On Saturday, March 4th 2023, we celebrated Women Empowerment and the 31st Anniversary of PWI at the Caryatids Ballroom of Le Cercle Gaulois in Brussels. We are looking forward to a new fabulous edition on March 16th 2024!

Event Theme of 2023 - #EmbracingEquity, in link with the International Women's Day theme. 

Equity isn't just a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society's DNA. And it's critical to understand the difference between equity and equality. 

The IWD 2023 campaign theme drove worldwide understanding why Equal opportunities aren't enough! We can all truly embrace equity. 

It's not just something we say. It's not just something we write about. It's something we need to think about, know, value and embrace. It's what we believe in, unconditionally.

Equity means creating an inclusive world. Each one of us can actively support and embrace equity within our own sphere of influence. We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. 

Speakers - Empowering voices advocating for #EmbracingEquity

These were our speakers in 2023: 


Leanne Chamberlain - CFO, McDonald's International Operated Markets, Chair for the Global Women's Leadership Network.

As the former Women's Leadership Network Chair for Canada and current Chair for the Global Women's Leadership Network, Leanne is a strong supporter of women and advocates for inclusivity and gender balance in the workplace.

Her dedication to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Women's Leadership Network (WLN) Award in 2016 for her contributions to the growth and development of women in McDonald's.

Sana Afouaiz - award-winning, gender expert, women advocate, and public speaker on feminism, female tech, women issues and diversity and inclusion.

Sana is the author of “Invisible Women of the Middle East” and has spoken in 50 countries at universities, panel discussions and international events.

In 2016, Sana established the Womenpreneur Initiative that aims to advance women’s place in the entrepreneurial scene, technology, innovation & society. Since its establishment, Womenpreneur has trained 19,000 women in Belgium and the MENA region. Through her work, Sana reached thousands of women, to drive visibility, social impact, and resources for women in the ecosystem and beyond.

Veerle Peeters - Director, Cyber Governance, Deloitte Belgium

Veerle Peeters, Director of the Belgian Deloitte Cyber Practice, also known as "the human firewall," drives, together with her team, all the business around cyber strategy, target operating model, and developing a future proof cyber workforce. 

As the founder of Digiskillzz, Veerle is dedicated to accelerating the digital competencies and media literacy of children, and has partnered with Child Focus to protect children online. She is also a role model and mentor at Deloitte, coaching people and empowering them to grow throughout their career journey. Veerle was nominated/finalist for ICT Woman of the Year 2022. 

At the PWI Gala she will speak about promoting early access to STE(A)M education for young girls, all with the purpose of having more equitable communities and workplaces. 

Reasons to attend 

  • Listening to top notch speakers -  corporate and community leaders with a track record of supporting Equity, at a local and global level. 
  • An opportunity to celebrate and Embrace Equity - This event is a celebration of the achievements of women, with a focus on advancing equity in our communities, workplace and the world. 
  • An excellent networking moment - This event is attended by 100+ women working in the private and public sector in Belgium (members and friends of PWI), delegates of our corporate partners, and men part of our men allyship network.
  • An evening filled with inspiration, taking place in an exquisite location - Through the evening's keynote speech, and celebratory moments, your evening will be filled with great moments. The event is hosted at Le Cercle Gaulois in Central Brussels. 

The agenda of the evening

  • 18.00 - Doors open, welcome and registration

  • 19.00 - Keynote speeches

  • 20.15 - Networking dinner (up to 10.30 PM) 

Will we see you there in 2024? 



On Saturday May 7th 2022 we celebrated Women Empowerment and the 30th Anniversary of PWI at the Caryatids Ballroom of Le Cercle Gaulois in Brussels. It was a night of celebrating our mission to support professional women and we invited some high level speakers to talk about ‘Overcoming Bias’, a very relevant topic which we are confronted with on daily basis.

We listened to the captivating speeches of some of our high-level speakers who shared their stories on ‘Overcoming Bias’:

  • Katya Aricci Founder & CEO of the international translation and interpreting services company Arkadia Translations. Starting from a team of ten freelancers, her company today has two branches in Milan and Brussels, over 20 in-house employees and a network of 500 mother-tongue translators and interpreters, who cover many specialist areas in all the languages in the world
  • Stijn Heytens, the Managing Director at McDonald’s Belgium, Stijn, who is from Belgium and holds a Master’s Degree in Communications Sciences and Marketing Management, started at McDonald’s Belgium in 2004 as Marketing Manager coming from the food manufacturer Sarah Lee Foods. In 2010, Stijn left the McDonald’s family for five years where he joined the American listed company Mohawk Industries Inc. as Global Marketing Director. Stijn’s longstanding people-centric leadership in driving change with diversity and inclusion will be at the forefront of his speech during the Gala dinner.
  • Giusy Caruso graduated cum laude in Piano and Philosophy, Ms. Caruso is an outstanding female pianist whose presence and intellectually bright piano technique will add luster to the Gala.
  • Aurélien Herquel is the founder and CEO of Hu-Man. The label "Hu-man" is committed to build bridges between employees and management, between humanism and capitalism, it is the first European human label to help companies face tomorrow’s challenges and humanize the working space again.

This night could not have happened without the generous support of our sponsors: MATTEL – ARKADIA TRANSLATIONS and MC DONALD’S.

1 photo(s) Updated on: 30 May 2022

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