Lenovo supports diversity by partnering the fifth Women's Forum for the Economy and Society meeting

Lenovo continues partnership with this year's forum in Deauville, France, from 15th to 17th October 2009

(PresseBox) ( Paris, France, )
Lenovo, a global leader in the personal computer (PC) market, has extended its relationship with the Women's Forum Global Meeting by supporting the 2009 edition which theme this year is: "Think again. Think ahead! It is time for action, change and hope"

Now in its fourth year of supporting this unrivalled global meeting for leaders from business, government, academia and cultural circles, Lenovo is proud to participate in developing sustainable solutions to key social and business challenges.

On the top of its active participation to discussion panels, Lenovo will also provide 60 notebook products for use during registration, as well as in the business partner lounge and the WiFi internet café and for back office management. Lenovo will also be contributing funding from the Lenovo Hope Fund, which supports organisations in which employees have actively taken upon a volunteer role.

Diversity: a key driver for business innovation

During the forum, a key theme under discussion is driving business innovation in the context of a globalised world. On Friday, 16th October, the session "Business Innovation: The Upside of the Downside?" will discuss both new demand and opportunities in business, the difficulties of motivating talent in a recession, and the requirement to make large corporations nimbler and more entrepreneurial. Catherine Ladousse, Lenovo's Executive Director Corporate Marketing and Communications for Developed Markets will participate in the debate. During this session, Ladousse will provide insight into managing innovation regardless of national boundaries.

"The global economic downturn in the autumn of 2008 served as a catalyst for Lenovo to shift its business strategy. We leveraged our Worldsourcing strategy and adopted a streamlined borderless markets management model to better address diverse customer needs taking into consideration regional differences." says Ladousse. "It was clear that we needed a business model that crosses borders as easily as data and map our customers based on profile rather than traditional regional boundaries."

In the session, Ladousse will share her practical experiences of working in an innovative business culture: "Countries may be geographically separated but often share common customer buying behaviours. Our structure is aligned to focus on those behaviours in Emerging and Developed Markets*. This enables Lenovo to better leverage cultural and market synergies that exist between similar regions and to adapt our product portfolio and how we go to market. Lenovo lives innovation every single day; cultural diversity and business innovation are an integral part of Lenovo's DNA", says Ladousse.

Diversity creates stronger management environment

An exciting development this year, involving Lenovo and other key companies, is the creation of the Diversity Club which aims to bring together companies that are engaged in the promotion of diversity, one of the core values of the forum. Diversity management extends far beyond the gender debate. Globalisation, changing community behaviours and demographic challenges present today's global businesses with new issues around diversity.

The Diversity Club will host roundtables during this year's Forum to discuss diversity as a source of competitive advantage. Isla Ramos Chaves, Director of Strategy and Business Optimization for Lenovo Western Europe, will talk about how embracing diversity contributes to a stronger management environment in a global organisation such as Lenovo.

Diversity : a core Lenovo value

Lenovo values and respects diversity and cultural integration as the foundation of its heritage. Lenovo's diversity policy aims to unleash and enable the extraordinary talent of our globally diverse workforce to spark the innovation and creativity to lead in the market place. By leveraging both the similarities and differences of our diverse workforce we are uniquely able to meet the different cultural needs of all our customers; attract, develop and retain top talent; and create a workplace where employees are inspired to achieve their greatest potential.

According to Lenovo's Human Resources Director for Western Europe, Francesca Spada, the company actively promotes diversity throughout its work force. "We are continually energised by the unique individuals within our organisation and celebrating these differences is ingrained in our corporate culture", says Spada.

Lenovo launched the "Women In Lenovo Leadership" (WILL) programme in 2007 to increase the number of female employees throughout the organisation. Locally and at a global level, WILL encompasses events, programmes and HR processes to enhance "work-life-balance", mentoring, coaching, networking, training, and external partnerships with other players engaged in women diversity.

Spada added, "By bringing together people from different backgrounds, with vastly different perspectives, we can delve into an idea generation pool that can feed off each other and pave the way to a more successful global economy and society."

* Emerging Markets organization includes: China, ASEAN, India, Hong Kong/Taiwan/Korea, Turkey, Russia, Middle East/Egypt/Pakistan (MEEP), Africa and South Africa, and Eastern Europe. Developed Markets include: United States, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, Israel, and Global Accounts.
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