Professor of Entrepreneurial Finance at the Technical University of Munich and Member of the Supervisory Board of Linde, Munich Re | TU Munich, Linde, Munich RE
Topics Digitalization and Female Entrepreneurship – which challenges and opportunities are most important related to the financial industry?
New companies must not only emerge in Germany, but also be able to grow into larger companies – accompanied by financiers who support them with notable capital, but also with their experience and contacts. Further expanding these efforts in Germany and rapidly expanding them in view of the pace of digitisation is a major challenge. It can make sense to provide special forms of support for female founders. There are impressive new approaches here. It is important that they accompany the entire chain and already take effect at the universities. The successful female entrepreneurs who develop here will also be an incentive for many others!
Founder & CEO | Global Digital Women
Why did you create the DFLA?
The Digital Female Leader Award shows: Digitalization depends on those who design it! We need more visible and diverse stories from digital pioneers, because role models motivate and inspire! I’m looking forward to all the stories at #DFLA 2019!
Former Federal Minister
Why do you support the #DFLA2019?
I support the DFLA because it shows in many different categories how many amazing women the digital scene has to offer who do great!
Dr. Jan Ising
Managing Director & Life Science Industry Lead ASGR | Accenture
What soft skills are needed to shape digitization?
It is important to be open to change and to want to learn from it. New tasks and professions are emerging which, for example, require creativity and consistent interdisciplinary thinking. In a globalized world, you have to think and work in a cross-linked way and adapt to different ways of thinking and approaches. Change processes in the course of digital transformation also need good communication. Providing the right platform is not enough. For a company to meet and grow with the challenge of digital transformation, employees must be encouraged to get involved. Fears must be overcome and framework conditions created in which everyone can exploit their full potential.
Head of Group HR | Klöckner
How important is it to give digital women a stage?
Digital change is the biggest influencing factor in our economy and society, which has a particular impact on the people and culture topics of a company. (Gender) Diversity plays an enormously important role in the successful management of this change and we are therefore happy to help making (digital) women even more visible.
Kenza Ait Si Abbou Lyadini
Senior Manager Robotics & Artificial intelligence | Deutsche Telekom
What is the greatest benefit one experiences as a winner of the DFLA?
For me the biggest benefit is the visibility. After the award many people reached out to me for interviews or to invite me to key notes and panel discussions. The latter is something I did before, and I enjoy discussing AI and Robotics topics, the difference now is that the audience is much broader than I had before. And my visibility not only raised in the AI community, but also within Deutsche Telekom. Our CEO, Tim Höttges, congratulated me for the award too!
Juan Perea Rodríguez
Head of Public Sector Central Europe and Member of the Management Board at Fujitsu and Initiative D21 | Fujitsu
How important is diversity for the success of a corporation?
I want to answer with another question: Take a look at the real life…what are the best teams? The answer is: Always the mixed one. Never the best skilled only, never only men, never only specialists, never only woman, never always the youngest or the oldest. A Familiy, a Team, Friends, a Company, even in Nature diversity is the most stable and long lasting combination. And the results of this groups are always more successful in the long run. Why don‘t we try to copy this to our business life?
Head of Global Digital Products | PAYBACK
How do you become a winner in the digital economy?
Winners in the digital economy are characterized by the competence not to think in categories like “digital” and “not digital”, but to dissolve these supposed opposites. Even if our everyday life becomes more and more digital, the analogue world will never disappear – nobody acts and communicates the whole day only by digital means. In the future, art will be more and more about meaningfully interlocking the “old”, the analog with the “new”, the digital, building bridges and taking into account all communication channels. Only those who manage to take everyone on their own digital journey and always think from the customer’s point of view can win in the long term.
Emilio Galli Zugaro
Chairman | Methodos
Making the world more digital and female – why is that important?
… Because we need to shape our future and that is both male and female. Men already have their share of power to shape, women have to grow theirs. Which is why I would like to contribute to make this happen. Really.
Editor in Chief | Deutsche Welle
Why should the world become more #digital and more #female?
