What was originally planned as an in-person event in Switzerland shifted to a highly successful virtual one: On 15 October, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) hosted its Women’s Leadership Summit–Europe, themed “Celebrating Roles in Diversity and Inclusion.” The event, conducted via Zoom, attracted 210 registrants from across Europe and around the world.

Organized by IMA Europe and the IMA Switzerland Chapter, the event invited attendees to learn how leaders in accounting and finance are embracing diversity and inclusion initiatives to drive performance across their organizations. Attendees also discovered how those initiatives can improve results, provide different perspectives, and enhance employee engagement.

The event began with a welcome address by Purnima Mishra, who serves as manager, accounting and audit, at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria & TB, as well as vice president, strategy and communications, for the IMA Switzerland Chapter. Bernardin Generalao, director, regional partner relations at IMA, also made introductory remarks about IMA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

This introduction was followed by a keynote presentation, titled “The Case for Diversity,” by James Michael Lafferty, Olympic coach, award-winning journalist, and CEO of Fine Hygienic Holding. Next, Kristine Kotte-Eriksen, diversity and inclusion program analyst at CERN, discussed “enGENDERing Diversity & Inclusion at CERN.”

 A slide from Kristine Kotte-Eriksen’s talk.

 James Michael Lafferty spoke about diversity.

Next came a panel discussion on “Building a Stronger Me for Building a Stronger Us,” moderated by Dr. Gaya Gamhewage, head of learning and capacity building at the World Health Organization. Panelists included:

  • Dr. Archana Sharma, Principal Physicist, CERN
  • Ekaterina Emelianova, CMA, CSCA, CFO, Member of the Executive Board, Sberbank (Switzerland) AG
  • Adda Faye, CFO, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria & TB
  • Lisa Beaudoin, CMA, CSCA, CAE, Senior Director of Business Development, IMA
  • Brad Perry, CMA, CFO, beqom
  • Chang (Lock) Lyu, Vice President Finance Asia North, Rational AG

The event concluded with networking and individual breakout rooms.

For more information on upcoming WLS or other events, please visit the IMA Europe website.