Conversation with Rose Gottemoeller & Federica Mogherini

December 02, 2020

We loved the conversation we had with them last year, so we're delighted to welcome them back!

Please join us for an exclusive virtual event with Rose Gottemoeller and Federica Mogherini on 3 December 2020 starting at 16:00 (CET). This conversation, moderated by the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to NATO, Marisa Gerards and the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the EU Political and Security Committee, Delphine Pronk, will be an opportunity to catch up with our guests on a personal and professional level. 

One year after leaving their leadership positions, at NATO and the EU, we will hear more about what Rose and Federica are doing now in their new jobs - respectively at Stanford University in California and at the College of Europe in Bruges. How are they experiencing the change? Having both worked inside the large Brussels-based institutions, we are curious to hear "what's it like" to look at NATO and the EU from the outside. 

This event is organized with the support of the Delegation of the Netherlands to NATO. Please note that it is open for WIIS members only. Not a member yet? It's not too late - join us!

Online workshop: How to stand out on LinkedIn

November 30, 2020

Do you want to stand out on LinkedIn? Do you want to know how to attract more views? Do you want to learn how to create and share engaging content?  

Join us on December 1st from 12:00-13:30 and learn from global trainer Petra Fisher how to use your LinkedIn profile to stand out in a competitive environment where people have similar qualifications. After a brief introduction we'll go into more detail of how to do this on your profile and how to do this with active use of LinkedIn. Short presentations and room for Q&A will alternate throughout the workshop. Some quick exercises are also included to enhance the learning. 

Sign up now by emailing us at Please note that this event is for members only and spaces are limited. If you’re not a member yet, join our community and become a new member of WIIS Brussels. Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a Zoom link to join the event. Please do not share this link with others.    


About the trainer: 

‘Cranky old fuddy-duddy claims to know shitloads about LinkedIn. Says she can help global entrepreneurs attract clients’, is the first thing you read on Petra Fisher’s LinkedIn Profile.  

Petra has trained over 3500 entrepreneurs, leaders and other clever cookies and has no intention to stop doing so. Petra lives with a big fat red cat (Bluey) and teenage daughter (who thinks Petra’s brilliant jokes are quite dumb). 

For more info, visit her LinkedIn Profile or website!   

Great news: Due to the huge interest in the ‘Boost your self-confidence’ workshop we will offer it a second time on Friday, January 22nd 2021 from 12:00-14:00. If you were on the waitlist for the first edition, you have a confirmed spot in January. There may be additional spots available on a first-come, first-served basis and we will send out an invitation in due course.

Online training: Boost your self-convidence!

November 16, 2020

Great news: Due to the huge interest in the ‘Boost your self-confidence’ workshop we will offer it a second time on Friday, January 22nd 2021 from 12:00-14:00. If you were on the waitlist for the first edition, you have a confirmed spot in January. There may be additional spots available on a first-come, first-served basis and we will send out an invitation in due course.


Regardless of age, status, or job position, everyone struggles with confidence issues at one time or another. However, self-confidence is an essential asset in coping with everyday challenges and finding personal happiness. Lack of self-confidence is associated with negative feelings and “self-doubt” which makes it hard to make decisions, plan the future and express our potential.

During their workshop on Tuesday 17 November from 19:00-21:00, Andreea and Gabriela invited participants to look within and explore the factors that influence self-confidence in order to understand how we can influence it. 

Andreea Astilean is a Ph.D.Psychologist and Coach accredited by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). She has been working for more than 8 years in international contexts in the learning and development field, helping young professionals and leaders to improve their capabilities and develop new skills needed in their life or work. She is currently working as trainer and coach with people coming from NGOs, public and business sectors. She is passionate about human development and she would like to help others improve their lives and careers. More info you can find on the website or Linkedin.

Gabriela D. Spencer is a laughter yoga facilitator, a life coach and a trainer enthustiastic about gamified pedagogy for adults. She previously worked in IT project management until she realised that ‘helping others to help themselves’ and achieving work-life balance were more important to her. Her interests include (positive) psychology, body-mind balancing techniques, stress management and connecting with one’s inner child. She currently organises online laughter yoga sessions via The Laughter Room, destined to promote well-being and support mental-health through laughter practice. She also facilitates workshops and is available for coaching journeys. 


Photo credits: CC/Flickr: Kiran Foster

Virtual conversation with... You!

October 27, 2020

WIIS Brussels cares a lot about its members, and we want to know how you’re all doing. Our latest check-in call on Wednesday 28 October allowed us to get a sense of how our members are doing and how they see things moving forward. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on many aspects of our lives. Having spoken with many of you in spring, we know existing gender inequalities make women more vulnerable to COVID-19 related effects, particularly economic ones. 
McKinsey’s Global Institute has revealed that women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs. Our consultations with members have also shown that the increased burden of unpaid care-giving responsibilities disproportionally affect women and are having negative repercussions for female self-care. On the bright side, some of you have shared how this crisis also presents opportunities, in domestic as well as professional spheres.
This conversation was led by members of the WIIS Brussels Steering Committee. No information was shared with third parties. WIIS Brussels feels very strongly about offering a safe space for conversations that matter. Especially under the current circumstances, we want to know how everyone’s doing. 

Training: Jobhunting 101: application and interviewing tips from insiders

October 19, 2020

WIIS Brussels held an online training  on 'Jobhunting 101: application and interviewing tips from insiders' on Tuesday, 20 October.


Regardless of whether you are a first-time job hunter, an experienced professional, or someone going back into the job market after a hiatus, this webinar served as a practical refresher of the steps in a typical selection process, offering real-life tips on how to best prepare – online and offline!  


