RML is a business network for women and a space of trust, reflection, knowledge sharing and business improvement, in group and in bilateral contacts.

Its members are women executive board members of high performance companies, many of which are PME Líder or PME Excelência (SME Leader and SME Excellence, national awards for financial performance).
RML aims to connect to international networks of business facilitation between women.

Benefits for the women entrepreneur

  • peer learning
  • advisory board or peer advising
  • fostering alliances and business between members
  • connection to international networks

The journey

Over the last few years, there were several studies about the correlation between organizational excellence and gender diversity in top management.

A number of independent researchers and large consultancies have argued that companies in which gender diversity extends to the top of the hierarchy present:

  • Better operational and financial performance;
  • Increased innovation in business;
  • Improved group performance and increased problem-solving ability;
  • Relevant reputation gains.

In order to give visibility to gender diversity as a way to increase innovation, competitiveness and high performance in companies, IAPMEI launched the RML, Rede Mulher Líder in 2017.
The project was co-created during 2016 with a group of industrial and knowledge intensive business services SME’s. It was designed and implemented with a group of 15 women entrepreneurs, belonging to 14 companies.

The entrepreneurs value:

  • Identifying identical situations in different realities and with diverse responses. That sometimes leads to a change in their strategic framework.
  • Sharing experiences. It allows them to break down isolation, step back from their management routine and think about aspects related to the business instead of reacting to daily operational demands.

Woman’s requirements

The woman needs to be president, executive member of the board, director-general or middle manager preparing succession. Female top managers with:

  • willingness to share their experience and to absorb experiences from others in a peer-to- peer capacity building process and exchange of good practices.
  • capable of respecting spaces of trust and confidentiality associated with the exchange of information within the RML.
  • interest in taking advantage of national and international networking for the valuation of their businesses.

Company´s requirements

The company needs to be high performing and have tradable goods although not necessarily an exporter, in the following sectors: industry, T-KIBS, logistics and tourism (with differentiating projects). Or, if it is Commerce, it has to have relevant export activity.

Women will be automatically admitted as members of the network if they are top executives of:

  • companies with PME Líder or PME Excelência statute.
  • big companies with solid reputation
  • fast-growing startups with a minimum of three-year track record of sales and sales in the last year above 500 thousand euros.

All other cases will need to be evaluated by the Managing Commission and the evaluation is made on the profile of the woman, her specific competencies to contribute to the Network and the profile of her company.

*  Aldina Coimbra, Embeiral Group  Carla Carreira, Macolis  *  Carolina Breda, Bresimar  *  Mara Almeida, Ename  *  Marta Araújo, ex-Castelbel  *  Marta Casimiro, Panidor Group  *  Sónia Calado, DRT Group  *  Rita Nabeiro, Adega Mayor  *

Although IAPMEI, the state agency,
remains on the project as facilitator, seven women entrepreneurs are co-managing the project, insuring its independence and continuity.

The management team of RML:

Amélia Santos, Innuos | Ana Roque, Porcel | Filomena Frade, Louritex | Lídia Tarré, Gelpeixe | Mara Almeida, Ename | Marta Casimiro, Panidor Group | Sónia Calado, DRT Group | Rita Seabra, IAPMEI, State Agency