Build your Executive Presence & negotiate your way to the top

Studies have shown that promoting women to management and leadership positions increases the output and profitability of companies. Why then is there still a very low percentage of women in top leadership positions globally?

Women face unique challenges when climbing the leadership ladder and navigating corporate dynamics. These challenges range from limiting beliefs and conscious bias to lack of visible role models and sponsors. Even when companies are open to promoting women, these challenges have made it difficult to retain women at top-level positions.

Rise and Lead Women empowers women for leadership and impact. Our Leadership Retreat – Power. Presence. Potential. – has been specifically designed to address these issues and to create a safe space to share experiences and seek non-judgmental insights. With sessions delivered by leadership experts and recognised thought leaders, Rise and Lead Women aims to provide you with practical insights on how to lead authentically while influencing and inspiring your team to achieve a shared vision.

Hosted in the beautiful city of The Hague, the Rise and Lead Women Leadership Retreat will be filled with high-performance workshops, facilitated mentoring circle conversations and opportunities to practice new skills. By sharing wisdom and knowledge about real-life challenges and providing practical solutions, our leaders will be sharing information we believe is crucial for the advancement of women in leadership.

Join our tribe of women who are ready to transform their leadership and expand their influence and impact.

What will you experience at Rise and Lead Women Leadership Retreat?

In addition to hearing from an inspiring line up of speakers and sharing your experience with a group of like-minded professionals, you will gain skills to:

  • Improve your Power of Self – visibility, executive presence and confidence
  • Learn the Art of Strategic communication: how to present your ideas more confidently and gain the support of others
  • Understand your leadership style – and how you impact your stakeholders
  • Lead in a male-dominated environment, without losing yourself in the process
  • Authentically connect with people and develop networks that will assist in reaching your leadership goals
  • Navigate the political environment – advocate for yourself and others
  • Challenge your mindset – to relearn, reformat, and re-energise its thinking in a rapidly changing business landscape
  • Build and nurture your Social Capital, inside and outside of your organisation 
  • Negotiate fairly with a straightforward win-win approach

Participants will leave with immediately applicable skills and a framework for leading teams and forming strategic alliances and unleashing their full leadership potential.

What will we cover?

  • Strategic leadership & the differentiating styles of women in leadership
  • Power and influence – mindfulness & observing ethics in leadership
  • Articulating your leadership stepladder
  • Decision making and problem solving skills
  • Closing the confidence gap and learning to show up
  • Communication & the art of delegation
  • Steps to becoming a thought leader and building your personal brand as an expert in your field
  • Crafting your step-ladder to leadership
  • Presence and personal branding


About The Program Chairs


Poonam Barua

Founder/CEO at Forum for Women In Leadership – WILL Forum, India and Co-Founder of Rise and Lead Women

Poonam Barua is an accomplished business leader, economist, Independent Board Director, CEO of WILL Forum India, and Founding Chairman of the Forum for Women in Leadership, based in New Delhi. She is also the author of the renowned book, Leadership by Proxy: The Story of Women in Corporate India, published by Bloomsbury, December 2015.

Presently, WILL Forum India has over 6000 women (and men) participating from across 250 leading companies and multinationals, and 800 WILL Mentees. She has authored 15 Research Reports including the best-selling “50 Best Practices for Women in the Workplace” and “Balanced Boards for Good Governance.”

She has been awarded the Ford Fellowship for Women in Security Studies, at School of International Studies, Johns Hopkins University (Wash DC); Visiting Fellowship at Henry L. Stimson Center; Fellow at Salzburg Global Seminar, (Austria), and the Advanced Management Program at Wharton School.

Ms. Barua is also Chairing the “WILL Women on Corporate Boards: Series” that is mentoring a robust pipeline of women executives — and certifying more than 500 “board capable and board informed” women executives for corporate board positions, since 2015

Ebere Akadiri

Founder, Rise and Lead Women Forum, CEO, Ataro Foods and Ebere Akadiri Consulting

Ebere Akadiri is an internationally recognised business executive, educator and a visionary leader. She has spent over 19+ years creating and launching successful businesses, teaching entrepreneurial concepts, and mentoring purpose-driven business leaders.

Ebere Akadiri is the founder/CEO of Ataro Foods and Rise and Lead Women. After starting her career at an oil servicing company, she went on to launch her dream business – a successful restaurant –with two branches, five sales outlets and 56 team members.

Ebere holds a B. Tech in Food Tech and Master’s degree in Management and Leadership. Her education, combined with her years of success as a business owner, helps her to teach business leaders to create strong visions of growth for themselves and their companies.

She is passionate about leadership development with a strong focus on women leadership, entrepreneurial leadership, digital transformation, and business strategy.




The Guest Expert


Ingrid Veling-de Block

Founder of Ignite coaching & consultancy – interim professional – Co-founder of Polaris and International coach

Ingrid has held senior HR positions in the international financial services sector
and in the IT sector, at a.o. NN Group & ING Group and RIPE NCC. In her roles
as HR Director, Head of Leadership & Development and Head of Talent
Management, she had the privilege to work with, and coach talented leaders
and high potentials from various countries and cultures. Additionally, she
developed a passion for supporting women in reaching key business positions.
During this exciting journey she gained a wealth of knowledge and a truly
multi-cultural perspective on ‘Work Culture’, Talent Agility and Leadership

In this capacity she experienced periods of growth, mergers, managing during
financial crisis, many reorganizations, innovation initiatives and an IPO.

