have never done that before, so I am probably good at it.“ The motto of Pippi Longstocking is the mantra of Anne Kjaer Riechert. During the refugee crisis the young woman asks herself: What can I do? Through conversations in an emergency shelter in Berlin she realizes that among the refugees there are many IT talents eager to learn. Convinced that technology can bring people together to find new solutions to old problems, the Dane founded the ReDI School of Digital Integration in 2016. In her keynote speech, Kjaer Riechert talks about her experiences and lessons in setting up the ReDI School, first in Berlin, later in Munich - and about Mark Zuckerberg's visit. She talks about her work as a mentor and ambassador for the "Grace Female Accelerator" and about the need to support the next generation of female leaders.
This is exactly what the two organizers, the IMEX Group and tw tagungswirtschaft, are all about. She Means Business wants to encourage, motivate and inspire its participants to realize their ambitions. After all, women still don't have the same educational and professional opportunities as men in any other country.
"It's not just a women's issue," emphasizes Dr. Martina Niemann: "We can only be successful if women and men, politics and business work together." Niemann is not only Vice President Lufthansa HR Management: The Federal Chancellery has appointed her as Germany's representative for the international Business Women Leaders Task Force (BWLTF), initiated at the G20 Summit 2017 in Hamburg. In her lecture "Getting to equal is not a 'women-only subject'" Niemann talks about the participation of women in business and the Lufthansa Group's commitment to more diversity, equal opportunities and the promotion of women.
Gernot Sendowski stands for the fact that this topic concerns women as well as men and that change is only possible together. "I am speaking at the 'She Means Business conference', because also men need to advocate change towards #BalanceforBetter," says the deputy chairman of the board of the corporate initiative Charter of Diversity and Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Deutsche Bank. Sendowski explains how important diversity is in the world of work and how it is becoming even more important.
This glimpse into the corporate world inspired the nearly 400 participants of the first She Means Business 2018 in the session "Women in Business" a year ago with UBS and SAP. They wanted a repetition and role models. The new session "Women in Events: My story" will follow suit. Nelly Mukazayire, CEO of the Rwanda Convention Bureau, Fay Sharpe, VP EMEA Communications, CSR & Commitment, BCD Meetings & Events, Ping Liu, CEO & Founder of China Star, and Karen Bolinger, CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau will talk about her family, her country and her career.
"Grit & Grace" is the name of the keynote by Anne Kjaer Riechert, Co-founder of the ReDI School of Digital Integration. PHOTO: KAY HERSCHELMANN
The focus of the conference in English is on learning with and from each other and building networks. The exchange with male colleagues, superiors and employees is expressly desired. "We created the international conference 'She Means Business' because we believe that the exchange of stories and thoughts is the most powerful lever for women to talk to each other and with men, to work together for diversity and gender equality," explains Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.
Uwe Krohn doesn't have to be convinced. The Senior Vice President Sales of H-Hotels AG has supported the She Means Business from the very beginning and will be there again in 2019 as supporting partner. The same goes for Heike Mahmoud, Chief Operating Officer of CCH - Congress Center Hamburg. Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH has a high proportion of women in management positions. Mahmoud herself is a good example: last year she was the first woman in CCH's 40-year history to take over its management. Mahmoud: "We would like to encourage women to develop more self-confidence and thus take on more responsibility."
The round table session is also about self-confidence and responsibility. The topics come from the community. Twelve "theme sponsors" will present their theme and then exchange ideas with interested parties. The topic of Karin Ruppert from the Famab communications association has already been decided: "She Means Mentoring - an initiative for women in events". Also by Melanie Schatkowski and Verena Unden from the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC): "Young female in the events industry - As respectable as a male counterpart!” KERSTIN WÜNSCH