The Power of Generosity – Panel Discussion at Hogan Lovells

"How can women help each other reach the top?" This topical question was the subject of the discussion held in our Frankfurt office on 3 November as part of the "Women of Achievement" series, hosted by Angela Hornberg, founder of Advance Human Capital.

The panel comprised Ana-Christina Grohnert, managing partner and member of the management board of Ernst & Young; she is responsible for HR strategy and organisational development and has been chairwoman of the management board of the Diversity Charter since 2012, as well as Galina Hesse, head of strategy and alliances at the liquid drugs segment of the Sanofi group, and Heike van de Kerkhof, head of the European titanium technologies business at The Chemours Company, a spin-off of DuPont.

The panel members in the photo from left to right: Heike van de Kerkhof, Galina Hesse, Angela Hornberg, Ana-Christina Grohnert 

In the course of their own careers, all three panel members have championed the concerns of other women and plan to continue doing so. Although they are motivated by different factors, they are united in their belief that women can only progress if they themselves champion this cause and actively promote other women. Numerous studies show that mixed teams with a significant proportion of women are more successful. Politicians have already got the ball rolling with the introduction of statutory quotas, but efforts need to be redoubled in order to achieve real change. Like any other corporate objective, an increase in the proportion of women in management positions can only be implemented if it is linked to corresponding measures and is quantifiable. It is important for all women to show a heightened awareness right from the beginning of their working lives. It is strategically clever for women to position themselves in order to help each other. Things will only change if women in particular champion this cause and actively promote other women.

Around 50 participants from different industries took the opportunity to contribute to the discussion and to talk further with each other at the get-together afterwards.

The "Women of Achievement" series of events is part of Hogan Lovells' "Women@HL" programme, under which the firm specifically supports and promotes female lawyers on their way to becoming partners. Dr Katlen Blöcker, Sponsoring Partner Diversity Germany, invites women to a network event held once a year at HL's Frankfurt office, during which well-known guest speakers from politics, business and society ensure an interesting thematic framework.

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