Breaking the glass ceiling – Women in Leadership Conference at Constructor University
The Women in Leadership Conference (WIL) empowers womxn with diverse academic and professional backgrounds to take charge of their careers and put themselves on the path to leadership. The student-organized event took place at Constructor University in Bremen this past weekend. The theme of the conference was "Breaking the glass ceiling".
The Conference Hall of Constructor University in Bremen was full this past Saturday and so was the agenda. Maja Feldt, Managing Director of the university, welcomed engaged students, faculty and guests who joined the Women in Leadership conference to listen to speakers from all over the world, from various social backgrounds and with different careers. Among them, Joumana Seif, legal advisor to the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, Hazar Ghazal, a Syrian educator who stayed in Syria despite the war to continue teaching. Valerie Khan, consultant in Child protection in Pakistan as well as Dorothea Deeg, manager at Bavarian Red Cross who was deployed to Ukraine, Air Valley and supported the G7 Summit.
“I loved that we were able to incorporate many humanitarian topics this year. The stories from women who come from countries in crisis were very touching. Hearing about their struggles but even more so about how they deal with and overcome tough situations, was very inspirational,” said Anna-Sophie Stritter, one of the main student organizers.
Another highlight was the panel on “Women in Academia” featuring Constructor University’s own Prof. Dr. Klaudia Brix, Prof. Dr. Sonia Lippke, Dr. Julia Timpe and Dr. Radwa Khalil, moderated by Dr. Eoin Ryan. “We were thrilled to win such amazing women for our event. It’s especially great to hear from women we meet on a regular basis about their approach to breaking the glass ceiling,” said Salma El-Atassi, the second main organizer. Further speakers were Dr. Anneke Immoor, a post-doc at Constructor University, Ann-Kathrin Vetterl, principal at the Boston Consulting Group, and Mirela Sula, CEO & founder of Global Woman Magazine.
Both, Salma and Anna-Sophie, were impressed by the multitude of approaches and perspectives on this year’s theme which was not only represented in the speeches but was also picked-up through an Art installation: guests and speakers were invited to write down their thoughts on post-its and hang them on a clothesline in the foyer. The main take-away for both young women was the advise to find a strong female mentor to guide them through uncertainties on their path to finding fulfillment and success in their careers.
Undergraduate students at Constructor University have been organizing the conference since 2015. Community Coordinator Anna Pelz as well as Multimedia Officers Kai Mettler and Karim Tariq Abualrish supported the students in terms of logistics and technical set-up. The event was generously sponsored by the Undergraduate Student Government’s Financial Affairs Committee, the Techniker Krankenkasse and the Rotary Club Bremen Vegesack. Beyond the conference, WIL seeks to create a network for people who want to contribute to a more gender equal world.