bevelander, which is open to the public. Prof. Bevelander’s inaugural lecture takes place in the auditorium of Erasmus University Rotterdam on Friday 5 February at 16:00. Registration is free, but essential. Register here.

For more information and registrations, visit the Women in Leadership Conference event page or contact Anita Otchere via or +31 10 4082728.

Erasmus Centre for Women in Organisations

The Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO) is committed to women’s continued advancement into leadership positions across multiple sectors – in large and small private companies as well as public and private not-for-profit organisations. Its mission is to make a meaningful contribution to management education, the gender debate, and make an impact on gender in the workplace. To achieve this, ECWO develops and provides executive education programmes for women in business, identifies and addresses ongoing challenges to the progression and retention of women to the highest levels of organisations in the private and public sector, and undertakes and facilitates collaborative high-quality applied and academic research.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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