The webinar walked participants through the application process (analyzing vacancies against skills, drafting the CV and cover letter) while providing guidance on how to prepare in order to perform better at the interview (key messaging, video interviewing tips, mock questions).  


During this 1.5-hour session, Katja and Liliana shared their top tips from their experience recruiting and interviewing in the private and public sectors. 



Liliana Pao and Katja Paltiel work at the European Commission in the area of HR Strategy, Talent Management and Staff Engagement. They have a combined experience of over 35 years helping people prepare CVs, cover letters, and interviews. They jointly created this training session in 2015 as part of a new internal Career Week initiative, and have been offering it regularly across the Commission ever since. Katja has extensive background in the area of Human Resources and worked as a senior HR consultant in a top international consultancy, with clients all around the EMEA region, prior to joining the Commission in 2010. Liliana's expertise focuses on Talent Management and Communications. Before joining the Commission in 2010, she managed multinational accounts on crisis, corporate and internal communications in one of the world's leading PR agencies.  

Leverage your personal leadership through EQ! Online interactive workshop with Nadja El Fertasi

May 31, 2020

Life was complicated and filled with stress and competing demands already before the pandemic broke out. Navigating these times of uncertainty and juggling our personal and professional lives at the same time requires different ways of thinking and acting which is not "a one-size fits all" approach. 

This two hour interactive workshop, allowed participants to learn about:

- what emotional intelligence is and how it affects your habit of behaviour and thinking;
- how you can leverage emotional intelligence to exercise personal leadership and feel in the driver seat of your life;
- how to relieve stress through developing new ways of thinking and a large dose of humor;
- how to build personal resilience so you can bounce back from adversity much faster and thrive in life. 

If you would like to learn more about Personal Leadership, you can read Nadja's paper on how to develop Personal Leadership in the Face of Disruption through this link.

Online Leadership Workshop with Isabelle Francois

May 05, 2020

The world is shifting. Has your leadership changed with it? 

Limited to 10 participants, the ‘Leadership in Crisis Time’ workshop held on 6 May was an opportunity to investigate the leadership style that corresponds best to each participant, and to be the leader that they have always wanted to be. Participants were guided through a number of questions and ultimately came to a greater awareness of where they can best contribute to their environment.

About Isabelle François

Isabelle Francois is the President of WIIS Brussels, a leadership coach, and an expert in international security with 30 years professional experience from the Canadian government to international organizations, NGOs, as well as academia and think tanks.

Online Resilience Workshop with Daria Nashat- The Women’s Sanctuary Circle : A resilience game for women who want to thrive!

April 08, 2020

Are you looking for ways to stay resilient and well in uncertain times? Do you want to nourish body, mind, and soul? Are you looking for a supportive community of women who lift each other up? Are you longing for more playfulness in your life? 

Join other women for an inspiring experience that will boost your wellbeing and energy. Invest 90 minutes of your time and connect with your natural wisdom, power and wholeness. Join the Sanctuary Circle to find community and to build resilience!

Join on Thursday, 9 April from 18:00-19:30 Brussels time on Zoom.

The Women’s Sanctuary Circle is limited to 12 participants. Sign up now by emailing us at info (at) Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a Zoom link to join the event. Please do not share this link with others.  

About Daria Nashat
Daria is a resilience and leadership trainer, speaker, and founder of the Women’s Sanctuary Circle, as well as WIIS Brussels' newest Steering Committee member. Her resilient leadership formula combines insights and practical tools on body intelligence, value alignment, healthy boundaries, and peer coaching. She is trained in Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR), Co-active Coaching Fundamentals, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). 

Want to know more? Visit Daria’s website:

POSTPONED - Happy Hour on the Occasion of International Women's Day

March 10, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak this event has been postponed.


On the occasion of International Women´s Day on March 8, WIIS Brussels is delighted to invite you to our next Happy Hour. It will take place on Wednesday 11 March from 18.30 to 20.00 at the Chemin des Vignes, Rue d'Idalie 27.


This year´s motto of International Women´s Day is: “An equal world is an enabled world”. This vision fits very well with the mission of WIIS, which is to enhance women's influence and increase awareness of gender-related issues in the field of international affairs.

The Happy Hour will be a great opportunity for our members and any interested non-members to gather in an informal atmosphere, and to discuss these and other topics. We will also organise an insightful and fun “International Women´s Day”-themed pub quiz.

This event is free for WIIS Brussels members. Non-members are equally welcome and will be charged EUR 10 at the door. WIIS Brussels will offer snacks and one glass of wine per person. 

Women of South Yemen: Securing Peace and Stability

March 09, 2020

Women in International Security (WIIS) Brussels and Independent Diplomat cordially invite you to a special panel discussion on 'Women of South Yemen: Securing Peace and Stability'. The event will be held on Tuesday, 10 March 2020, 09h30 - 11h30.


Moderator & Opening Remarks

  • Laura Semmler, Women in International Security (WIIS) Brussels (Member of the Steering Committee) 


  • Sanaa Mubarak is paediatrician by profession, and a member of the Southern Transitional Council and a founding member of the Academic Forum Muhammed Ali Luqman (think tank organisation).

  • Nadia Hafedh is from the South Yemen Women’s Forum which seeks to increase women’s political participation, connecting grassroots activity to the advocacy efforts in Europe.

  • Sophia Baras is a cultural and linguistic mediator, and a member of the Southern Women Association in Europe, one of the leading Southern Yemeni diaspora networks.

To mark International Women’s Day, the panel discussion will explore the vital role South Yemeni women play in Yemen’s quest for peace, and the challenges ahead for advancing women’s participation in the political process. 

All are welcome to this public event. 

Venue:  Independent Diplomat, Rue de la Science, 14b, 1000 Brussels