Vlerick Diversity Movement

Dear Marion,

Congratulations and welcome as the new Dean of the Vlerick Business School. We welcome your expertise in strategy, innovation and marketing. We look forward to hear about your vision and ambitions for Vlerick.

We are two EMBA candidates (EMBA Ghent 2016), or shall we say ‘customers’. We would like to use this opportunity to share our thoughts and ideas, both from the corporate and entrepreneurial perspective. Despite multiple efforts, we’re with only 6 women out of 31 students in our classroom. Why is that? Is it more difficult for women to get sponsoring for an MBA by their companies? Is it because of family commitments? Is it a lack of confidence and resources? 

Research provides compelling evidence that diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth—a finding that should intensify efforts to ensure that executive ranks both embody and embrace the power of differences.

Let’s join forces and boost diversity at Vlerick! Let’s challenge the perception of the ‘Old Boys Network’. Let’s bring different backgrounds, generations and nationalities together and extend the learning network.

For your inspiration, we’ve written a short manifesto with elements we look forward to see:

  • Raise number of women, different nationalities and generations who get sponsored by their companies for corporate trainings and MBAs.
  • More female entrepreneurs and executives in Europe.
  • We want people to increase their own self confidence, embrace their differences, be proud about what they can achieve and what makes them thrive.
  • We want more attention in leadership discussions for ‘soft’ topics such as people management, non-violent communication, knowledge sharing and CSR.
  • We want to increase diversity into existing business networks and organizations in Belgium because we believe this will bring value and success to the business.

To achieve our aims we would like to launch in 2015-2016  a series of initiatives in collaboration with you and the Vlerick Alumni Network to see more diversity at business events, MBAs and networks. This will include:

  • Give different rolemodels a platform in your trainings and communication channels. Different in the meaning: different generations, different backgrounds, different nationalities and different genders. We want people to know successful stories of diverse leadership and success close to them and in which they can recognize themselves.
  • Install a mentoring programme in which different generations and backgrounds help each other manage their careers.
  • Increase diversity for speakers on Vlerick (Alumni) events and guest lecturers.
  • Leading by example: diversity in Vlerick’s board room and management positions.
  • Set up a group of diversity ambassadors and ask others to join our cause.

Marion, we are convinced we can count on your support, so let’s schedule an appointment and exchange thoughts to see how we can realize this.

Kind regards,

Viviana Occhinorelli and Sophie Thiebaut

 Viviana Occhionorelli

 Viviana Occhionorelli is Barco’s Product & Supply Chain Sustainability Officer. She is responsible for defining Barco’s corporate worldwide strategy for product sustainability and social responsibility. She leads the Environmental Compliance Office and the Green Knowledge Owner team. She has strong connections within European and International institutions dealing with environmental compliance and sustainability.

Twitter: @ viviocchio
LinkedIn: https://be.linkedin.com/in/vivianaocchionorelli

 Sophie Tiebaut

 Sophie Thiebaut is founder and owner of Pigment. Pigment is an agency specialized in growth marketing with projects for Telenet for Business, USG People, ThomasMore, Flemish Government and NMBS-holding. She holds a master degree in visual arts and a postacademic degree in Marketing Communication Management. She is board member and coach at CoderDojo Belgium and mother of three children.

Twitter: @sophiethiebaut
LinkedIn: https://be.linkedin.com/in/sophiethiebaut

Related news

  1. Françoise Chombar (Melexis) wins the Vlerick Award 2016

    Date: 02/06/2016
    Category: Alumni News
    Tonight Françoise Chombar, CEO of Melexis, has won the Vlerick Award 2016. The audience – who was able to vote both via internet as well as live at the event – chose her, because she led her company as business leader in its market segment with sustained results to the top.
  2. Start-ups seek managers

    Date: 21/03/2016
    Category: Alumni News
    There have never been as many start-ups in Belgium as there are today. The fact that so many people are taking the initiative to start their own business is of tremendous benefit to the fabric of our economy. However, not every entrepreneur is, by definition, also a good manager. This is why more and more fledgling enterprises are calling in external specialists. Lorenzo Bown stepped aside as CEO of StoryMe, and MBA alumnus Joris Noreillie is a freelance CFO working for various Flemish start-ups.
All articles