Welcome to the WHU Diversity Week –

Age, Gender, Internationality, Physical Disability, Religion, Sexual Orientation

Welcome by the WHU Dean

Diversity at WHU is a 2015 founded network of students, professors, staff members, and alumni aiming at fostering diversity in and outside of the university. Under the patronage of Prof. Jane Lê and currently presided by doctoral students Jan Walsken and Frank Hemmert, the network organizes numerous information sessions, discussion panels, networking activities, and the annual Diversity Day. The debate about diversity often revolves around gender and sexual orientation. Yet, diversity is much more than that: diversity is gender, nationality & ethnic origin, disability, age, religion & belief, sexual orientation & identity. The Charta der Vielfalt lists a total of 23 dimensions of diversity. 

Due to the necessary shift to online-formats, this year's Diversity Day transformed into a week, covering a record number of diversity & inclusion topics: age, gender, internationality, sexual orientation, physical disability, and religion & worldview. 

Please find further information on the events below.
All events require a separate Zoom password, which can be obtained via mail by signing up.

Sign up here


Monday, November 30 at 16:30 h

The Covid-19 pandemic poses countless challenges for each of us. But what does it mean for diverse and inclusive corporate cultures? More and more employees are in their home offices, and open-plan offices will likely become a thing of the past. Will companies even have the chance to actively manage their corporate culture and promote diversity when an increasing number of employees work remotely? Or will more and more firms lose control over their cultures and, thus, also their achievements of the past years? 

Dr. Rolf Hellermann 

Dr. Rolf Hellermann was a Doctoral student at WHU and serves as the CEO of Arvato Financial Solutions. He has just been appointed as CFO of Bertelsmann, one of Europe's largest media companies. With initiatives such as be.queer, Bertelsmann actively promotes diversity & inclusion across its divisions. 

Diversity and Inclusion at Bertelsmann 

Erik Schäfer

Erik Schäfer is an alumnus of the first Diploma class at WHU and a member of the Dean's Advisory Board. As WHU Ambassador, he is also a member of the Advisory Board of the BeyondGenderAgenda and juror of the recently held German Diversity Award. 

Website of BeyondGenderAgenda 

Erik Schäfer's Engagement at the German Diversity Award 

Follow Erik Schäfer on LinkedIn 

Professor Dr. Jane Lê

Professor Dr. Jane Lê is Chairholder and Professor of Strategic Management and patron of Diversity at WHU. In her research, she explores strategy in complex settings, particularly how organizations manage multiple competing goals. 

Follow Jane Lê on LinkedIn 

Stuart B. Cameron

Stuart B. Cameron is CEO and founder of UHLALA GmbH and PANDA, the contest and network for women in leadership positions. He has been successfully promoting LGBT in the working world for almost ten years with various professional projects. One of them is STICKS & STONES, Europe's largest LGBT job and career fair, as well as ALICE, RAHM, UNICORNS IN TECH, and PRIDE 500.  

Professor Dr. Nadine Kammerlander

Professor Dr. Nadine Kammerlander has been a professor at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management since 2015 and Director of Diversity. She focuses on innovation, employees, and governance in family businesses and family offices in teaching and research.

Follow Nadine Kammerlander on LinkedIn

Wednesday, December 2 at 17.30 h

Dr. Jörg Ehmer 

Dr. Jörg Ehmer is a qualified lawyer and has been involved in shaping Vodafone's growth phase in Germany for ten years, most recently in national B2B sales in the Vodafone Executive Committee. He then became the sales director of the E-Plus Group. Since July 2014, he has been responsible for the German and Austrian business of the world's leading optical chain GrandVision; he is CEO of Apollo Optik, Germany's largest optician. Furthermore, Dr. Ehmer is the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Pearle Austria and a Member of the Board of the Indian chain Vision Express. 



Prof. Dr. Nancy A. Pachana is a clinical geropsychologist, neuropsychologist, and professor in the School of Psychology at The University of Queensland, and is co-director of the UQ Ageing Mind Initiative, providing a focal point for clinical, translational aging-related research at UQ. She has an international reputation in geriatric mental health, particularly with her research on late-life anxiety disorders. She is co-developer of the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory, has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and books on various topics in the field of aging, and has been awarded more than $22 million in competitive research funding, primarily in the areas of dementia and mental health in later life. 

About the Ageing Mind Initiative 

Creating an Age-Friendly University 

More about Prof. Pachana 

What is the Ageing Mind Initiative?
How can universities promote healthy aging?
Why is age overlooked as a diversity dimension?
How can corporations support healthy aging?
When leaving university, how should young professionals deal with older supervisors?
What do you do when the supervisor is younger than the subordinate?
Are there reasons to not staff teams with diverse ages?
What are some entirely false stereotypes young people have about older?

Further resources:

  • Gerpott, F.H, Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Wenzel, R., Voelpel, S. (2019) Age diversity and learning outcomes in organizational training groups: the role of knowledge sharing and psychological safety. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2019.1640763  
  • Burmeister, A, Gerpott, F.H, Hirschi, A, Scheibe, S, Pak, K., & Kooij, DTAM (2020). Reaching the heart or the mind? Test of two theory-based training programs to improve interactions between age-diverse coworkers. Academy of Management Learning and Education. DOI: 10.5465/amle.2019.0348 

Tuesday, December 1 at 17.00 h

Professor Dr. Fabiola Gerpott

Prof. Dr. Fabiola Gerpott is Professor and Head of the Chair of Leadership at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management. Her research focuses on micro-dynamics in organizational behavior and diversity management.  One of her current projects investigates female and male managers' communication behavior in performance reviews with subordinates. The German Society for Psychology (DGP) funds the project. 

