Top manager Katherina Reiche strengthens the network

Katherina Reiche

“Generation CEO eV convinces me because it enables a trusting exchange, inspiration and cooperation between women.”

Photo: Laurence Chaperon

Dusseldorf Crisis, which crisis? The top manager network Generation CEO welcomed 17 new members on Monday, including top manager Katherina Reiche, CEO of Westenergie. The former CDU member of the Bundestag (1998-2005) not only made a steep career after switching from politics to business, but is also considered to be very well wired. She is also the chairwoman of the Federal Government’s National Hydrogen Council.

When she was accepted into the network, the 48-year-old explained: “Generation CEO eV convinces me, because it enables a trusting exchange, inspiration and cooperation between women who stand with both feet on ‘their wives’ in the middle of life in responsible positions.” And further: Internal openness and external discretion strengthens the network and thus also you.

In addition to Reiche, the 17 newcomers include top managers Vanessa Stützle (Douglas), Katharina Hopp (Bosch), Miriam Lobis (Zalando), Masa Schmidt (SAP), Valerie Speth (Blackrock), Bettina Friedl (Zeiss), the banker Jenny Friese (Doctors and Pharmacists Bank) and the consultant Christina Raab (Accenture).

You will meet prominent women leaders such as Sigrid Nikutta (Deutsche Bahn), Doreen Nowotne (Haniel), Catrin Hinkel (Microsoft) and Nathalie von Siemens, who have shaped the network that was founded in 2007 for years. The current number of members is now 217. The board was expanded from five to seven at the virtual general meeting on Monday.

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The network is gaining influence not only through newcomers, but also through the careers of its members. According to an internal survey, the number of generation CEO networkers who occupy a position at C-Level rose by 16 percent to 81 positions in 2021 compared to the previous year and is currently almost 40 percent.

93 of the 217 members hold one or more supervisory board or administrative board mandates. That is 188 mandates in total and 13 percent more than in the previous year. And eleven managers even head a supervisory board, board of directors or advisory board.

Networking is more important than ever in the pandemic

The Generation CEO network thus confirms the trend that the report by the Allbright Foundation identified in October: women are gaining influence in the German economy. The proportion of women on the executive boards is growing. On September 1st, the number of men remained unchanged on the executive boards of the 160 German listed companies in Dax, MDax and SDax, with 93 women, 25 women more than a year earlier. This corresponds to the largest increase in women on the board of directors within a year to date.


In addition, the pandemic has increased the willingness to network. According to an internal survey, the interest in exchange and networking among Generation CEO increased significantly in the first year of the corona. The content-related collaboration took place on topics such as “Digital Transformation” and “Sustainable Management”. In total, the network has held over 80 real and virtual meetings in the past twelve months. In addition, 93 percent of the members supported each other with job offers, contacts and exchanges.

The mood among the networkers is accordingly optimistic. Daniela Mündler, the managing director in the founding and generation CEO board member, explains: “It is currently about a directional decision in the German economy. Now it is important that we continue the developments so that the positive aspects of the increased proportion of women in positions of power in the German economy do not fizzle out. “

More: Courageously into the future: 100 women who move Germany

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