In 2016, she founded her company ‘Ignite’ and since then works as an
executive & (female) talent coach, a diversity & inclusion consultant, a trainer,
speaker and ad-interim HR manager.
She is the co-founder and Board Member of Polaris (https://polaris.community/), a
professional female network that helps women advance towards positions with
impact and to fulfill their dreams. The group consists of men and women of
different nationalities and different industries/sectors, all working in the
Netherlands. Either in profit or non-profit organizations or as entrepreneur.
One of the achievements of the network is an annual mentor program of more
than 60 mentor/mentee couples.

What drives Ingrid is creating movement in people and teams and focus on
equal opportunities for people to apply their talents.

Recent speaking engagements:

  • Beirut – ITU Conference on women in Tech – speech: why women hesitate
  • Marseille – Women in Tech lunch at RIPE annual meeting – speech: why we need female Role Models and what is a Role Model
  • Amsterdam – Panel discussion sponsored by Netflix – how can we increase male sponsorship
  • Rotterdam – LEAD conference – the incredible power of role models

Simone Filippini

President of LeadershipSDG16s Foundation

Quick learner & fast thinker, able to connect the dots & come up with new concepts. Like thinking out of the box. My driving force: tangible results & generating impact. Extensive experience in complex national / intern. environments. Love to work at intersection public-private-non governmental sectors. Believer in social impact & sustainability as co-drivers of future business & sustainable socioeconomic development. Strong at corporate & thematic positioning & visibility, internationalization and building the right networks in the right way. Proponent of diverse leadership teams. If you just want to keep a ship floating, don’t knock on my door. I always cause movement, future oriented change, innovation & results. Like team work & fun.

Agenda2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals / SDGs represent an inspirational, all encompassing agenda with the potential to drive global transformation. To get the job done, however, we need different – more inclusive, effective, accountable, just & inspirational – (political) leadership & politics: Leadership4SDGs

At present: member Council on SDG16 World Government Summit Dubai, Pres @UNANL (UN Association of The Netherlands; Supervisory Board Netherlands-African Bus. Council @NABC; Recomm. Cie @HollandDance & SIB Groningen; Board Nansen Dialogue Center, North Macedonia; Studiegezelschap Econ. Politiek / SEP

Previously a.o.: ED NIMD, CEO @Cordaid, Dutch Ambassador Macedonia, CG Miami (for Southeastern US & Dutch Caribbean), Head Women’s Rights Dep @DutchMFA (#SGD5, SRHR, 1325, VAW, FGM), Vice-President Board EPD (European Partnership for Democracy); Board GPMD (Global Partnership for Multi-Party Democracy, Member National Board (International Secretary, voluntarism) Dutch political Party D66 – @D66, multiple Board memberships & other voluntary work.

Antonie Knoppers

Trainer, coach, facilitator, guest speaker and actor

Antonie Knoppers is a trainer, coach, facilitator, guest speaker and actor. He
graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University with a Master’s in International Economics and Finance and from the University of San Diego/Old
globe theatre with a Master’s in Fine Arts. He is a guest faculty member at the University of Maastricht, Rotterdam School of Management, and Nyenrode Business
school. He has worked with a variety of corporate clients. His goal in executive
education is to bring out the leader in everyone, by creating presence and a centred mind and body. His experience and business school education enable him to approach corporate challenges with a pragmatic, goal oriented style. Besides
presence trainings, Antonie also gives a variety of other trainings such as hospitality, communication skills, team building, team coaching, story telling and presentation skills trainings.


This program is open for female professionals, mid-managers, managers, senior-level executives, business founders and co-founders, and women entreprenuers


Venue: The Hague Tech
Anna van Hanoverstraat 4
The Hague

Date: September 16 & 17

Time: 10 am – 4 pm

Price: €550  €450


Is there a scholarship to attend this program?

We’ll be awarding three all-access passes to deserving women leaders who do not have the means to participate. To check your eligibility, send your letter of motivation to ebere@riseandleadwomen.com.

Can I sponsor someone to attend?

Yes, you can sponsor your colleagues, employees or your loved ones to attend.

I am a business owner, is this program of any benefit to growing my business?

At Rise and Lead, we believe that as your business grows, your level of leadership grows. Understanding and making room for your business growth is equally important.

Is there a group discount?

Yes, when you register up to 5 people, you will receive a 10% group discount. For corporate organisations, please contact us at program@riseandleadwomen.com.

I’m a man, can I attend the leadership retreat?

Absolutely yes. At Rise and Lead, we believe in balanced leadership and inclusion.


About WILL Forum

The “Forum for Women in Leadership”, WILL Forum India– is a unique and deeply committed mandate that will bring together senior women executives in leadership positions from across corporate India for an open dialogue on their aspirations, opportunities, nurturing mind-sets, mentoring and harnessing the rewards of collective thinking for improving the workplace in the coming years.