Three Hamburg-based firms win "mixed-leadership" award

Hamburger Hochbahn, Accenture and Thought Works win Helga Stoedter Prize
25 September 2020
Winners of Stödter Prize

Hamburger Hochbahn AG, the Accenture service company and the Thought Works software consultancy have won the Chamber of Commerce's Helga Stoedter Prize. All three companies were honoured for outstanding efforts towards mixed leadership. The Helga Stoedter Prize is presented to Hamburg-based companies that make a sustained effort to achieve a balanced ratio of men and women in management positions. Speaking at the award ceremony on September 17, 2020, Astrid Nissen-Schmidt, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, noted: "The corona crisis can be viewed as an opportunity for a new mixed leadership offensive. We are experiencing a flexibilisation of the workplace and a departure from the culture of presence." 

Diversity Manager at Hamburger Hochbahn

To promote and anchor diversity in its corporate strategy, the Hamburger Hochbahn AG created the position of "Diversity Manager" in 2017. This building block has increased the proportion of women in the company and in management positions in the short term. "As a large company in Hamburg, we are working to further develop our employees' attitudes and to remove possible reservations about female managers. The term 'leadership' must connote and be occupied by women to a greater extent," said Dr. Nicola Byok, Diversity Manager.

Promoting female executives at Accenture

Corporate strategy at Accenture places particular emphasis on inclusion and diversity. Women and men are promoted through individual coaching programmes. Lena Roder, a consultant at Accenture, said equal co-operation has a positive impact on success and sales. Around 47 per cent of employees at Thought Works in Hamburg are female and great emphasis is placed on female representation during the recruiting process. Speaking at the award ceremony, Norbert Aust, President of the Chamber of Commerce, noted: "The general conditions must be right. We must encourage and support girls and young women in subjects that are career and management-orientated. These include MINT subjects, for instance, but also economics and engineering."

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Helga Stoedter Prize

The Chamber of Commerce and the Helga Stoedter Foundation have presented the "Helga Stoedter Prize" since 2012. It is bestowed on companies in Hamburg that have gone to sustainable, exemplary efforts to achieve a balanced ratio of women and men in management positions. The prize is supported by the European Women's Management Development International Network (EWMD Deutschland e.V.), the Women in Management Association (FIM e.V.), the Association of German Women Entrepreneurs (VdU) and the five Zonta clubs in Hamburg.