On September 20th, 2022, European Brand Institute in cooperation with the UNIDO and partners such as: ÖBB, Refinitiv, US Embassy, Wirtschaftskammer Wien, invited to the 10th Women Leadership Forum at the UNIDO headquarters. The hybrid event allowed participants to join from all over the world online, as well as the lucky people who joined us in person and got to meet our distinguished speakers.
The focus lied on women who are promoted as important agents of positive change and role models for sustainability, forging important achievements towards sustainable development. This year’s forum aimed to show that it is never too late to change yourself and never too late to begin a new journey. Female leaders, experts and participants from all over the world met on-site at the Vienna International Centre and online to exchange experiences and discuss how to strengthen the role of women and achieve gender equality for the next generation.
Renate Altenhofer, initiator and founder of the Women Leadership Forum, welcomed the international speakers on site and online. The aim of the 10th Women Leadership Forum this year was to raise awareness to the importance of gender parity and equality and a positive outlook for the future. Furthermore, the Forum promoted inclusiveness and visibility of women at all levels of sustainability, as women are important agents for positive change and role models for sustainability. Sonja Kato, managing director of communikato & coaching, our wonderful moderator once again led the day with aplomb. Gerd Müller Director General of the UNIDO, stated the importance of achieving Gender Equality and stop violence against Women as women are peacemakers. “Women are crucial for a sustainable future of our planet.” H.E. Victoria Kennedy, Ambassador of the United States of America, issued, that “If you can see her, you can be her” and that “Life can happen with us, so life can happen for us.” When women achieve high office or business success, they impact and empower future generations of women and girls to follow in their footsteps.” H.E. Laura S.H. Holgate, U.S. Ambassador to the Vienna Office of the United Nations and to the IAEA emphasized that “A woman alone has power, but collectively we have impact”. Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women in Egypt believes that women are the best in decision making and that the next generation will approach higher positions.
The dialogue: ”Cracking the code- Women’s education in STEM’” chaired by Christine Wahlmüller-Schiller, AIT and Founder of the Women ICT and the panels: Mojtaba Tavakoli, Phd Researcher Candidate in IST, Lisa Cichocki, Bristol Myers Squibb Corporate Affairs, Founder STEM fatale initiative, Abisoye Ajayi, Co-Founder and Senior Project Manager at Pearls Africa, Astrid Wieland, Co- Founder of the #newITgirls, Elisabeth Dokalik-Jonak, Managing Director Memocorby Systems and Arti Lalwani, Leader at Risk Management and Privacy Knowledge at A-LIGN, gave insights which measures need to be taken to increase the number of girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and promote inspiring female role models. It was also agreed on that men and women have to work together and that everything starts with the family.
Dorcas Owinoh, managing director of the Lake hub Foundation, stated that women are the social pillar of sustainability as they have to carry a lot of responsibilities, in private and at work. Furthermore Dorcas Owinoh stated that women are important agents of positive change and role models for sustainability, forging important achievements towards sustainable development.
Kasia Greco, Vice President of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a masterclass on why there is a need for leadership development. She said that the business landscape is changing and future leaders will need to acquire new skills to lead effectively. They need leadership skills and organizational capabilities different from those that helped them succeed in the past.
Sustainable finance and the revolution of ESG (Environmental Social Governance) was discussed by the panellists: Aysegül Bayakal, Deputy Director at the Private and Institutional Investros- CEE, Schoellerbank, Melanie Keita, Ceo and Co- Founder of Melanin Kapital, Vera Kocsis, Regional sales Director, Refinitiv, Vania Franceschelli Deputy Chairwoman FECIF and Senior Partner Allianz Bank, Neila Amara, UNIDO expert on women economic empowerment, Cornelia Walch, CSR Manager, ÖBB holding and Tamara Abdel- Jaber, Partner Amam Ventures. The debate made clear as to why women are underrated in ESG and in leading positions. They gave an insight on how women have to face a lot of challenges to get into a leader’s position. Agreeing on Gender Balance Teams, this should be the first step to manage challenges.