Eighteen social entrepreneurs from east, west, north and south India met in Gurgaon at Women on Wings’ CEO Summit on May 31 and June 1, 2019. The Women on Wings partners created a powerhouse of energy in which they shared experiences and discussed challenges and solutions with peers who share the same perspective. All under the guidance of two moderators who combined theory and practical assignments.
Energized to take learnings into practice
Sometimes it is lonely at the top. That is why Women on Wings also provides a platform to CEOs of the enterprises it partners with so they can meet and discuss topics which are not always fit to discuss with staff. Ronald van het Hof, joint MD at Women on Wings and one of the moderators: “We have witnessed in our previous Summits that there is a lot of learning and sharing of experiences. This helps CEOs in running their business even more successfully. Ultimately, we all want these enterprises to grow so more employment opportunities for rural women are created. This time we had an inspiring mix of new and existing partners joining our Summit. Listening to their feedback, they all left Saturday evening feeling highly energized to take the learnings into practice on Monday. Also they left us a list with topics they want us to prepare for next Summits.”
Group therapy for CEOs
The other moderator was Joke Hartlief-de Vries, a specialist in human resources, change management, strategic HR, organizational and personal development: “Topics like organization structures, how to develop the second line of management, their own role as CEO, what does it mean being a good employer, creating accountability and ownership, and how to retain your staff, brought out a lot of eagerness by all to take part in the discussions.” One of the returning participants was Kirti Poonia who heads Okhai which offers handcrafted apparel and lifestyle products created by rural artisans from across India: “The Summit was a bunch of social enterprise CEOs who came together to share experiences, find solutions, benchmark and learn so much from each other.” Adding with a big smile: “It’s almost like group therapy for CEOs”.