The WHU Diversity Week 2021 –

Diversity Management with Impact: From Zero to Thought-Leader

Welcome to the WHU Diversity Week 2021

Welcome to the WHU Diversity Week 2021, organized by Diversity at WHU! After last year’s success, we are thrilled to present an even more diverse program for this year’s Diversity Week. Under the theme “Diversity Management With Impact: From Zero To Thought Leader,” we have invited more than 15 renowned speakers to share their perspectives on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Thanks to our sponsor Oliver Wyman, we are able to offer all keynotes, workshops, and panel discussions free of charge. The virtual congress will be rounded off by three in-person Diversity Dinners, which will take place in Vallendar, Düsseldorf, and Berlin.

Our Topic - Diversity Management with Impact

A growing number of corporations realize the value of diversity and, thus, want to attract a diverse workforce. Yet, diverse talent often does not feel included in the workplace and is skeptical of the real intentions behind corporate D&I efforts. Where does this disconnect originate, and how to overcome it? Together, we want to direct our attention to the future and explore how organizations can become a thought-leader in diversity. We will focus on different diversity dimensions and critically reflect on current standards in order to contribute to designing a diversity management setup with real impact.

Our Program - One Week Filled with Inspiring Content

  Monday
25.10.2021
Tuesday
26.10.2021
Wednesday
27.10.2021
Thursday
28.10.2021
Friday
29.10.2021
Lunch Session (13.00-14.00h) Official Welcome

Diversity - Disability - Discovery of High Potentials, Keynote by Karen Schallert
Diversity Training – Going Beyond the Good old ‘Unconscious Bias’, Workshop with Pisitta Vongswasdi Turning an Apparent Weakness Into a Strength – Unconventional Clothing as a Personal Brand, Keynote by Stéphane Bonutto (13.00h)

Leveraging Personal Diversity as a Strength, Keynote by Anton Kononov (13.30h)
Build your OWn brand!, Workshop with Oliver Wyman Wie lassen sich KI-Systeme menschenzentriert gestalten? Probleme, Anforderungen und mögliche Lösungen, Keynote by Stephanie Dachsberger & Alexander Mihatsch (in German)
Dinner Session (18.00-19.00h) Inclusion and Belonging in a Professional Environment, Keynote by Dominik Weh Spotlight on Blindspot, Keynote by Lina Maria Kotschedoff Effective Diversity Management: Navigating Between Pinkwashing And Real Impact, Discussion Panel with Dominik Weh, Felizitas Lichtenberg, Prof. Dr. Jane Lê, & Lucas Kohlmann When Your Diversity Strategy Backfires - UEFA, Rainbow Flags, and Virtue Signaling, Academic Talk by Jan Walsken (18.00h)

Using Diversity Certification to Attract Employees, Academic Talk by Sarah-Alena Rössig (18.30h)

Age Diversity - Key Success Factor in the German Mittelstand?, Keynote by Saskia Gleitsmann
Afterwork Social (starting at 19.30)   How to Germany, Workshop by Alexander Maxelon (Diversity at WHU)     Diversity Dinner

*The program is subject to change.

You can already register today for the WHU Diversity Week 2021. In case of further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our team at diversity(at)whu.edu. We look forward to welcoming you to our congress soon!

SIGN UP for free HERE

Monday, 25.10.2021

Lunch Session (13.00-14.00h)


Diversity - Disability - Discovery of High Potentials


Keynote by Karen Schallert

Karen Schallert is the Founder and Managing Director of HandicapUnlimited, a coaching and mentoring firm that supports people with physical disabilities on their way to becoming managers. In 2020, the German Mentoring Association(DGM) recognized Schallert as Mentor of the Year. Schallert, who formerly worked for McKinsey & Company, will deliver the opening keynote at the WHU Diversity Week 2021. In this context, she will discuss how high potentials are discovered and why people with disabilities might be the better leaders.

More about HandicapUnlimited

Watch Karen Schallert on Greator

Follow Karen Schallert on LinkedIn

Dinner Session (18.00-19.00h)


Inclusion and Belonging in a Professional Environment

Keynote by Dominik Weh 

Dominik Weh is a WHU alumnus and Partner at Oliver Wyman. Working in Oliver Wyman’s Frankfurt office, he focuses on Finance & Risk and Public Sector Practice. As the executive sponsor of GLOW, Oliver Wyman’s LGBT+ network, he is also heavily invested in driving the firm’s diversity and inclusion agenda. In his keynote, he will elaborate on how inclusion and belonging can be achieved in a professional environment. 

