Year in Review 2022 – 10 Tips for every aspiring female executive

What a year! 2022 will not only be remembered as the 3rd #pandemic year in a row, but also as the year of global #polycrises, ongoing supply chain disruptions, #energy alternatives and #inflation. For the most part, companies are responding by replacing their management personnel. At the management level, we have more new board appointments – including diversity – than ever before. This also seems to be having a lasting effect on the general holding period of existing management board contracts.

In addition, new owners and investors in particular are turning the board agendas inside out. After years of growth, they are now focusing primarily on the profitability of their holdings and are hastily canceling IPOs planned with elaborate marketing campaigns in view of a poor stock market climate worldwide.

Thus the personnel merry-go-round in the executive floors turns ever faster and straight and because of the pressure of asset managers such as Blackrock, Vanguard, State Street and CO., which invest only in enterprises with a clear ESG strategy, also increasingly female high-level personnel for the executive committee are gladly sent into the turbulent waters.

So what should top female executives pay particular attention to before rashly signing a board contract?

My top 10 tips for safe onboarding and offboarding that every aspiring female executive should take to heart:

  1. How much real power does the boardroom have? Are there budget and headcounts that the board has autonomy over?
  2. What is regulated in the business distribution plan? What #competencies do the individual board members have? – Or what is always decided by the board as a whole?
  3. Have I met the other board members in the selection process, do I know their motives and strategic agendas, and can I win them over as my supporters?
  4. How united is the supervisory board in overall corporate decisions and how much trust does the board enjoy? Especially former owner-managed companies in the S-DAX often have a hard time with the board function and still treat them like executives with the result that real #action competence is only granted to a limited extent.
  5. Diversity is often pushed in front of us like a monstrance. The very desire for a woman on the board should make one pay attention. What is the strategic context of the appointment, what does the internal talent pipeline of female candidates look like, and are there other weighty reasons for the appointment besides the diversity issue?
  6. #StrongWoman – #StrongTeam. Unlike many male board colleagues, female board members in particular often do without a strong house power for their 1st board mandate. They are reluctant to follow a trusted leadership team. That this can have negative consequences is obvious. They simply lack the in-house network that makes them strong. The people who know and trust you are missing. Especially newcomers to the boardroom have to prove from day 1. They have to show that they are not only worth their compensation, but also convince the capital market and the internal teams of the success of their tasks. As a “lone wolf,” this will rarely succeed and does not show particularly great power-political instinct.
  7. Negative aspects of an appointment are usually unconsciously ignored. Nevertheless, it is also important to proactively address liability issues. In the run-up to an appointment, people like to refer to a D&O insurance in case of damage. However, the contents of this insurance are not readily disclosed. Many people are not aware of the fact that these are usually group policies and that the damage sum must cover the liability cases of the entire management board.
  8. Labor lawyers are often consulted only in the event of a separation and often only when the separation is already imminent. This is a cardinal mistake for aspiring board members. Especially when it comes to appointments to the board of directors, lawyers specializing in corporate law should be involved in advance. They can see the pitfalls of articles of association, business allocation plans and management board contracts at first glance and can provide important tips for the company’s own negotiations with the supervisory board and for possible later separation scenarios.
  9. Dealing with and on the board is not something you can do right away. First-time appointees often have to familiarize themselves with the routines and power relations of the board. This is a particular test of endurance, especially at the beginning. It is easier for board members who already have relevant board experience. Ideally, they have already served as managing director of a limited liability company and/or have gained initial experience as an advisory board member in a family-run company or as a supervisory board member of a listed company. Even if this board experience is not available, it helps immensely if relevant experience has already been gained in voluntary activities.
  10. Successful #networking is an art and belongs to the top class of successful managers. Every manager should have a resilient and trustworthy network of relationships with multipliers and supporters in the market. Journalists, strategy and personnel consultants, lawyers, auditors and other top managers can be extremely helpful as discreet advisors.

