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International Women in Leadership Convention at Beiersdorf

Beiersdorf HR Board Member Zhengrong Liu.

Diversity as the comprehensive integration of various cultures, experiences and people is an important topic for Beiersdorf. Recently at the Women in Leadership Convention the focus was on an exchange on the topic of leadership, meeting potential role models and the motivation to pursue a career.

Filled to capacity, expectant faces and passionate discussions – that’s how Beiersdorfers know their well-attended events in the auditorium of the Hamburg Research Center. On this day, however, a very special mood was noticeable and it was because of a crucial difference: those present were exclusively women. Well, almost: with Board Member for HR, Zhengrong Liu, there was one single man on the stage for whom the Women in Leadership Convention was a big deal. Companies need more women in decision making positions, more perspectives and a balanced leadership structure – this increases innovation and leads to the better servicing of diverse consumer needs. 

Beiersdorf group photo Women in Leadership
Around 160 German and international "Women in Leadership" participated in the Convention.

About 160 German and international Women in Leadership took part in the event

“Putting women in leadership positions isn’t a question of perceived discrimination. It also isn’t a question of ‘us against them.’ It is much more a strategic necessity for creating diversity and sustainably securing our competitiveness,” said Zhengrong Liu in his opening remarks. About 160 German and international women in leadership accepted his, Diversity Representative Géraldine Weilandt’s and Supervisory Board Member Manuela Rousseau’s invitation. Many more colleagues from around the world were present for the one-day symposium via live stream. 

Beiersdorf woman talking on Woman in Leadership Convention
The event fostered lively conversations.

“There is no feminine style of leadership.”

Various motivational talks, videos from experienced women top managers from Beiersdorf and a podium discussion were on the program. Margret Suckale, one of the few women on German boards and formerly with Deutsche Bahn and BASF, emphasized: “There is no feminine style of leadership – there is only modern and not so modern leadership. Believe in yourself and make mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the more you’ll learn. You all have the potential to climb to the top.” Isabel Hochgesand, Vice President of Procurement at Beiersdorf, called for the necessity of a good network – because success isn’t just about achievement. “Networking isn’t just exchanging business cards. You need a plan. And always move forward, don’t stay in the second row.” 

Diversity Representative Géraldine Weilandt.

The courage to lead

Beiersdorf's Diversity Representative Géraldine Weilandt got to the heart of the goal of her engagement during the event: “With this first Women in Leadership Convention we want to inspire all women to take personal responsibility and at the same time motivate them to advance as strong diversity leaders. Networking, courage and leadership are three essential factors of success that are the focus of the event today.” 

About the editor: Diana Lühmann

Since 2014, Diana has been responsible for R&D Communications at Beiersdorf. Prior to that, she was editor-in-chief of the Beiersdorf intranet and responsible for various HR, Brands, digital and strategic communications topics and projects. For our blog, Diana dives into the fascinating world of research and development and takes us with her to peek behind the scenes of our skin research.