Inclusion & Diversity at Oliver Wyman  

LGBT+ and Allies at Oliver Wyman  

Follow Dominik Weh on LinkedIn 

Tuesday, 26.10.2021

Lunch Session (13.00-14.00h)


Diversity Training - Going beyond the good old 'Unconscious Bias'

Workshop by Asst.-Prof. Dr. Pisitta Vongswasdi

Dr. Pisitta Vongswasdi is Assistant Professor for Diversity and Leadership Development at WHU. She obtained a Master of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Oxford and later received a Ph.D. in Management at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. In her current research, Vongswasdi examines how a diversity mindset can be cultivated through brief interventions to improve team performance. For the WHU Diversity Week 2021, she has developed a diversity training that aims to take participants beyond the often-cited and frequently discussed ‘unconscious bias.’

Interview with Pisitta Vongswasdi on Diversity Beliefs

Follow Pisitta Vongswasdi on LinkedIn

Afterwork Social (starting at 19.30h)


How to Germany

Workshop with Alexander Maxelon (Diversity at WHU)

Are you an international/exchange student living in Germany? Navigating a new culture can be challenging, even if you already know one or two things about it. In this workshop, which the WHU-alumnus and Diversity at WHU-member Alexander Maxelon will conduct, we will work together on fun guides that help you find your way in Germany, ensuring that you do not put your foot in your mouth. 

More about studying in Germany

More about WHU’s exchange programs

Follow Alexander Maxelon on LinkedIn

Dinner Session (18.00-19.00h)


Spotlight on Blindspot


Keynote by Lina-Maria Kotschedoff

German Diversity Award 2020 winner Lina Maria Kotschedoff (WHU MBA Class of 2016) is the founder of 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. Here she leverages her expertise and methods to coach with a holistic approach – giving her clients new perspectives on their own strengths and weaknesses. At this year’s WHU Diversity Week, she will deliver a keynote on why blindspots are neither a flaw nor a shame.

More about purpose.hub

Follow Lina Maria Kotschedoff on LinkedIn

Wednesday, 27.10.2021

Lunch Session (13.00-14.00h)


Turning an Apparent Weakness Into a Strength – Unconventional Clothing as a Personal Brand 

Keynote by Stéphane Bonutto (13.00h)

After graduating from WHU in 1997, Stéphane Bonutto specialized in Finance and worked at companies such as General Motors and Opel. Nowadays, he is the CFO Europe at Oerlikon Balzers, one of the world’s leading suppliers of surface technologies. Being an advocate of genderless dress codes, Bonutto will deliver a powerful keynote at this year’s WHU Diversity Week on how to turn an apparent weakness into a strength. Thereby, he will share insights on which challenges he encountered on the path towards becoming a CFO of an international company and how to break through the glass ceiling as a diverse individual.

Follow Stéphane Bonutto on LinkedIn


Leveraging Personal Diversity as a Strength

Keynote by Anton Kononov (13.30h)

Anton Kononov is the founder and managing director of Formel Skin. He graduated from WHU in 2014 and has worked for 2.5 years as a management consultant at Roland Berger. Having worked in both a major international corporation and the startup environment, Kononov will share how he leveraged personal diversity as an advantage. He will additionally abstract learnings and elaborate on why diversity is rather a strength than a weakness.

Follow Anton Kononov on LinkedIn

Dinner Session (18.00-19.00h)


Effective Diversity Management: Navigating Between Pinkwashing And Real Impact

Discussion Panel with Dominik Weh, Felizitas Lichtenberg, Profesor Dr. Jane Le, and Lucas Kohlmann

Diversity management is often limited to HR departments instead of being understood as a holistic approach. To become a diversity thought-leader, however, diversity must be managed with the intention to have an actual and lasting effect. But what are the actions that organizations, leaders, and D&I managers need to take to achieve real impact? Which strategies have proven to be most effective, and where is the greatest potential yet to be realized? This panel discussion will try to answer these and other questions to provide a basis for drafting compelling D&I agendas in Germany and beyond.

