Hosted by Procter & Gamble, Frankfurt, Germany
Daring to Embrace Diversity
Strengthening Women in Management Positions Fuels Growth
What is the most effective way to lead diverse teams? How is greater equality for women linked to economic growth? Does the commitment to diversity and inclusion pay off? These questions and more were discussed at the panel discussion “Daring to Embrace Diversity” initiated by Procter & Gamble (P&G) and the LEAD Network (Leading Executives Advancing Diversity) and hosted by Stefanie Bilen (PLAN W).
In a lively exchange, the speakers discussed with about 70 participants how joint successes can emerge from a diverse and inclusive work environment. Gabriele Hässig, Leader Communications and Citizenship, opened the panel emphasizing the importance of strong partnerships for P&G’s gender equality commitment: “Together with LEAD P&G aspires to spark conversations about gender bias and motivate change.”
One approach to meeting the challenges of an increasingly complex environment is to create a work environment characterized by a culture of diversity and inclusion, while enabling innovation and growth. Against this background Veronika Pountcheva, Senior VP Corporate responsibility, Metro AG, and Member of the LEAD Advisory Board, emphasized that “diversity is not merely a HR responsibility but a mission for the whole line management.” Prof. Dr. Ulrike Detmers, leader of Mestemacher Group, added: “There is a growing scarcity of talents in Germany.” She advocates establishing a balanced talent pool: “Undiversified companies will have to face challenges in the future.”
Scientific research shows that higher creativity, greater inventiveness and more respect in dealing with each other today are crucial success factors within its competitive business environment. Mark Möbius, MARC Ambassador, pointed out that “there is a strong correlation between employee satisfaction and teams that incorporate diversity and inclusion.” The relevancy of emotions to create a successful inclusive work environment was supported by Lencke Steiner, FDP Bremen: “You have to have diversity in your heart and live it.”
It is a fundamental belief of P&G that every individual in the company has unique talents which can only lead to top performances in a diverse team. Therefore, diversity and inclusion as well as a strong commitment to gender equality constitute important elements of P&G values and principles (read more here).
“Gender equality is one of the main growth drivers worldwide. Therefore, we are committed to reduce prejudices and social barriers for women in business. Together with LEAD we want to show ways and means of how women in management positions can be promoted more strongly” says Astrid Teckentrup, Vice President Sales P&G. Sharon Jeske, Executive Director of the LEAD Network, closed the discussion emphasizing the relevancy of networks: “Real change can only happen when strong partners combine their resources for maximum impact. The panel discussion was another great opportunity for all participants to network and share best practices.”
Participating in the discussion, which took place in Frankfurt on January 31st, were:
Astrid Teckentrup (Vice President Sales P&G), Prof. Dr. Ulrike Detmers (Executive Manager and Partner, Mestemacher Group), Lencke Steiner (FDP Bremen), Mark Möbius (MARC Ambassador and former Senior VP Marketing Dell EMEA), Veronika Pountcheva ( Senior VP Corporate Responsibility, Metro AG and Advisory Board Member of the LEAD Network).