At the invitation of Vice President Dr Sandra von Möller, female specialists and executive staff met for the symposium “Frauen.Macht.Karriere” (Women.Power.Career) at the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Prof Dr Anja Karlshaus, Professor of General Business Administration and Human Resources at the Cologne Business School, represented CBS at the panel discussion. The event title was programmefor the demand of many speakers and participants; that with the help of networking groups more women should be supported to pursue their career goals.
Gender-fair economics as the most important goal
In her introductory speech, hostess Dr Sandra von Möller made it clear that women still find it more difficult to occupy a management position. According to a recent diversity survey, two thirds of management positions in the Cologne IHK district are filled by men – even though women often complete their professional training with better grades. Dr Sandra von Möller continued that digitalization could become an ally of women, as it would allow flexible work, even “from the playground”. The goal of all economic actors must always be a gender-equitable economy, the hostess demanded.
Elfi Scho-Antwerpes, Mayor of the City of Cologne, gave a speech as the guest of honour on the significance of digitalization and change for female careers. She presented the “Digital Cologne” initiative, a networking platform and provider of specialist events for entrepreneurs. The initiative aims to make the economic region of Cologne fit for the future of the digital world. The future viability of the region also includes tearing down glass ceilings: According to a current study, Germany ranks 48th worldwide in terms of women in management positions.
Discussion of the issues of change, innovation and disruption
At the subsequent panel discussion, together with Dr Sandra von Möller, Vice President of the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sabine Haas, Managing Partner of result GmbH, Prof Dr Anja Karlshaus discussed the topics of change, innovation and disruption in companies. Prof Dr Anja Karlshaus reported on a continuing gender gap in the field of MINT: “Unfortunately, it is still evident that young women are shyer about technology than young men. I would like to see more young women, and particularly female students, engaging with digitalization content and tools. Computer science is also a “language” that can be learned. And language and communication competence are actually considered to be typically female skills.”