Thursday, 28.10.2021

Lunch Session (13.00-14.00h)


Title tbc

Workshop with Oliver Wyman

With offices in 60 cities across 29 countries, Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. It combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. Being the main sponsor of the WHU Diversity Week 2021, Oliver Wyman will offer an exclusive 1.5-hour case study workshop at this year’s Diversity Week.  

Inclusion & Diversity at Oliver Wyman  

LGBT+ and Allies at Oliver Wyman  

Dinner Session (18.00-19.00h)


When Your Diversity Strategy Backfires - UEFA, Rainbow Flags, and Virtue Signaling

Academic Talk by Jan Walsken (18.00h)

Jan E. Walsken is a Doctoral Student at the Chair of Logistics and Services Management at WHU. As an alumnus of WHU, he founded Diversity at WHU e.V. during his student days to create a platform for diversity at the heart of campus culture. In his academic talk, he will present his research results on how poorly designed diversity statements can adversely affect organizations.

Follow Jan E. Walsken on LinkedIn 


Using Diversity Certification to Attract Employees


Academic Talk by Sarah-Alena Rössig (18.30h)

Sarah-Alena Rössig is a Doctoral Student and Research Assistant at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg. Together with Prof. Dr. Susanne Schmidt, she helped collect and analyze the German Diversity Monitor 2020. In her academic talk, Rössig will grant the audience an insight look& on her diversity research and discuss whether diversity certifications can be a powerful tool to attract talent.

Follow Sarah-Alena Rössig on LinkedIn 

Friday, 29.10.2021

Lunch Session (13.00-14.00h)


Wie lassen sich KI-Systeme menschenzentriert gestalten? Probleme, Anforderungen und mögliche Lösungen

Keynote by Stephanie Dachsberger & Alexander Mihatsch (in German)

Stephanie Dachsberger and Alexander Mihatsch are Scientific Advisors at Lernende Systeme – Germany’s Platform for Artificial Intelligence. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Plattform Lernende Systeme brings together expertise from science, industry, and society to position Germany internationally as a technology leader for learning systems. Thereby, it understands itself as a place of exchange and cooperation. In their German keynote, they will highlight what challenges diversity faces in AI-driven environments and how these can be mitigated in the future.

More about Lernende Systeme

Lernende Systeme on YouTube

Dinner Session (18.00-19.00h)


Age Diversity - Key Success Factor in the German Mittelstand? 

Keynote by Saskia Gleitsmann

Saskia Gleitsmann is WHU-alumna (BSc 2010, MSc 2013), entrepreneur and angel investor. She co-built WMC Healthcare, one of the leading consultancies for restructuring, post-merger integration, buy-and-build strategies in the German healthcare sector. In 2017, she took over the family business in the wood industry Holzwerke Gleitsmann in 4th generation as Chairwoman of the Advisory Board and drives the future projects of the entrepreneurial family. In 2020, she won the Impact of Diversity award powered by FKi in the category “Best Innovation in Mittelstand and Family Business.” At the WHU Diversity Week, she will deliver a keynote on age diversity. 

Follow Saskia Gleitsmann on LinkedIn 

In-person Diversity Dinner 

Would you like to discuss the contents of the WHU Diversity Week in person and get to know other participants as well as the Diversity at WHU-team in an informal setting? We are excited to invite you to three Diversity Dinners across Germany on Friday, October 29. In accordance with local COVID-19 regulations, you can look forward to excellent cuisine and cold drinks in preselected locations in Vallendar, Düsseldorf, and Berlin. Are you interested in joining us? Then register today for a Diversity Dinner in your region! (Please note that we cannot cover the costs of food and beverages.) 

SIGN UP NOW

In-person Diversity Dinner 

Would you like to discuss the contents of the WHU Diversity Week in person and get to know other participants as well as the Diversity at WHU-team in an informal setting? We are excited to invite you to three Diversity Dinners across Germany on Friday, October 29. In accordance with local COVID-19 regulations, you can look forward to excellent cuisine and cold drinks in preselected locations in Vallendar, Düsseldorf, and Berlin. Are you interested in joining us? Then register today for a Diversity Dinner in your region! (Please note that we cannot cover the costs of food and beverages.) 

SIGN UP NOW