Catalyst Europe Speaker at Financial Times Women at the Top Conference

Allyson Zimmermann, Executive Director, Catalyst Europe, was a speaker at the prestigious FT Women At The Top Conference, “How to Achieve Gender Balance and Redefine Leadership,” on 29 September 2016.  

The event attracted more than 200 delegates who enjoyed presentations from high-profile politicians as well as influential business and public sector leaders, along with Financial Times journalists. 

UK Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening MP, opened the conference followed by Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President EMEA, Facebook, who gave the keynote address on “tackling structural and behavioral barriers to hold on to your best talent at leadership level.” 

Ms. Zimmermann’s panel session, moderated by FT Executive Editor, Leyla Boulton, featured a lively discussion on the topic of mentors and sponsors. Referencing Catalyst’s research, Ms. Zimmermann shared that mentoring is about career development while sponsorship is meant to help with one’s employees’ advancement. She noted that sponsorship, along with access to “hot jobs,” predicts advancement and can profoundly influence a woman's career trajectory.

View Allyson Zimmermann’s panel session.

Bloomberg's Women and the Workplace: Separating Myth from Reality

Allyson Zimmermann, Executive Director, Catalyst Europe, spoke about the importance of busting myths in the workplace at Bloomberg’s London office on 4 November 2016. Speaking alongside, Dr Shani Orgad, Associate Professor at the London School of Economics, Ms. Zimmermann tackled some of the most common myths —many of which continue to hold women back—such as women do not aspire to the top jobs and that they don’t use career advancement strategies similar to those employed by men. 

She said that there was an opportunity gap holding back women, not a confidence gap, and urged companies to focus more on ‘stay’ interviews, rather than exit interviews, to tackle the leaky pipeline of women into senior leadership roles.

Following the presentation was a panel discussion that was moderated by Bloomberg TV anchor Anna Edwards and also featured Tim Loake, Director, Dell EMC Services UK; Peter Duff, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, BP; and Ian Rand, CEO, Business Banking, Barclays.

Recent Events

Race & Ethnicity Roundtable, hosted by Barclays, London, 25 January 2017 

Role Models: You Can’t Be What You Can’t See, in Munich, Germany, 12 December 2016

Beyond Pride Month: Creating and Maintaining LGBT-inclusive Workplaces, 7 October 2016 in Dublin.

Catalyst Europe Roundtable, London, 13 September 2016: Beyond Pride Month: Creating and Maintaining LGBT-inclusive Workplaces.

Roundtable, Netherlands, 20 September 2016: Driving Inclusion through Employee Resource Groups.

Panel Discussion, Germany, 21 September 2016: Women are not putting themselves forward as candidates: Myth or reality?

Engaging Men Roundtable, Geneva, 22 September 2016: Men and Women Partnering on Inclusion to Drive Business Performance.

Future Events

International Women’s Day, Catalyst Awards Conference, 8 March

If you are interested in a Catalyst speaker or in a consulting or workshop session, please contact [email protected].

Europe Media Highlights

LSE Business Review, 25 January 2017:  This blog on busting myths / solutions was by-lined by Allyson Zimmermann and entitled, "Tracking the Pesky Myths that Blame Women for the Glass Ceiling."

Forbes, 30 January 2017: Karen Higginbottom wrote this piece entitled, "Board Diversity Still Unusual in a Fortune 500 Firm," which featured quotes from Heather Foust-Cummings at Catalyst.  

Huffington Post, 11 January 2017: "LGBT And The Secret To Inclusion In UK Workplaces" – opinion piece by Allyson Zimmermann, Executive Director at Catalyst Europe.

The Future of Work Magazine, December 2016: Article entitled, "Role Negotiation May Help Boost Women and Men’s Access to the Top Jobs, Hot Jobs," featured Catalyst’s new global hi po research.

Huffington Post, 15 December 2016: An op-ed entitled, "Men are the Solution, Not the Problem" by Allyson Zimmermann was published. 

LSE Business Review, 1 November 2016: "The more men know about work gender inequality, the more they act as advocates" – opinion piece by Allyson Zimmermann, Executive Director at Catalyst Europe.

Fortune Magazine, 24 November 2016: Allyson Zimmermann was quoted in this piece about the appointment of Nikki Haley for the UN ambassador position. 
Womanthology, 16 November 2016: "Women: Are you working for free? Here’s how we can eradicate the gender pay gap once and for all," by Allyson Zimmermann, Executive Director at Catalyst Europe.

See more Catalyst Europe In the News.

About Catalyst Europe

Catalyst Europe was founded in 2006 to provide Europe-specific, creative solutions promoting organizational inclusion and workplace innovation. From its thought-provoking events to discussions with individual members, Catalyst Europe brings fact-based, culturally relevant insight to every exchange. Catalyst Europe was the first office that Catalyst opened outside North America.

In June of 2016, Catalyst Europe celebrated its 10th anniversary. Delegates from across Europe, including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the UK assembled for a special Catalyst Europe anniversary event, Inclusion in Action, in Berlin on 20 June 2016 with Catalyst President and CEO Deborah Gillis and Allyson Zimmermann, Executive Director in Europe for Catalyst. In addition, Catalyst’s European ambassadors, Isabelle Kurschner and Caroline Pickard, and the Catalyst Europe team members Sandra Ondraschek-Norris, Senior Director, and Rikia Fayne, Relationship Manager, all played important roles in the success of the half-day event which focused on how to advance workplace inclusion.

Summing up the goal of the event, Ms. Gillis urged each delegate to make a personal pledge to accelerate change for women and to transform workplaces. “Our research and my own experience show that there is a tremendous amount you can do as an individual to help create inclusive workplaces,” she said.  “Leaders who practice these behaviors drive performance and innovation that leads from breakdowns to breakthroughs.”