30 Aug 2022

IFA Innovations Media Briefing 2022 panel examined diversity as a force-multiplier for innovation

In one of the opening discussions at this year’s Innovations Media Briefing, a panel discussed the importance of diversity within the consumer and home electronics industries.

Panel host Lea Jordan, Head of Marketing and co-founder of techtalk.travel, speaking at the City Cube in Berlin, said there was clearly room for improvement when it comes to diversity. She pointed out, there are simply not enough women working in the industry and most CEOs are male.

Her concerns were seconded by Carine Lea Chardon, CEO of ZVEI-association for consumer electronics and media networks, who said: “We are way behind the average in Germany when it comes to women in the industry”. Ms Chardon suggested having more role models and childcare services, as well as mentoring programmes could help narrow the gender gap.

Vivien Richter, founder and Chief Vision Officer at seatris.ai, does not believe a women quota is necessary, but believes giving opportunities to migrant workers could help address the shortage of staff in German companies. Also, older employees should be seen as part of the company’s success, rather than a burden.

In contrast, Lisa Meissner, co-founder and CFO at Mersor, drawing on her experience in the male-dominated finance sector, went further saying: “Yes, we need a women’s quota”, but without the label. She also pointed out there are many other ways of integrating women into a work environment, such as using gender-conscious language.

Ms Chardon concluded by saying it was becoming more and more difficult to find staff for enterprises, therefore diversity is not simply a trend, but above all an opportunity.