Who’s next?

Women leaders // Moderation: Katie Gallus

Next generation of women leaders – What to improve on our way into the digital world?

According to the newest McKinsey study “Women at Workplace 2016”, women are still underrepresented at all hierarchy levels in the modern working world. In this context, on November 24, 2016, Judith Hübner (Coca Cola), Lena Baisch (Zoetis), Meike Müller (goodpoint. Fellows), and Robert Franken (Blogger/Feminist/Consultant in Digital) discussed with moderator Katie Gallus the question of gender equity in business leadership.

Even if companies like Coca Cola offer training programs for women, the underrepresentation of women in leading positions still exists. One of the panel’s basic assumptions: The gender inequity is a system issue. We have to change our minds, stand up and make the society break out of discrimination and stereotyping.

Meike Müller described the typical behaviour of men in business meetings and encouraged women to imitate them. But do women really have to play the role of men to change the game? Judith Hübner disagreed: If you play the role, you change yourself. Nevertheless, inspiration like “Fake it until you make it!” from the – stereotyped – men’s world may be helpful when climbing up the career ladder.

The digitalization offers also chances for women – or men – who take parental leave: Flexible timetables and work locations make it easier for everyone to combine career and family. But employers need to support alternative and family-friendly working times.

The discussion did not only demonstrate different points of view and possibilities to approach the issue, but also opened up a meta-level perspective: By trying to prevent stereotyping of women, you may also stereotype men.


Text and Photo by ESCP Europe.