Saturday work is tough. Particularly when the Saturday is the year’s hitherto sunniest. Those are also the Saturdays bad for trade fairs and conferences. People seem to decide, last-minute, to get up just too late and do the garden (i.e. lounge in it). However, this year’s Women and Work Conference in Bonn, Germany, scorned the good weather and saw record numbers arrive (and stay). I was responsible for the Diversity Talks – 7 workshops sponsored by DIS AG (thanks for a great day, Barbara Klunker) and focussing on, well, talking about diversity. We were reminded of the urgency, the huge demographic, digital, global and other trends beating down on a world no longer able to stick to what it knows.
We have to embrace diversity, we were reminded. And also, sometimes, that we already do, but can do so better.
I was impressed by the fact that HR programmes and strategies – according to Catalyst – lack impact on whether a woman can rise to the top. That’s a tough message. Much more depends on networks etc. (I must find that essay I wrote about networking in USA and Germany – a comparison). And I loved the video we saw about women’s invisible barriers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT9Zc9D1Big).
The most impressive for me was the final workshop with a wonderfully quirky, authentic, cool and uncomplicatedly optimistic representative of the Bosch Women’s Network – an internal network of ambitious and upwardly mobile female engineers. Just do it. Don’t complain. Don’t whine. Have fun. Network and use that network for your own benefit. Laugh. Wear high heels and aim high. Fantastic!