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The Glass Ceiling persists

Women throughout the world still lack opportunities to succeed. This is especially so for women in less developed countries who suffer daily injustices. But even in places where women fare relatively well, subtle – but inhibitive – forces hold us back: “traditional” gender roles; the specter of discrimination and an ever-present glass ceiling.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund. From her foreword to Breaking Through by Martine Liautaud, WIF Founder.

The mission of the Women Initiative Foundation (WIF) is to promote the advancement of women in the workplace and in the economy.

We believe women are, as Amartya Sen wrote, active agents of change: the dynamic promoters of social transformations that can alter the lives of both women and men. When women are leaders in business, we not only will unleash the largest untapped natural resource in our world today, but we believe our economy will more fully reflect the values needed to build a sustainable world.

A world where women’s leadership in business, our economy, and society is fully unleashed. With this, we achieve a sustainable world for future generations.

In all we do through WIF, we are guided by our commitment to:

  • cross-cultural/international exchange
  • excellence
  • relationship
  • tangibility
  • value add, catalytic contribution

Importantly, WIF is an entirely philanthropically motivated and largely volunteer-led organization. We do not take a financial position in the companies we support. We are authentically driven to see women business leaders succeed.

Our Actions

Ideas Laboratory

WIF advances the global discussion of gender equality on topics such as: the value of, and best practices for, promoting gender diversity in business.

Mentoring

WIF supports women entrepreneurs by proposing them a mentor whose expertise answers the development issues they have for their companies.

Studies

WIF carries out European studies analysing male/female specificities related to management behaviors, belief and stereotypes.

Training

WIF offers, and takes part in the design of, university training programs, following the example of the Stanford Women Entrepreneur Program launched in 2015 with BNP Paribas.

Active Network

WIF develops a Global Circle Network of alumnae, mentors, strategic partners, corporate leaders, thought partners, and supporters.

Events Organization

WIF organises conferences and convenings, both in France and in the United States

Transatlantic Program

WIF just launched a Transatlantic Mentoring program for American Women Entrepreneurs wishing to expand their company in Europe from France, and vice versa.

Philanthropy

Our foundation relies on donation, pro-bono, and experience sharing.<br />

Martine Liautaud presents the Women Initiative Foundation

The Women Initiative Foundation was founded by Martine Liautaud, to expand on the success of the Women Business Mentoring Initiative (WBMI), which she created in 2010 with other alumni of the Stanford Business School. This initiative supported more than 100 women entrepreneurs in 5 years. WIF is funded by ENGIE, BNP Paribas, Liautand & Cie and other donors.