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Training a new generation of female leaders
Jun 14, 2015
The W30 and W50 programmes, promoted by Banco Santander (through their Santander Universities Global Division) in collaboration with UCLA Anderson Executive Education, are aimed at women from around the world with an outstanding professional career. The intention is for them to adopt the new skills necessary to form part of a new generation of women leaders. While the W30 programme is designed for women with leadership skills and a high level of professional potential in University management positions, W50 is aimed at the same profile but in the world of business.

The programmes feature on-line and classroom training and comprise three modules. The most important of these is the six-day visit to the UCLA campus where the participants attend sessions on: strategic leadership, organisational design, strategic administration, enhancement of management skills and capabilities, and professional orientation and counselling. The other two training stages consist of an intensive preparation, prior to the UCLA experience, and monitoring after the six days on campus to cement the ideas. 

The 72 women selected for this year’s edition came from 12 countries in W30 program and 16 in W50. All of them had extensive professional experience and currently hold senior positions in their companies.

ZLC Finance Director and ZLOG Master's graduate chosen

Pilar Cepero, Finance Director, Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC)

Pilar has a BSc. in Economics and MSc. in Financial Management from the IE. She began her professional life at KPMG and, following four years at the auditors, she worked as a Financial Manager in various companies in the biomedical research, technological assistance and education sectors. She joined ZLC in 2005 as the Foundation's CFO. She complemented her education through courses at Wharton School, the IE and Harvard.

Pilar Cepero summarises her experience on this programme: “I would call it a truly motivating and inspirational experience. Sharing in a leadership course at Anderson School of Management with university colleagues of 12 different nationalities has been a fantastic experience, both professionally and personally.  The content of the sessions and the quality of the teachers, installations and organisation are unbeatable. It is an initiative funded by Santander Universities that, without a doubt, manages to boost the leadership and strategic management capabilities of all the attendees. At the same time, it has allowed us to strengthen an international network in a world that is increasingly global”.

Mary Margaret Behncke, President, Southern California Roundtable Board of Directors for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). ZLC graduate, ZLOG class of 2008.

Effective July 1st, Mary Margaret Behncke is taking on a new role as President, Southern California Roundtable Board of Directors for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).  Currently working part-time at a boutique consulting firm, Transport Solutions LLC, in order to spend more time with her 20-month old son, she previously held various international logistics and supply chain management positions in the US, Spain and Germany throughout her career with both the Maersk Group and Beiersdorf AG.

Mary thinks that “Various studies globally have demonstrated that companies with women on their Boards prove to have better profitability overall, a better return on capital, lower risk and better governance management.  Women on boards and on management teams add balanced perspectives for better decision making.”

She recaps this experience at UCLA University as “Not only was it inspirational to be in a woman-only class sharing stories of the successes, obstacles, and the aspirations we each have to be leaders within our industry, but it was also particularly powerful to have a specific curriculum designed to help highlight the areas women must feel comfortable with and strengthen to gain a meaningful presence within the Boardroom.   I will be practicing these skills immediately as I step into my leadership role on the Southern California CSCMP Board.”


Mary Margaret Behncke and Pilar Cepero

A Banco Santander Initiative

The announcement went out to the almost 1200 universities, institutions and research centres around the world with which Banco Santander works, with support on numerous occasions from their alumni associations.
Since 1996, more than 1,000 million Euro has been invested to support diverse university initiatives and projects.


W30 Program, Class of 2015

For further information: http://www.santander.com/universidades and http://www.becas-santander.com