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INTERVIEW

"How would you like to be perceived?"

Regina Mehler, founder and CEO Women Speaker Foundation, talks about the outdated "all-male agenda", her mission to bring more women into public awareness, and Personal Brand Building.

tw/m+a: You stated in the MICE Forum at BOE 2019 that more and more women wouldn't attend conferences with all-male panels, and that organizers are calling you up. How come?
Regina Mehler: Event organizers are beginning to realize that an all-male agenda is not up to contemporary expectations. We need the female perspective on all topics or else these events can no longer be taken seriously.

Which topics are in demand, and who inquires about these?
New Work, New Leadership, AI, Personnel Management, and Digitalization. Corporations planning internal and customer events as well as congress organizers get in touch with us to book keynote speakers which are experts in the respective domains and accomplished presenters.

How do you find female speakers?
We have more than 600 female experts in our database on all subjects. We will negotiate placements only for those female speakers we know and which we consider competent. In addition, we can also draw on a huge community with more than 35,000 female clients, cooperation partners, followers, opinion leaders and subscribers to our social media channels. They all support our mission to elevate more women into public awareness and leadership positions.
     

You want to put females on stage. This is why you quit your job as Director Marketing with Adobe Systems. Why is this so important to you?
As senior manager, I was on the stage with marketing issues and my book title. I was usually the only woman sitting on the panel, and I asked the organizers about the whereabouts of all the other women who had something meaningful to say. The organizers argued that they would have preferred to put more women on the stage, but that there weren't any on the market. So I gradually started acting as an agent for female speakers in my network, because I've learned that stage appearances and visibility of your own topics throughout the industry and your company are network boosters and career accelerators. The Women Speaker Foundation growing from this initiative is a tool to drive change in social values: we definitely need more women in public awareness and in leadership positions in order to assure future viability of our economies and societies.
     
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PHOTO: WOMEN SPEAKER FOUNDATION
     

REGINA MEHLER

Regina Mehler is a corporate consultant specialized on innovation and change management, founder and CEO of the 1ST Row and the Women Speaker Foundation. Her Women Speaker Foundation recommends more than 600 female speakers and is a marketing platform for female experts, lecturers and presenters. www.women-speaker-foundation.de

It seems to be more difficult to put women on stage than men. Why?
There is something true to the opinion that women have traditionally shied from finding their place in the limelight, because we weren't quite as comfortable with the loud'n'proud attitude sported by our male colleagues. But the times they are a-changing: New Leadership calls for distinctness and visibility of your own values, your attitude and your vision. It all starts with the visibility of your own issues, with success and achievements in teams, in communication with customers and in business operations: stepping on to the stage is today part of the game.

You advise all women to invest in their Personal Brand Building. Just how?
The essential question is: How would you like to be perceived? Personal Brand Building is a process in the course of which you carve out your own values, visions, goals, strengths and competencies. This is a strategy to augment your leadership skills, to reach the next career ladder, and by way of your own distinct visibility to establish yourself as your company's brand ambassador.
KERSTIN WÜNSCH
“An all-male agenda is not up to contemporary expectations.”
Regina Mehler, founder and CEO of the Women Speaker Foundation
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