Female Leadership in Science, Business and Society

The Falling Walls Foundation and the Bayer Foundation invited to a mutual networking event in July 2021. The Female Science Talents Gathering offered all participants discussion formats that allow insightful connections with outstanding female leaders and scientists.

We were happy to welcome three powerful female leaders for an hour-long discussion with acclaimed journalist Louisa Reichstetter: Dr. Monika Lessl, Dr. Ingrid Wünning-Tschol and Dr. Sandra Milligan.

Needless to say, our leaders dove right in, answering questions on how to enable female leadership in science, how to deal with dominant male PIs, and how to find the right collaborators on your way to (scientific) success. In regards to the last question, our experts shared from their rich experience of being a female leader in a male-dominated workplace: “Look for affirmative personalities”, Dr. Milligan proposed. “Put yourself in their shoes and always ask why they want to work with you, what is their agenda”, Ingrid Wünning-Tschol added.

The key topic, however, turned out to be one that is all too familiar for every female science talent: The inescapable division of work and family life. Our leaders did not hesitate to answer questions on how to keep a good work-life-balance and how to be both a great mother and a great scientist. And while there may never be a perfect time to get kids, Ingrid Wünning-Tschol’s advice is simple: “Just do it.”