The Global Female Leaders summit 2022, the economic forum for female leaders, was a great success. We gathered more than 50 world-class speakers and 300 selected participants at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin to share their perspective, expertise, and acumen on the dominant trends of our time and discuss solutions for the daunting political and socio-economic challenges facing us all.
This article gives a brief overview of what the speakers and participants had to say.
In the keynote transportation entrepreneur Robin Chase talked about how mobility needs to be much more than just green.
“I was talking about how transportation is a really important part of our lives, an important part of sustainability and equity goas and I really wanted to bring the idea to everyone that our own personal experiences which might be car dominant first because we are wealthy and live-in wealthy countries in fact is not what is the best for the world or even our own cities.
So, I was trying to bring those reality into the room and make people viscerally feel and think about how we really need to have a car independent lifestyle and transportation system.
I think I was successful in the coffee break afterwards a lot of people told me that it was really thought provoking and changed their thinking and that was really what I was hoping to do.
And I do think women leaders in particular have more empathy than male leaders. And so, I was also trying to bring in who it matters to when we think about transportation in a broader way. And I’d like to think the women in this room are successful because they are very fast learners. So, when they learn something new, they will retain it and brin it forward with them in their work. And I think I’d like to expect that that will happen.
What’s been intriguing to me here is that I typically go to conferences that are in a specific sector. And so, it was really interesting to talk to and go deep with women and with humans that are experts in a huge diversity of sectors. And they are experts in those things that I know nothing about. So that was a delightful surprise. So, I got to get a deeper understanding of things I don’t know much about and don’t think about. So that was really a fun aspect of the last day and a half.”
Polestar’s head of sustainability, Fredrika Klarén, shared her vision for creating a truly carbon-neutral car by 2030.
“It’s really hard to have a peek into another industry where you actually see what is going on, what tangible projects exist that they also could lean on for hope and maybe also contribute.
It’s been so amazing hearing stories from female leaders who are driving change when it comes to issues that are really close to heart for me. Renewable energy, sustainable mobility, work life it’s just been such a learning experience for me. I came here to share what we do, but I’m going to take back a lot of good information and good connections also that I hope that I can make use of going forward.
I think as an industry we need to be more open to cross industry collaboration. We are really trying to promote that a poll store for example bringing in materials from the fashion industry and so on and that will foster a greater pace when it comes to sustainable development and innovation I think, so those types of contacts I cherish greatly, and I’ll do my best to keep close with those women that I met.
We don’t know exactly how to solve these challenges. We have some solutions that we could tap into, but we don’t exactly know how to go about it. And that’s where you need a diverse set of opinions, experiences, knowledges and that’s what women can bring to the table.”
Elke Manjet is SVP, Global Head of Talent Attraction at SAP SE, Germany and hosted one of our think tanks at the Global Female Leader Summit 2022. With her colleague Sophie Bieber and with interested participants, she discussed „The New Normal – How We Work, Grow and Lead“.
“First and foremost, it’s the people who attend here. It’s an amazing line up of women across all industries from across the globe who have impressive backgrounds and impressive stories to share with all of us.
Our mission is to make the world run better and improve people’s lives. So in the latter part, you see the whole topic of global issues, global challenges that we’re all trying to solve as SAP obviously with the software that we’re building, but as well with a lot of engagement in sustainability activities in the broader sense around the world. And to solve those issues, we strongly believe that there need to be diverse viewpoints. We need to have people from all around the globe, from various aspects of the diversity of population, women being one important one that is still to some extend underrepresented and we’re having a lot of initiatives going from attracting great women to SAP, to helping them to grow and contribute to our company’s mission and make an impact in the world in terms of making the world better, ultimately.”
As part of our executive panel discussion, Karolina Korth, Chief Digital Officer and Head of Strategy at Siemens Mobility in Spain, discussed how we can address current and future challenges in cities and mobility.
“I am very much focused on speakers, the quality of speakers and the quality of topics, because for me, it is not only a networking event, but it’s also an event to find an inspiration. And that’s why I found topics that were listed, something that I knew that I would come home, and I will definitely know more in order to do my job better.
