The IPWS Leadership Summit Powered by IE Business School

The IPWS Leadership Summit powered by IE Business School was held on Friday 2nd June and we’re still reeling with passion & inspiration from the speakers, the Women Leadership Award Winners and the audience.

This week we’ll bring you further notes from our impressive speakers and keep you ‘understanding power & leadership’ in your daily life and beyond. IPWS hosts the Leadership Summit each year to offer you practical and meaningful ways you can be your own leader, and give our community their own ‘Roadmap to Success’. The Leadership Summit is also a platform to announced & celebrate the Women Leadership Award winners and we’re delighted to have over 200 attendees who joined us.

Let’s take a look through the Summit, and with key summaries shared with us by IPWS Member Elena Mueller.

MC Amelia Chappelow (from the IPWS Board) introduced the Summit with Vice Chairperson Li Rong of the Shanghai Women’s Federation speaking first about the power of women in Shanghai. The city has traditionally been a trailblazing place for professional women in China and we heard how women have the purchasing power in Chinese modern families.

Virginia Tan, our Keynote Speaker & Co-founder and President, Lean In China reminded us that power is seldom given, it is taken. Therefore we as women must step up to do so.

Wenchi Yu Asia Pacific Head of Corporate Engagement, Goldman Sachs shared with us her personal journey working closely with people in power. Wenchi’s life took a turn while working in the US White House while Secretary Hillary Clinton made connections with women all around the world. But while working at Goldman Sachs, Wenchi has also made strides for corporate social responsibility programs and introduced us to the 10,000 Women Initiative. Real power comes from within! If you have purpose you are powerful!

Gianluca Pettiti is the President of  Thermo Fisher Scientific in Greater China and shared with us that the ‘new’ power concept is influenced by time.

Throughout the afternoon, Elva Yao, Managing Director, Zmack and an Applied Improvisation coach, trainer, & facilitator through ZmackWorks Consulting joined MC Amelia Chappelow, on stage for Applied Improvisation.

Elva helped us see the power of applied improvisation through different activities, using the power of agreement (saying “Yes, and….”) and the power of trust & leading (the mirror, leading activity) and there’s many more ideas.

We continued down our roadmap trying to understand power & leadership, and Lorna Doucet, Associate Professor, Business Administration, Fudan University, introduced the role of emotions in being a powerful leader.  Drawing on a mix of research and personal experience, Lorna explained why leaders should develop a fine-tuned awareness of their own emotional experiences and learn to influence followers through the emotions they show. She encouraged us to embrace our emotions, for they are good for us. Emotions help us to be connected with ourselves and guide us to make decisions.


Stand-up Comedian, Erin McGinley, also Head of Language Department at Shanghai Experimental Foreign Language School, reminded us that we should not make coffee at the office for other people. And spend at least 5% of your workday building relationships.

Heini Shi a Professor of Practice in Managment, NYU Shanghai spoke about how Globalization and Digitalization will change the power structure at a macro and personal level for individuals and companies around the world. Problem solving is shifting.

The Summit’s Closing Keynote was by R May Lee, Dean, School of Entrepreneurship and Management, ShanghaiTech University spoke on many aspects of power from her career and spoke personally from her experiences of good power, and stay tuned for we’ll share May’s closing keynote here this week. She reminded us about emotions, they are powerful, but one word of advice from May – never cry in the office! Find a catalyst for your negative emotions outside the office! If you are emotional at work, let them be positive! Show your passion, but don’t cry!

We’ll leave you with some beautiful photos from our Leadership Summit After Party!