Diversity and inclusion drive innovation, at work and in education
Experts in driving diversity and inclusion to improve innovation gathered at the "Diversity Rocks! 30 Years of BIS" anniversary event to share perspectives with the international school community.
Diversity, inclusion and gender equality are buzzwords on everyone's minds. More and more companies are creating special departments, projects and are seriously and sustainably integrating the topic into their corporate culture. It has long been recognised that diversity and inclusion (D&I) are the drivers of innovation.
International schools, by nature, are centers of diversity and inclusion. What can international schools learn from the latest advancements in D&I in corporate environments? How can discussions of these important topics in companies translate to how we think about D&I in schools? BIS is honored to host three experts in diversity and inclusion.
When origin, gender, cultural identity, age or disability no longer play a role and an open, inclusive and appreciative culture is lived, there is more positive tension, discourse and reflection, creativity and new perspectives. New thinking creates innovation, which is essential in disruptive times of globalisation, automation and new work. Studies even show that inclusion is a competitive advantage and increases business success. Last but not least, diversity, inclusion and openness also support the working atmosphere and the reputation as an interesting employer.
At the BIS anniversary event, strong and diverse personalities will dive deeper into this exciting topic: Heike Kammerer, Industry Lab Leader of IBM Watson Center Munich, Stefanie Nickel, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Sandoz, and Prof. Dr. Anna Svea Fischer, Professor of Business Informatics at Munich University of Applied Sciences and consultant for diversity and gender equality. The expert talk will be moderated by Petra Winter, Editor-in-Chief of the magazines MADAME and MONSIEUR and President of the "International Women's Forum".
Heike Kammerer, Industry Lab Leader at IBM Watson Center Munich
“Especially in my global role in the IBM Watson Center and in cooperation with colleagues from all over the world, I experienced and have come to appreciate how cultural, social and individual diversity can produce even more successful results.”
Heike Kammerer (pictured on the far right) is leading the Industry Lab in the IBM Watson Center. She and her international team work on industry-specific use cases to solve unique business challenges around Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence and Cloud.
Since starting at IBM more than 30 years ago in IBM's Service Unit in Munich, Heike was working in a variety of different roles in the company, including project manager, manager, and consultant in various industries for various customers. She has a Diploma in Electronics. She is also mother of two kids and regularly balances her challenging professional roles with her family life.
Especially in her global role in the IBM Watson Center and in cooperation with colleagues from all over the world, Heike experienced and has come to appreciate how cultural, social and individual diversity can produce even more successful results.
Stefanie Nickel, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Sandoz
“Affinity bias, the inherent preference of those similar to us, is our biggest barrier to inclusion. Experiencing diversity and developing self-awareness help us learn how to make others feel included, which is THE key enabler of individual performance, team collaboration and organizational innovation.”
Born and raised in Germany, Stefanie Nickel consciously experienced the breadth and depth of diversity for the first time during a high-school year in the U.S. at age sixteen. Building on her interest in science and different cultures, she studied medicine in Germany, Austria, the United States and France, and started as a physician in the Department for Heart Surgery at the German Heart Center Munich.
Struggling with the hierarchical structures and work climate in medicine, she sought to learn more about collaboration, leadership and business: Starting with strategy consulting at Bain & Company with the opportunity do an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management, via various marketing and sales roles at Amgen Germany, she joined Sandoz in 2014 as Global Director New Products and Portfolio Strategy.
Having a “mid-life moment” of clarity that business performance first and foremost is an outcome of how we interact on a human level, facilitated by her training to become a systemic personal and business coach, Stefanie transitioned into HR Strategy and Project Management before taking on her current role as Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion in December 2018, which she describes as a wonderful learning and impact opportunity.
Prof. Dr. Anna Svea Fischer, University lecturer in business informatics at Munich University of Applied Sciences and consultant for diversity and gender equality.
“Innovation means an ocean of ideas, knowledge and methods. Gender, skin colour, age, religion, orientation (and much more) must not make a difference in the contribution a person makes to this. On the contrary: the ocean only comes into being through the wonderful diversity of people.”
Prof. Dr. Anna Svea Fischer (pictured on the far left, Stefanie Nickel pictured on the far right, Petra Winter pictured in the middle), university lecturer in business informatics at Munich University of Applied Sciences since 2004. She is also a freelance consultant and coach for digitalisation, didactics and diversity.
Born biologically as a man in 1963, living openly and happily as a woman since 2019. Studies and doctorate at the University of Göttingen on expert systems and artificial intelligence. Subsequently Head of Controlling at Bahlsen in Hanover and Vienna and Head of Business Analytics at CSC in Munich. Married, passionate photographer and explainer.