Capacity Conferences
Europe 2018

NOW IN IT’S
17TH YEAR!

Home :: Capacity Europe :: Booking Conditions


Advancing Women in Telco has provided the opportunity for men and women around the world to discuss the key challenges and necessary steps to addressing the gender imbalance in the industry.

Capacity Europe 2016
hosted the third edition of
Advancing Women in Telco in Paris. 

Led by the key individuals driving diversity, the panel discussions have dissected themes from constructing reach out programmes encouraging women to take up previously male-dominated sciences, to the challenges of pursuing career aspirations.


“Evidence is clear that a management team that is diverse results in a better-performing company. And diversity means not in gender alone, but also in terms of ethnicity and sexuality.

If your board of directors or your senior management team – or your team at any level of the company – mostly look the same then you should be worrying that your people do not understand the market they’re serving and the population they’re selling to.

And that’s why Advancing Women in Telecoms is so important to all leaders in the carrier business, men and women.”

Alan Burkitt-Gray, Editor, Capacity and Global Telecoms Business


2016 Interviews


Karin Kollenz-Quetard, PhD, Professor of Strategy, EDHEC BUSINESS SCHOOL 

Why do you think it’s important to have these discussions?

The high-tech sector (including telco) still trails many other industries in terms of female representation in leadership positions. This is not new, but as internet giants are taking important steps to become employees-of-choice also for female talent, the telecommunication sector risks losing out. If talent is distributed evenly between genders (which I strongly believe), companies that are not able to attract the best female AND male talents simply end up with fewer good people. Additionally, it has been proven by extensive research that diversity – in terms of gender, age, education and cultural background – enhances the performance of decision taking of management boards. In my immediate environment I have seen cases of women who were not or belatedly promoted because they were women (and ‘at risk’ of taking a maternity leave) – even if everybody agreed that they were more or as capable as their male colleague of filling the leadership position in question. This hurts the industry, the motivation of high-performing individuals and is not in line with our society’s values.

What do you think is the most common/overlooked challenge facing gender diversity in the workplace?

It is not overlooked – but still all too common: the most determining years in a career are between a person’s late-20ies and late 30ies.  This is exactly the time when the majority of couples have children. As long as women carry the big part of the responsibility for bringing up children they will not have as much time and energy as male colleagues and fathers to invest in their careers. Thus, the logical consequence is that women do not move into leadership positions as quickly as men, and thus the upper hierarchies will remain occupied by men and women without children. Fortunately, some countries (particularly the Nordic European ones) show how progress can be made to overcome this dilemma without children bearing negative consequences. 

What do you hope people take away from the ‘Advancing Women in Telco’ sessions at Capacity Europe 2016?

• That diversity and advancing women to leadership positions is in the interest of the companies and society as a whole (and not just in the interest of women)
• Examples of companies and individuals who have been successful in achieving diversity at all levels of telco companies
• The motivation to continue pushing for change in the right direction


Sean Rutter, Managing Director, KWR

Why do you think it’s important to have these discussions?

They impact our mothers, wives, daughters and a huge customer segment! It’s in all our interests that we strive for a meritocracy, diverse businesses are better businesses.

What do you think is the most common/overlooked challenge facing gender diversity in the workplace?

Having children and how this can impact a woman’s career is one of the biggest.

What do you hope people take away from the ‘Advancing Women in Telco’ sessions at Capacity Europe 2016?

That it is not gender diversity for the sake of it but is about a meritocracy and one where women can have a disadvantage when having children.


Gagun Gahir, Regional Voice Manager, International Wholesale, EMEAA, TELSTRA 

Why do you think it’s important to have these discussions?

We all lead incredibly busy lives both at work and at home. Technology enables us to do this – working more efficiently and effectively from anywhere at anytime. My grandmother asked me if I was an air stewardess – it’s the only job she could compute would need so much international travel– funny, she didn’t ask if I was a pilot! Study after study shows that women who work and are financially independent have greater control over their own lives, and bring positive political and economic contribution to their extended families, their communities and their countries. And securing parity for women in business is not only the right thing to do; it is the right business thing to do. In fact, extensive research suggests companies with a strong track record of gender diversity are more likely to have higher earnings than their peers. For example, among all Fortune 500 companies, the ones with the highest representation of women on their boards significantly outperform the others.

What do you think is the most common/overlooked challenge facing gender diversity in the workplace?

It’s very easy to accept the status quo. But, I think we can all have an impact by challenging the status quo. Each office is a microcosm of the industry and change really does start with the tiniest of evolutions. Like any change, this may cause discomfort for some people. One of the most common challenges I’ve come across in my career is the assumption a role has been given to a woman, not on merit, but because of her gender. It can breed an atmosphere of discontent and unhealthy rivalry.  A lot of progress has been made, but we still have our work cut out for us.

What do you hope people take away from the ‘Advancing Women in Telco’ sessions at Capacity Europe 2016?

I hope people come away with an understanding of different experiences that will help them spot the status quo and then do something to change it. Too much goes unsaid and if everyone in the room calls it out the next time they see it, it’ll help undermine older schools of thought and bring us to a more enlightened way of thinking.









All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2017 Capacity Conferences, a division of Euromoney Global Limited