Round table organized by FEDEPE and EWMD (WOMEN AND POWER: an opportunity to build more equal societies)

  • On Wednesday, Spanish Federation of Women Directors, Executives, Professionals and Companies (FEDEPE) and the European Women’s Management Development International Network (EWMD) organized a debate on female leadership and equality during this moment of crisis .
  • During the presentation of the round table, the president of FEDEPE, Ana Bujaldón, highlighted the importance of international alliances to vindicate the leadership of women “for an egalitarian and inclusive economic reactivation”.
  • The participants in the discussion were Belén Frau, IKEA’s global deputy director of operations; Antonio Garrigues, honorary president of the Garrigues law firm; María Grazia Speranza, mathematician and professor at the University of Brescia (Italy) and the co-presidents of EWMD International Network, Nadine Nembach and Paola Ligabue.

(Madrid, March 11, 2021). On Wednesday March 10th, the Spanish Federation of Women Directors, Executives, Professionals and Businesswomen (FEDEPE) and the European Women’s Management Development International Network (EWMD) held the round table «Women and power: how they are overcoming the crisis so far» to analyze the situation of women during the current global crisis caused by the pandemic.

The co-presidents of EWMD International Network, Nadine Nembach, who moderated the event, and Paola Ligabue, participated in the table along with Belén Frau, IKEA’s global deputy director of operations, Antonio Garrigues Walker, honorary president of the Garrigues law firm and María Grazia Speranza , mathematician and researcher at the University of Brescia (Italy).

The president of FEDEPE, Ana Bujaldón was in charge of presenting a round table with which the Spanish federation and EWMD deepened their collaboration to promote female talent and leadership on the international stage. Bujaldón valued this alliance «to make a correct diagnosis of the current complex situation and to agree on measures that give women a leading role in the economic reactivation.» During the moderation of the table, EWMD co-chair Nadine Nembach stressed that «disruptive moments like the current one also give us the opportunity to rebuild more egalitarian societies.»

During the discussion, Belén Frau, IKEA’s Deputy Director of Operations Worldwide, noted that “we are at a challenging time, but we have the responsibility to stay focused and constructive; we have to find ways to rebuild society in a gender-balanced way. ” For Frau «we need more feminist men who really believe in the power of equality.»

Antonio Garrigues, honorary president of the Garrigues law firm, highlighted the need for this type of meetings and encouraged women to claim power «because no one abandons it when they have it.» For Garrigues, “women are very present in society, but not in power. When they have really conquered this area, we will see a different society”. The lawyer, ex-politician and ex-diplomat mentioned German Chancellor Angela Merkel as an example of leadership, being in his opinion “the best political leader we have in Europe, of any gender”.

During her intervention, María Grazia Speranza, professor of operations research at the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Brescia (Italy), pointed out that 77% of women in the Netherlands worked part-time last year and wondered: “How can we be leaders if we work part time?”. For Speranza, although women «have come a long way, we continue to be discriminated against.» The Italian mathematician assured that «women can create a different society because when in power they tend to take responsibility for others and care about doing the right thing.»

At the end of the event, co-moderator Mónica Morado, Global Project Manager at FEDEPE, summarized the conclusions of the debate, and among them, the responsibility we have in these challenging times to stay focused and constructive, seeking formulas to rebuild our society in an egalitarian and inclusive way. All participants agreed that accepting society’s complexity and difference will allow us to break down all the barriers that prevent equality.



The Spanish Federation of Women Managers, Executives, Professionals and Businesswomen (FEDEPE) is a non-profit Federation of Associations, whose origins date back to 1987, which brings together more than 26,000 women entrepreneurs, managers and professionals from all business sectors and Public Administration, and its purpose is to offer a space for study, reflection, debate, training and support that is suitable to stimulate the development of professional careers for women, as well as their access to management positions and professional responsibility in a plane of absolute equality, enhancing its promotion and visibility both personally and collectively in different ways. FEDEPE is a Public Utility Entity and holds consultative status at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.


About EWMD


EWMD (European Women’s Management Development International Network) was founded in 1984 by women from business schools, universities and business associations across Europe. It has delegations in several European countries and individual and corporate members worldwide. Its main objectives are to promote women’s access to senior management and to give visibility to their contribution in companies and business schools, as well as to work for the empowerment of women in their careers and of younger generations.

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