The world is becoming more digital every second – instead of watching, we should shape it, question it, improve it! Online journalism by strong women can make a big contribution. Through good journalism, we try to help turn digital hate into digital compassion. If we succeed in this, we will also make our world a better place.
Group Chief Transformation Officer | UniCredit
Digitalization & Female Empowerment – how does this fit for you?
Many people expect that digitalisation will put more emphassis on soft skills (skills that typically women are credited for) and overall provide opportunity for women to advance. What we see though, is a domenance of male dominated tech firms and investors that tend to discriminate against female led enterprises. On average tech companies fall far behind other sectors in gender equality. Thus, while there are opportunities for female empowerment, so far it is not obvious how to realise them. To leverge on digitalization to desing new ways of working and a world of more equality, we all (men and women) need to collaborate to bring out the opportunity and avoid falling into old habbits – it will not come for free.
Chief Human Resources Officer and Member of the Managing Board | Siemens AG
Female Empowerment & Digitization – where are the greatest opportunities?
The digitally connected world demands creativity and great adaptability from us. These success criteria are often found in diverse teams. Organizations can no longer afford to think and work in monocultures. In order to get closer to the goal of equal rights, countless women and men work every day for more gender balance. We can make targeted use of digitization: by networking and by making inspiring stories and successes visible. In this way, we can encourage young women with new role models to pursue careers in the tech and digital industries.
COO | comdirect bank
Topic financial independence: what is your “pro tip” to all digital women?
Use digital offers and possibilities, there are plenty of them. Whether it’s a digital household book, online magazines or apps that bring you closer to financial knowledge. See what makes sense for you and share it with your community. Pass on what you found fun in and what is a good way for you. So others can learn from you and you gain a good overview of the possibilities. Once you have taken the first steps, you will find that it is fun to deal with your finances!
Director Amazon Business DE | Amazon
How important is social media for a large corporation?
Change of perspective: What is important for customers? This is the benchmark by which we measure the relevance of our services and innovations, and also the relevance of the channels through which we are visible. This means more and more “mobile first”, and also presence on the social networks about which customers inform themselves before and during their purchase decisions. I also recognize this in my own usage behavior as a consumer.
Vice President International Content & Brand Strategy | Refinery29
What are your three top tips to all women who want to become corporate influencers?
1. Stay true to who you are: Only those who identify themselves with their company/brand can represent it externally and be thereby successful.
2. Create something that matters: Find out what makes you different – even a niche can be big and have a wide audience.
3. Approach the approachable: Be present! Private things also belong on stage – show the ups and downs that make life and the job worth living.
© Dan Zoubek
Former Head of Marketing & PR | DB
Digitalization & Female Empowerment, how does it fit for you?
Digitisation is another positive driver for the empowerment of women in business, politics and society. Power and information sovereignty no longer lie exclusively in the management floors, which are usually staffed by men. Information and data can no longer be distributed patronisingly. They are accessible. Women now have a substantial chance of real cultural change and thus access to the executive floor. The digitalisation of our society gives us more communication platforms, a visible voice and the necessary technical and spatial flexibility.
Head of Public Relations | Telefónica Germany
What are your three personal success factors for a digital work day?
First: Starting the day with a Social Media-scan. First thing I do every morning is to scan my networks on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This is a kind of ritual for me, next to reading traditional media. This way I start the day very well informed. Second: digital learning. Whenever possible I use free time or waiting time during travel to learn something. Sometimes I listen to a podcast about a specific topic or take a lesson on a learning-app. This way I am not only learning new things. I also get the good feeling of doing something for myself. My third success factor is: switching off! If I meet a business partner for a talk, my smartphone stays switched off. Because this is the only way to really have a conversation.
CEO | DHL Consulting
What are the advantages of using social media to give insight into your professional world?
