A database of board-ready women


The “Women on Boards” working group is dedicated to building/managing a database with profiles of board-ready women, identify, across Europe, qualified women from diverse educational and professional backgrounds for board positions in SMEs, public and semi-public institutions, NGOs, and charities with the support of an HR database search system and a transparent selection process. A guide will be published in June 2016 for organisations wishing to create a resource database. It will include a complete toolkit with recommendations for board selection criteria, guidelines for selection committees to assess applications, online questionnaires for applicants, needs analyses, and tips for awareness raising and brokerage events.

Working group members: Belgium, Italy, Poland, Portugal


  The Sofia Foundation, Belgium

Manager of the Belgium branch of the Female Board Pool database, set up in 2005 by the Center for Corporate Governance at the top-ranked University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and specialising in needs analyses.

Vice-President of the Sofia Foundation: Armelle Loghmanian

Armelle Logmanian was former elected President of Professional Women International  Brussels, the Belgium Chapter of Professional Women Network (PWN) Global, who are also  founding partner of the Global-Board-Ready-Women Initiative supported by the EU.    Armelle is also owner and general manager of DiphoNet, a company based in Seattle and in  Brussels specialising in process improvement, strategic marketing, and new business analysis. 



  Professional Women International (PWI), Brussels

The Belgian Chapter of Professional Women’s Network (PWN) Global, actively engaged in the Belgium branch of the Female Board Pool database.

Representative of PWI Brussels: Clare Mahon 



  Professional Women Association Milan (PWA), Italy

The Italian Chapter of Professional Women’s Network (PWN) Global, the international platform of senior executive and business women, managing a database in collaboration with Bocconi University Milan, and successfully brokering female executives for high-level board positions.

Representative of PWA Milan: Roberta Toniolo & Monica Pesce

Roberta Toniolo is current elected President of PWA Milan. Also, She is VP marketing Emea in Oracle, Milan. Roberta is in charge of managing the marketing for the business application products across the Western European countries. She manages a team 20 people and a budget of 10M$. She is also responsible for planning and execution, interfacing SVP sales and CMO. She holds previous experiences in Sales and development departments.


Monica Pesce is an experienced project manager specialized in strategy, marketing and sales. With 14+ years' experience in B2B and B2C sectors and solid competencies in market and scenario analysis, Monica has developed an expertise in strategic thinking and strategic business planning, proving her ability to solve problems, maximize opportunities and lead teams. In her working experience she helps companies both improve revenues and reduce costs through positioning or re-positioning products and brands, entering new markets or new channels, re-engineering processes. She believes in the fundamental and strategic role of marketing in keeping and increasing market share and its potential.



  PWN Warsaw, Poland

The Polish Chapter of Professional Women’s Network (PWN) Global, in process of building a database of board-ready women using the toolkits and software of the Sofia Foundation.

Representatives of PWN Warsaw: Jowita Bukowinska, Joanna Zakrzewska and Magdalena Czubaszek

Jowita Bukowinska has over 15 years of experience in finance, accounting and social studies. Since 2011, she is President of the Board of the Professional Women’s Network (PWN) Warsaw, a non-for-profit association supporting the development of professional women’s careers through learning programmes, mentoring, and best practice sharing and networking opportunities. Currently Jowita holds the position of Director at ORANGE Group and manages finance, investments and fixed assets process of Orange Labs. She is also the Chief Financial Officer of TP INVEST (Orange Group). In addition, Jowita is experienced in internal control systems, Enterprise Risk Assessment, financial audit, due diligence, and forensic investigation.


Magdalena Czubaszek is Business Development Director for the financial sector of the Outbox Group. She has over 15 years of experience in the IT market, specializing in developed customer experience solution and sales. Since 2011, she is co-founder and board member of the Professional Women’s Network (PWN) Warsaw, a non-for-profit association supporting the development of professional women’s careers. Magdalena is responsible and coordinates the mentoring programme for Poland, and works with the International Mentoring Project. She is an ICC certified coach.




  PWN Lisbon, Portugal

The Portuguese Chapter of Professional Women’s Network (PWN) Global, in process of building a database of board-ready women using the toolkits and software of the Sofia Foundation.

Representative of PWN Lisbon: Mariana Branquino Da Fonseca

Mariana Branquinho da Fonseca was, until last July 2015, partner-in-charge of Heidrick & Struggles’ Lisbon office, which is a worldwide executive search and leadership consulting firm, specializing in chief executive and senior level assignments. As partner-in-charge she was responsible for the office management, business development, coordination and execution of the executive search projects in financial services, healthcare, consumer goods, media and information technology sectors. She is fluent in Portuguese and English, with working knowledge of Spanish and French. She holds a business administration degree with special emphasis on finance from the Catholic University of Lisbon. She is Member of the Board of PWN, a non-profit offline and online.



  Associate Partner PWN Romania, Romania

Representatives of PWN Romania: Virginia Otel

Virgina Otel is a senior executive with more then 20 years experience in the financial sector in Romania, gaining expertise in general management, business development, marketing, corporate communication, human resource management in various financial institutions, such as venture capital fund, securities trading, investment banking, banking, and leasing. She has served on management boards and board of directors of financial institutions she worked for. Virginia graduated from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest with a Bachelor degree in Economic Cybernetics. She completed her post–graduate studies in Management and Public Administration with the National School of Political and Administrative Studies of Bucharest in 1992, and earned a Master’s degree in Management and Public Administration from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom in 1993.

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Programme of the European Union

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