The web portal spitzenfrauen-bw.de (Leading Women of Baden-Württemberg) is celebrating its first birthday. The forum was established for career-oriented women in Baden-Württemberg who currently hold or aspire to take leadership positions within big business. Funded by the state’s Ministry of Finance and Economics, the project has been planned, implemented and operated by the Steinbeis Innovation Center for Business Development at Pforzheim University since 2011.
The web portal quickly made a name for itself, and the number of website visits indicates it’s becoming increasingly popular: Over the past twelve months, the site registered more than 100,000 hits; in January 2012, nearly 15,000 users accessed the portal. The web platform is aimed at increasing the number of women in management, and Dr. Birgit Buschmann, head of the department for “Women, Management and Technology” at the Ministry of Finance and Economics, champions the idea: “Women in leadership roles are an important bastion of innovation for the economy of Baden-Württemberg. Recent studies have shown that companies with women in management positions are more successful in their business.”
Despite being highly qualified, motivated and delivering excellent performance, too many women still hit a glass ceiling on their way up the corporate ladder. The career portal is intended to highlight the professional advances made by top-notch women in all fields, and provide a platform with networking opportunities for ladies looking to rise to the top in companies that support this.
The site already profiles more than 70 highflying, career-oriented women. These role models make one thing clear: A vast number of women already hold board level positions in Baden-Württemberg. Until now, these women weren’t given much visibility. Their success stories are now presented on the web portal to set an example for other women about the types of career paths and opportunities available to them. This increased career visibility is intended to help women choose management careers, and to develop new professional perspectives and the potential for career advancement.
In addition, to highlight employers that are particularly attractive for motivated women seeking management positions, 21 companies currently use the site to showcase their own initiatives for the advancement of women in their business. In doing so, they are taking advantage of the benefits gained by offering a modern, diversity-oriented executive management style in competitive business. The portal is also continually expanding as a knowledge pool for women looking for career advancement opportunities, offering, among other things, networks, professional associations, experts, events aimed at target groups and current news. The active portal community also enjoys exclusive networking meetups in the virtual rooms of the e-learning platform which is dedicated to the “Academy for Leading Women.” This platform provides a compact overview of know-how relating to salary negotiations, innovations management and how to handle the responsibility that comes with leadership.
There is also a blog for discussion and further reading. Over the past few months, many women posted on topics such as business etiquette, work-life balance, communication, corporate culture, women’s advancement, diversity management, dual career, and the question: “Who will lead the future?”
The Ministry of Finance and Economics supports the platform with expert knowledge as well as funds from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the state of Baden-Württemberg. The editorial staff at Leading Women looks forward to receiving your questions, comments, and inspirational contributions.