Launch of Women in Cocoa & Chocolate network at WCC3

The pace of change towards a more sustainable cocoa and chocolate sector is lagging behind. In addition to women’s economic empowerment, women also need to be consistently included in other links of the supply chain. Solidaridad wants to connect and engage women throughout the cocoa and chocolate chain, inspiring them to increase their sphere of influence and take the lead in changing the industry. To support women Solidaridad will launch the Women In Cocoa & Chocolate (WINCC) network at the third World Cocoa Conference (WCC3) in the Dominican Republic.

WINCC is a place where women working in cocoa and chocolate companies, governments, NGOs, or women working for donors and other supply chain actors, will connect, learn and become inspired to take on a leadership role. To support this, Solidaridad initiated a digital platform on Linkedin and will organize annual events with the ambition to set up working groups. Our ambassadors are women that have a track record in leadership and want to inspire others towards a more sustainable cocoa and chocolate sector.

Top women leaders in panel discussion

The WINCC launch event is organized by Solidaridad in close collaboration with The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) to celebrate the official launch of the network. The programme starts with an introduction by Simran Sethi, a food and chocolate journalist who will guide a lively discussion with three women in top positions: Madame Massandjé Toure-Litsé – Director General of the Cocoa & Coffee Council of Côte d'Ivoire, Cathy Pieters – Director Cocoa Life Program at Mondelez International and Maricel Presilla – an award-winning chef, author and culinary historian. Following the discussion, three women will pitch their project in hopes of support from other women. This will be followed by a brainstorm and a formal launch of the network.

WINCC network Launch at WCC3

  • Launch date: Monday, 23 May 2016 

  • Location: Santo Domingo Room, Bavaro Convention Center, Bávaro, The Dominican Republic
  • Target group: Female decision makers from middle managers up to executive levels
  • Participants: Approx. 100-150

Why a women's network?

While women play a big role in the production of cocoa and the consumption of chocolate, they have little influence in the sector. It’s time to change that. Nowadays women can easily connect and work together in pre-competitive ways, showing their strength in collaboration. This is precisely what is needed to accelerate the pace of sustainable change.

Solidaridad wants to empower women by connecting and engaging them throughout the cocoa and chocolate sectors. We want to inspire them to increase their sphere of influence and take the lead.

Survey shows desire to connect

A survey among the target group has shown that 100% of the respondents see the need for a women's network.

According to women working in cocoa and chocolate professions, main topics to discuss include women leadership and empowerment, enterprise development in cocoa growing communities, women contributions in the sector, influencing and lobby, quality of leadership, best practices and networking events.

WINCC’s proposition to women professionals
Join our dynamic networking and leadership development platform to connect with professional women in the cocoa and chocolate industry. You will find experts and colleagues, both young and more experienced. Whatever stage you’re in, someone is there or went just before you. Join us to share, create and achieve more together. For the love of chocolate.

Connect through our network and annual events
Engage through learning and grow professionally
Inspire others and get inspired to take leadership

For more information, please contact: 

Caroline Lubbers, Interim Programme Manager Cocoa Europe
Twitter: Caroline Lubbers or Solidaridad Network
LinkedIn: Women Network in Cocoa & Chocolate