It is giving a lot of opportunities for serendipity to bump into someone that perhaps will be your future mentor, that someone will be your future role model. So, you can really get to know more women that you can admire and start following on social media and perhaps keep meeting at the events like that in the future.”
Aya Jaff is a Forbes 30under30 entrepreneur and author. She is also Germany’s most famous female coder. Therefore, she talked in her spotlight about Millennials and the digital future.
That’s why she talked about Millennials and the digital future in her spotlight.
“So, the way I’ve connected with the women here is quite astonishing because we have been talking like behind the cameras, too. Even when putting on make-up, like, right before going on stage I was still talking about the presentation I was going to do, and they had so many words for it. We had a lively discussion on if it matters to have, like, in my case, digital supermodels or not. I just love the energy.
I heard much more women talk about their own opinion when no man is around. To be honest. Men take up space and when they’re invited, the like to take up space. But in this case, every woman had her own turns and made sure that her voice is heard.”
Allyson Stewart-Allen is CEO of International Marketing Partners Ltd. and discussed her learnings from international business failures with attendees at our think tank. Additionally, she spoke on how to win globally and locally.
“So, I mean, there’s a number of ways to use a network and for me, the network that I’ve established in the last few days of being here at the Global Female Leaders Summit will be in a number of ways. In one way, it will be friendships, but it is also my own professional development, learning about different industries, learning about different companies, how they do things.
So, it’s really important that I keep learning if I’m going to stay fluent on trends. And I think having a network how that includes even more international female leaders that has to be a good thing for my own work and friendship is very important, too.”
In her Spotlight, Simone Menne talked about the role of female leadership in the economic recovery. She is member of multiple supervisory boards (such as DP DHL, Henkel, JCI and Russell Reynolds) and president of the American Chamber of Commerce and gallery owner.
“Well, I think for female talents and future female executives, it’s a really great summit because you meet young, but also older experiences female leaders you can exchange and at the same time you get presentations which bring you further. So, it’s a combination where in two days you can get it all.
So, I would definitely recommend it to younger leaders!”
Angelika Huber-Straßer is Head of Corporates at KMPG Germany and spoke in a think tank about the challenge of the new reality and on how to balance profit, people, and the planet.
“The difference between the Global Female Leaders Summit and other female conferences for me, is that we are not talking about how we can foster women in leadership. We really talk about business; we really talk about the society and we really talk about geopolitical issues. And I think this really makes a difference because there are women can make a difference for a better world.”
Angie Gifford is Vice President EMEA at Meta and in her spotlight session she talked about the Metaverse and what it means for your business.
“So, it’s very important that you bring females much more in industry leading topics, in business topics. And I think DNI initiatives are all great, but at the same time I think it’s the female who can bring the business to the company, it’s the female who have the purchasing power and I think it’s super important they’re going to have a seat at the table when we talk business.”
“For me, the presentations are valuable because they inspire and then there are think tanks where I can talk to people on specific topics. I mean, for me, honestly, the leadership part is very important as a coach and also, I start teaching at a high school on leadership. So, it’s very interesting to see what are the hot topics, what are the mental health topics and also to see it in the think tank, but also to talk to people.”
“I found that I was meeting so many people from so many different walks of life in so many different industries and if someone like myself who comes from hospitality, most of the conferences I go to are of people within that topic and I found that Global Female Leaders were so enriching because I got to connect with so many people across the globe on so many different fields that they were in, but came together and brought their experiences and their wisdom here. Great networking. I think that it’s a really nice forum for anybody who wants to understand that women are doing across the globe and how women are actually impacting the world.
What I also found really nice is that people are really good at sharing their own contacts and introducing one another. It’s a fairly intimate group. It’s not a thousand people at a summit like this. So, I found it intimate and, you know, it was very friendly. It’s a very friendly summit.
Women sometimes feel very alone in being in these positions of leadership. And I think that this gives you a sense of belonging and connection. You think, Oh, they’re it’s inspiring because there’s so many women out there doing so many great things, and it gibes you a great motivation because you think, oh, I’m part of something great.”