Social media is advantageous when used holistically in your professional life. When you know what you stand for, what you’re passionate about, and what you want, you can be part of the conversation on a much broader scale than your day-to-day physical setting allows. The key is to be social: make connections online but follow them up offline, discover new approaches and test them in the real world, follow your heroes but don’t be afraid to challenge them and be part of the debate. In that way, social media helps you learn and develop the skills you need to be successful.
Global Diversity & Inclusion Lead Intelligent Enterprise | SAP SE
Why is diversity an important issue for every company?
In 2001 Ray Kurzweil predicted that every decade our overall rate of technological progress was doubling, “We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).” At these speeds of change, enterprises need to be innovative, agile, and constantly ready to adapt. In a monoculture where members stick to the motto, “this is how we’ve always done it…”, change will be slow and painfully difficult. Only diverse ecosystems can create ideas, adapt quickly, and innovate at the speed necessary to keep up with the law of accelerating returns. But diversity alone will not cut it. It is only in diverse AND INCLUSIVE company cultures that people are able to be their best and innovate to their fullest potential, because they don’t spend unnecessary energy on hiding who they are.
VP Leadership Development & Culture | Deutsche Telekom
Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President Engineering | Bosch
Why is Diversity so important for companies?
Developing complex products for markets all over the world benefits from different perspectives. Different perspectives provide impulses for creativity and new ideas and are thus drivers for high innovative power. Company founder Robert Bosch recognized this early on and established cultural diversity as one of his corporate values. Bosch sees diversity as essential to the company’s success and to its attractiveness as an employer. Diversity is an integral part of our corporate strategy. The concept of diversity is not limited to different cultural backgrounds or the proportion of female and male associates, but encompasses the sum of the different ways of thinking, experiences, perspectives, and lifestyles of all associates around the globe.
Chief Financial Officer & Managing Director | NTT DATA Germany
Do women really need their own Digital Leader Award?
Yes, because all the great females shaping the digital economy need to be more on display.
These are my recommendations: First, don’t wait for a prince to discover you and your talents. Be brave and show up! Second, look out for opportunities and shape them. Go out and take responsibility. The greater the assignment, the more you can make happen. Third: Celebrate your successes, no matter how big or small they are. And afterwards, talk about them!
Head of Talent Acquisition | Deutsche Bahn
Digitalization is an opportunity for Deutsche Bahn: new services, comprehensive improvements for our customers, more capacity. But we can only make these enormous changes with strong tech experts, developers, project managers and changers. #femaletalents can make the difference!
Deputy Chief Editor | Myself
Why are role models so important?
Today’s business environment is hardly different from the one we have seen a decade ago. Actually, most of the CEO`s in leading industrialized nations are still white males in their mid-50s. They tend to promote candidates very similar to themselves – hereby breeding the next generation of uniform business leaders. To change this setting and environment, we’ll need more variety and diversity at the very top. Only a good and solid mix of male and female leaders, different perspectives and points of views will send a strong message to aspiring leaders and candidates from all walks of life, that “you can be a leader, too”.
Marie Moraeus Hanssen
Stellv. CEO | Wintershall DEA
Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer | brands4friends
Why do you support the # DFLA19 and what does digitalisation in relation to lifestyle mean to you?
We need smart innovators and entrepreneurs. They are not only important role models for the following generations of young female managers, they also change our working world positively. The digital transformation has also fully captured the fashion and lifestyle world: technical innovations change the production of clothing, classic sales concepts are transformed by e-commerce and new forms of marketing. I am impressed by women who successfully combine tech competence and business know-how with lifestyle and joie de vivre. Having your own ideas and creating something new. That’s why I’m delighted to join the # DFLA19 jury and meet many of them.
Chief People Officer | Free Now
What does innovation mean to you and why is it so important for you?
Currently there are 700 people from 68 countries working for us. To be able to grow our company and business further, we constantly need innovative thinkers from all over the world, that support our mission and values and bring in fresh thoughts. Each new idea is welcome. Together, we want to take our product to the next level and steadily look for improvements. This is possible with an open work environment that encourages people to be themselves, to embrace diversity and to motivate each other on a daily basis.