Newsletter No 1

Diversity in Leadership Europe

First international Newsletter

Table of Content:

1. International Workshop Berlin, June 2014

2. Ratna Omidvar’s Keynote Life “Why Diversity Matter”

3. Kick-off Meeting Reggio Emilia, January 2014

4. Partners & Projects from the European Learning Exchange

Berlin: Vielfalt entscheidet
Copenhagen: KVINFO
Dublin: Immigration Council Ireland
London: Diversity in Public Appointments
Reggio Emilia: Mondinsieme

5. Stories & Facts
Success Story: Diversity in Leadership in the board of Mondinsieme
Facts & Figures: Low cultural diversity in leadership positions in German Foundations

Dear colleagues and friends,

We hope you spend a beautiful summer time across Europe!

The European Learning Partnership “Diversity in Leadership Europe” is happy to provide you with the first insights on what is going on good practice diversity projects in the partner cities from:




The partnership is funded by the LifeLongLearning programme of Grundtvig. I’s objective is self-empowerment through knowledge building and sharing at European level and, with that, to boost local projects in participating cities based on DiverseCity.


DiverseCity onBoard initiative of the Maytree Foundation connects qualified candidates from visible minority and under-represented immigrant communities to the governance bodies of agencies, boards and commissions and voluntary organizations in the Greater. Toronto Area. Our sincerest thanks to Maytree for their generous support in the concept development of this project. 

1. International workshop in Berlin, June 3-4 2014

Welcome to Berlin! We are all Berliners!



Thank you to all the participants! Berlin welcomed around 70 participants from more than 20 different cities around the world. The first Diversity in Leadership Europe international workshop was a common project with the Maytree Foundation and the aim was to learn from their DiverseCity onBoard project and how they connected visible minorities to leadership positions. We learned about collecting the Evidence and building sustainable Partnerships. We  success stories from London, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Finally we practiced innovative and interactive methods which allowed us to bring our projects to a next stage.

To get a deeper insight in what we discussed during the workshops, you can easily access the documentation and our website.
For more picture, please have a look at our huge photo gallery!

2. Ratna Omidvar, Why Diversity Matters


Our cities are diverse, our leadership is not“.


To listen to the full keynote speech given by Ratna Omidvar,President of the Maytree Foundation,
see below:

Part 1
Part 2

And here the Graphic Documentation, done by Garbiele Schlipf

3. Kick-off Meeting in Reggio Emilia, January 16-18 2014

DiverseCity onBoard goes European! The official launch and Kick-Off Meeting of the learning partnership took place in Reggio Emila/IT in January 2014 and was hosted by Mondinsieme. The partners developed the working plan, introduced their local projects and set the stage for a common learning journey on promoting diversity in leadership.

Consult the full documentation of the meeting including insights from all partners, their projects and the learning partnership as such. See here for pictures.

Some topics the ELE likes to focus on during the next two years:

  • Collective consulting
  • Smart partership building
  • Evidence building and sharing
  • Funding
  • Marketing & Communication
  • Business Case for diversity
  • External speakers on measuring diversity & on the importance of diversity on governance
  • Social innovation

4. Partners & Projects

Berlin: Citizens For Europe & DeutschPlus
Contact: Catherine Wurth,

Vielfalt entscheidet is a joint project of DeutschPlus and Citizens For Europe and calls for more diversity in leadership positions in Berlin. Nevertheless
boards of universities, public companies and cultural institutions in Berlin are not representing the diversity of its population. Consequently, they do not identify nor serve the needs and interests of the whole city population. This leads to a situation in which services provided by the institutions do not match the actual demand of the diverse population and migrants are degraded to disadvantaged social groups.

  • Collecting the missing data and identifying best practice. To get a better idea, have a look at the recent study on diversity in leadership in German foundations.
  • Praising best practice institutions, such as during the workshop with Wooga. It helps designing processes for institutions that want to rethink their leadership conception.
  • At the moment we are applying for further funding to extend our activities, collect more data from other institutions and sectors in Berlin
  • Soon our website will be relaunched and will offer us to disseminate more information about data, good practices and stories of diversity in leadership in Berlin! We can’t wait and will keep you posted!


Copenhagen: KVINFO
Contact Person: Beatriz Hernandez de Fuhr,

What’s KVINFO being doing since the start of the partnership:

  • Gathering information on the demographic composition of Copenhagen, and  gathering data on how such demographic composition is reflected in leadership positions of cultural institutions and non-profit organisations.
  • Finding out about what are the procedures in Denmark for board nomination and appointment in non-profit organizations.
  • Assessing who are the key organizations who will be able to help KVINFO to map the pool of eligible candidates to be placed on a future roster.
  • Finding out about who could be the core champions who will be committed to help us tell the story to our target groups.
  • Exploring which partner could host and manage the Diversity in Leadership Program
  • Following   the international workshop Berlin, commencing the planning of the second international Learning Exchange which will be hosted by KVINFO in cooperation with the United Federation of Danish Workers 3F in the Copenhagen in November 2014.