Friday, December 4 at 15.30 h

Prof. Dr. Susanne Schmidt

Prof. Dr. Susanne Schmidt is a Professor and Head of the Chair of International Management at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg. Her research focuses on strategic diversity management and intercultural challenges in international organizations, the influence of digitization on internationalization, and drivers for innovative employee-behavior in organizations. 

Read the German Diversity Monitor 

About the German Diversity Monitor 

More about Prof. Schmidt 


Tuesday, December 1 at 15:30 h

Andrea Hendrickx 

Andrea Hendrickx is the country head of Infosys Ltd. Germany, looking back at over 25 years of IT history. She is responsible for the German project business as well as the growth and marketing strategy for Infosys Germany. Infosys InStep, Infosys' flagship internship program, has been named the world's best internship by Vault.com for the third consecutive year and ranked first place in the category "Overall Diversity." 

Diversity at Infosys 

The internship program Infosys Instep 

Thursday, December 3 at 16:00 

Nitishah Patel and Sasha Graham

This one-hour interactive presentation covers real-life cases explaining the importance of racial diversity and inclusion for a sustainable organisation's successful growth. The session leaves participants with the required knowledge and understanding as well as personal investment into the topic. 

Equality Group harnesses the power of diverse leaders for Finance, Technology, and Social Impact. They change the business landscape by widening the range of exceptional candidates and offering them unique leadership opportunities. Their consultancy service helps companies attract, retain, and develop diverse talent, which our Executive Search service headhunts. 

Video: "What should we do about unconscious bias?" 

White paper: "Micropositives: The little things that do a lot” 

Video: “Equality Group presents Diversity Diaries: Suki Fuller” 

Thursday, December 3 at 18:00 h

Jan Walsken

Jan Walsken is a Doctoral student at WHU as well as founder and president of Diversity at WHU e.V. 

Are you an international student, or will you be one soon? Navigating a new culture can be challenging, even if you already know one or two things about it. In this workshop, we will work together on fun guides that help others to find their way in our home country, discuss little quirks, and make sure they do not put their foot in their mouth. 

Friday, 04.12.2020 at 18:30 h

Jenny Mushegera

This 15min-talk plus Q&A will touch upon the important role of the African Youth living around the world in building bridges between their home continent with the environment they live in now. 

Jenny Mushegera is the founder of Congo Excellence and the Deputy Secretary General of the African Union Diaspora Youth Initiative. She has studied International Relations and has a degree in Leadership and Development from King´s College London and is currently working as project coordinator for the Organization for Development Policy Baden-Wuerttemberg.  



Physical Disability

Monday, November 30 at 15:00 

Lina Maria Kotschedoff

German Diversity Award 2020 winner Lina Maria Kotschedoff (WHU MBA Class of 2016) is the founder and an executive coach at purpose.hub, keynote speaker at Disrupting Minds, and Co-Leader of the Entrepreneurship Committee of Grupo Mulheres do Brasil, an international NGO dedicated to making Brazil a better democracy and country. Her professional expertise lies in business development, strategy, and innovation management. Since the age of nine, she has been living with a rare and incurable retinal disease and sees less than five percent of her environment. 

Follow Lina Maria on LinkedIn 

More about purpose.hub 

Book Lina Maria as a speaker 

Sexual Orientation

Tuesday, December 1 at 19:00 

Dominik Weh

Dominik Weh is WHU Alumnus and Partner at Oliver Wyman. As the Executive Sponsor of GLOW, Oliver Wyman’s LGBT+ network, he is heavily invested in driving the firm’s inclusion agenda as a member of its Inclusion Council. At the WHU Diversity Week, he gives insights into the topic of Sexual Orientation & Identity. 

Inclusion & Diversity at Oliver Wyman 

LGBT+ and Allies at Oliver Wyman 

Biography of Dominik Weh 

Assistant Professor Dr. Lukas Löhlein

Lukas Löhlein is Assistant Professor of Management Accounting and Control at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. Previously, he studied at LSE, the University of Luxembourg and Zeppelin University. He will moderate the Chimney Talk with Dominik Weh. 

Follow Lukas Löhlein on LinkedIn 

Wednesday, December 2 at 15:30 h

Stuart B. Cameron

Stuart B. Cameron is CEO and founder of UHLALA GmbH and PANDA, the contest and network for women in leadership positions. He has been successfully promoting LGBT in the working world for almost ten years with various professional projects. One of them is STICKS & STONES, Europe's largest LGBT job and career fair, as well as ALICE, RAHM, UNICORNS IN TECH, and PRIDE 500. 

Wednesday, December 2 at 16:30 h

Michael Lauk

Michael Lauk is Operations Manager at Arvato Financial Solutions and one of the Bertelsmann be.queer initiative spokespersons. With the initiative, Lauk promotes LGBT visibility within the different Bertelsmann entities and creates awareness. In the past, he organized activities such as Bertelsmann's participation in the “Sticks and Stones” career trade fair or the Christopher Street Day parades.  

Follow Michael Lauk on LinkedIn 

Alexander Maxelon

Alexander Maxelon is a Bachelor student at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. As an active member of Diversity at WHU and organizer of the Diversity Week 2020, he will moderate the keynote. 

Follow Alexander Maxelon on LinkedIn 

Diversify 2020

Following the Diversity Week, Diversity at WHU will launch the Diversify 2020 campaign, a bundle of simplistic yet effective diversity-related improvements at WHU. The campaign aims at all entities of the university and shall demonstrate that being diversity-supportive is not challenging. 

We will create a dedicated page on myWHU for this campaign. Until then, you can join the Diversify 2020 Yammer-group and stay up to date.