In a demonstration of its strong corporate commitment to promoting inclusive leadership, ABB sent a delegation of more than a dozen high-level managers to the 2019 Global Summit of Women, held last week in Basel, Switzerland. The annual event, which focuses on women's advancement, has been the world's premier business and economic forum for women for the past 29 years. It is organized by the GlobeWomen Research and Education Institute, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC.
Leading the ABB delegation were Chairman and CEO Peter Voser, General Counsel and Company Secretary Diane de Saint Victor, Chief Human Resources Officer Sylvia Hill, and Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion and Global Trainee Program Heidi Robertson.
"The Summit's emphasis on best practices for advancing women aligns with ABB's goal of creating inclusive working environments in which diversity is seen as a strength,” said Voser, who participated in a roundtable during the event's opening plenary session. “This is not only the right policy – diverse teams perform better.”
The ABB delegation joined 1,000 influential leaders in business, the nonprofit sector and government from 60+ countries for three days of working sessions, speeches and networking events under the banner of "Women: Redefining Success."
"At ABB, our strength is rooted in our people. To attract and retain the best talent, we need to provide a diverse and inclusive workplace where people can develop personally and professionally and are motivated to deliver and perform to the highest level,” said Hill.
ABB's participation in the Summit is the latest step in the company's ongoing, strong track record of taking concrete steps that demonstrate its commitment to nurturing a diverse and inclusive generation of new leaders. ABB has set clear internal goals for recruiting and promoting women leaders at all levels of the company. Numerous initiatives are running across the organization, such as mentoring programs, women’s networks and flexible work options.
"ABB is a company that's investing in diversity," said Laure Kleiss, ABB Senior Vice President and Head of Sales in Switzerland and a member of the ABB delegation attending the event. "The Summit is a great opportunity to bring back some best practices and ideas from outside our organization and to benefit from them."
ABB is also a strong supporter of the first pan-European commitment to diversity and inclusion. The pledge is part of the “#EmbraceDifference” initiative from the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), which ABB is a member of together with more than 50 of the largest industrial and technological companies in Europe. The initiative promotes inclusive culture and leadership, providing equal opportunities for all employees.
ABB's efforts toward talent development additionally include the Pledge to America's Workers. Inspired by the Swiss apprenticeship model, the Pledge, which was signed in December 2018, promises to provide enhanced training and career opportunities to ABB's 24,000 workers in the US.