Skip to main content

What we heard at the Global Female Leaders Summit 2019

This event brought together leading female executives from all over the world to discuss

current economic challenges and explore trends shaping tomorrow's business world.

We were proud to once again be a sponsor of the event.

Global Female Leaders Summit 2019

The Global Female Leaders Summit took place on 13-14 May in Berlin and focused on ‘collaborating to build a better world and embracing the opportunities that the tech sphere and expanding digital economy brings with it’.

Delegates heard from expert speakers including Charlotte Dennery, CEO BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, Saskia Steinacker, Global Head of Digital Transformation, Bayer, Guy Grainger, EMEA Chief Executive, JLL, Dr. Katarina Barley, Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade and many more, as well as sharing their own experiences and exploring solutions in small interactive groups.

Julia Schönbohm, Kirstin Schwedt and Sabine Vorwerk, from our Frankfurt office, Kristina Klaaßen-Kaiser, Düsseldorf, Sonia Cissé, Paris, and Françoise Lefèvre, Brussels, all attended the event, along with representatives from banks, NGOs, politicians and organizations such as Volkswagen, Merck, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft and Siemens.


Which key ideas can we take from the panel “New World – Automated and Powered by Data” and other sessions of the summit? Are there any specific topics we can adapt in our workplace? In this short video Sonia Cissé and Kristina Klaaßen-Kaiser sum up our most important takeaways.

“Getting insights in global business trends and C-level concerns around these are as valuable as the exposure to so many inspiring female leaders. We have come away from this event with many new insights, contacts and follow up actions are in place. Furthermore, this event gives us a platform to present our brand as one that is fully committed to diversity.”

Julia Schönbohm, Intellectual Property Partner

Linklaters, Frankfurt
image of Julia Schonbohm

Top things we heard in Berlin

The most important technology trends we heard from are:

  • Artificial Intelligence and its widespread potential applicability. Automotive, financial services, utilities, sales and marketing - in these and many other industries, businesses are already applying artificial intelligence to core business processes and to innovating products. All of it has the potential to create massive value across the economy but only if business leaders understand what AI can and cannot do.
  • Autonomous Things become more and more common and are expected to start working together, either independently or with human input. Therefore, the future of autonomous things lies heavily on the continued research and development of AI, big data and cloud technologies.
  • That Blockchain is without a doubt the most promising technology that promises to reshape industries by enabling trust, providing transparency and reducing friction across business ecosystems. Pure blockchain models are still immature and can be difficult to scale but businesses should begin evaluating the technology, as it can potentially lower costs.
  • Multi-Cloud has radically reshaped how software is written, updated, and deployed. Different cloud offerings need to be able to work together and therefore it is important that companies stay flexible with regards to their cloud systems.

= Customer Experience in future will be all the above connected for an integrated experience

Sonia Cissé who is the head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications/Privacy team in Paris discussed on the panel “New World – Automated and Powered by Data.”

  • Data protection contracts
  • Both small and big companies understand the importance and value of data. The key differentiator between companies when it comes to information governance is therefore not the size (big or small) but the quality and maturity of the management in terms of compliance and data protection.
  • Innovative projects within companies are now often conducted as part of a global reflections on ethics and transparency.
  • AI tools will soon be used in a wide measure by all types of companies, from start-ups to big corporates.
  • There is a growing awareness of the need to regulate new technologies at European level.

Françoise Lefèvre who is Dispute Resolution Partner in Brussels lead the Think Tank, Democracy under attack: Commercial companies, a watchdog of Democracy?

  • The impact that large companies can have at the political level when they take a stance
  • The rule of law in regulatory and enforcement procedures
  • The protection of human rights in a commercial context

Why diversity in the workplace is critical for business success:

  • Diversity increases revenues
  • Diversity improves decision making
  • Better candidates with diversity
  • Diversity is the basis for better innovation

“Diverse teams have a huge positive impact on the performance of a business. I had very inspiring discussions about how we can level the playing field for everyone irrespective of aspects like gender, social background or skin colour. This resonates with our people strategy at Linklaters and our efforts and clear commitment to have a diverse workforce and leadership,” stated Kristina Klaaßen-Kaiser.