Dublin: Immigrant Council of Ireland
Contact: Brian Killoran,

As a partner organisation in the DiverseCity onBoard project the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) has benefited immensely from the opportunity to further develop its ideas and campaigns in several areas.

  • The ICI furthered its work with public transport providers in Dublin, launching a toolkit for its anti-racism campaign which includes substantial work to further develop diversity strategies within the partner companies to reflect the diversity of their staff groups. (To access further information regarding the toolkit, click here.)
  • The ICI has also engaged in a process of developing a leadership programme for 2014/2015 which will build upon the success of previous ICI leadership and mentoring schemes and intends to include an element of facilitating young people from a migrant background who are interested in volunteering for boards of organisations or companies. To further develop this element of the programme, the ICI has engaged with an organisation in Ireland who matches candidates with interested boards. The ICI will be meeting with this organisation in the coming weeks, and hopes to invite them to participate in future planned learning exchanges within the project.


London: DiPA

Contact: Shaama Saggar Malik,
DiPA – Diversity in Public Appointments, is an independent organisation. Its purpose is to promote diversity in public life by guiding and supporting individuals from previously unrepresented groups to successfully apply for Public Appointments. DiPA is currently focussing on:

  • Intensifying its work with the Cabine Office of the UK government to improve understanding the reasons for low representation of Black Minority Ethnics (BMEs) in public appointment, to explore actions needed to make real improvement and network with talented individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Disseminate information about public appointment vacancies in the UK on DiPA website.
  • Develop models to help promote and encourage self-assessment of “diversity in the board” performance.
  • Coaching people from underrepresented groups who have expressed interest in seeking public appointments.
  • Discussions are going on design/support/deliver some form of training programme to help develop the skills of individuals from under represented groups and who may be potentially suitable for board appointments.


Reggio Emilia: Mondinsieme

Contact Person: Nicoletta Manzini,

In Italy, a crucial question is how to promote diversity in leadership in a context in which the social fabric is facing a dynamic transformation, with a growing number of private companies owned by people with foreign origins, but high rates of unemployment among youngsters (43%), and low percentage of professionals with migration background represented in administrative board of firms.

Mondinsieme wants to make companies aware of the diversity advantage and facilitate them the access to qualified works of a diverse workforce. Mondinsieme’s approach focuses on youth and aims their empowerment. Concretely, Mondinsieme strenghtens the network between schools and companies with internships and international exchanges in order to make the diverse youth of today ready for the leadership of tomorrow.

5. Stories & Facts

Aia Radwan,
First elected member of the Board of Mondinsieme,
21 years old

Mondinsieme is a private organisation created by the Municipality of Reggio Emilia to deal with intercultural policies.

Diversity in Leadership:

A story from Reggio Emilia

Aia Radwan: a second generation young woman in the Board of Management of Mondinsieme
The election, held last June 2013, presented a short list of 8 candidates, both of Italian and foreign origins. 92 were the persons entitled to vote, as participants in the activities of Mondinsieme (both individuals and associations). The participation in the election was very high (67%) and showed an investment in the youth, especially  in second generation immigrants.

The winning candidate, Aia Radwan is, in fact, a second generation youngster of Egyptian origin. She is an ambitious 21 years girl, engaged in political and social activities at the local level, and an excellent student of Political Sciences at the University of Bologna.

For the first time the first generation of migrants have trusted with their vote in the second generations proving that an Italian city is ready to accept new challenges.

Diversity in leadership positions in German foundations:
This is the first big study done by Citizens For Europe and a first step to get concise data about cultural diversity in leadership positions in public and private institutions in Berlin. 

Low cultural diversity in leadership positions in German Foundations

In Germany, Foundations shape the public discourse and are forerunner in promoting cultural diversity, inclusion and anti-racism. Nevertheless the results of the study shows that within foundations these principles are missing. Only every 11th person in leadership positions has a migration background and in the major foundations even only every 30.

Citizens For Europe examined approximately 3,000 leadership positions (Advisory Board, Board of Trustees, Council, Executive Board and Management) of the 30 largest private and public foundations in Germany as well as 250 other foundations with legal headquarters in Berlin.

Best practice cases show that diversity benefits the foundations’ organisation and culture. For instance Bürgerstiftung Neukölln and Stiftung Digitale Chancen declare that cultural diversity brings “innovation” and “helps responding to the needs of a diverse society”.

To download the study (in german),

Posted in Newsletter.