Therefore, it is important to build resilient networks at an early stage and not only to maintain them when needed. Top manager networks include : Initiative Women into Leadership – IWiL (, LeadershipNext Academy GmbH, FidAR Frauen in die Aufsichtsräte e.V. (, Generation CEO e.V. (, Baden-Baden Unternehmergespräche

5-Year Anniversary Event – Female Empowerment through the Power of Cross-Mentoring

Die Initiative Women into Leadership e.V. (IWiL) hat 5-jähriges Jubiläum – gemeinsam mit unseren Mentoren, Mentees, persönlichen
Mitgliedern und Unterstützern möchte wir dieses Highlight feiern.

In Zusammenarbeit mit She4Her Leadership Consulting und unserem Mitgliedsunternehmen Santander möchten wir unser Jubiläum bei einem zweitägigen Event ausgiebig zelebrieren.

Am Donnerstag, den 24. November und Freitag, den 25. November 2022 werden wir alle TeilnehmerInnen mit Inhalten rund um Leadership, Mentoring und Female Empowerment entertainen. Wir beginnen unsere Feierlichkeiten mit einem Online-Event am 24. November und treffen uns dann am 25. November live bei unserem Gastgeber Santander in Mönchengladbach.

An dieser Stelle möchten wir uns bei Isabel Tufet, ehemalige Mentee von IWiL, CEO von Santander Consumer Operation Services GmbH und Mitglieder des Executive Committee der Santander, bedanken, dass wir unser
Event in den Räumlichkeiten der Santander in Mönchengladbach ausrichten dürfen.

Wir freuen uns auf die aktive Teilnahme und Engagement unserer Speaker und PanelteilnehmerInnen.

Sie haben die Möglichkeiten sich bis Freitag, 18.11.2022 unter für
das Event zu registrieren.

Die Einladung können Sie hier einsehen: Invitation November 5-Year Anniversary Event

Sie können sich die Event Broschüre hier herunterladen:

IWiL – 5-Year Event Brochure – 24-25 November


The Initiative Women into Leadership e.V. (IWiL) has its 5th anniversary – together with our mentors, mentees, personal members and supporters we would like to celebrate this highlight.

In cooperation with She4Her Leadership Consulting and our member company Santander, we would like to celebrate our anniversary extensively at a two-day event.

On Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25, 2022 we will entertain all participants with content around Leadership, Mentoring and Female Empowerment. We will start our festivities with an online event on November 24 and then meet live at our host Santander in Mönchengladbach on November 25.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Isabel Tufet, former IWiL mentee, CEO of Santander Consumer Operation Services GmbH and member of Santander’s Executive Committee, for allowing us to host our event at Santander’s premises in Mönchengladbach.

We look forward to the active participation and engagement of our speakers and panelists.

You have the opportunity to register for the event until Friday, 18.11.2022 at

IWiL Summit “Over the Top of MainHatten” at DekaBank in Frankfurt on October 31, 2022

Gemeinsam mit Mentees, Mentoren und weiteren Gästen möchten wir am 31. Oktober 2022 gemeinsam unser IWiL Summit feiern. Wir freuen uns sehr, dass dieses Jahr unser Unternehmensmitglied Deka Bank Deutsche Girozentrale uns bei sich in Frankfurt am Main empfängt. Vielen lieben Dank an dieser Stelle.

Unsere Gäste erwartet ein tolles Programm an dem diesjährigen IWiL Summit. Hierbei werden alle TeilnehmerInnen einen vertieften Einblick in die Thematik des Female Finance erhalten.


15:00 Uhr

Arrival & Check-In

15:30 Uhr

Welcome Speech

Sabine Hansen, Vorstandsvorsitzende IWiL

15:40 Uhr

Welcome Speech

Daniel Kapffer, IWiL Mentor und Vorstandsmitglied von Deka

16:00 Uhr

Weltwirtschaft im Umbruch – Konjunktur- Kapitalmarktausblick

Dr. Gabriele Widmann, Deka Volkswirtin, Co-Host Money on Her Mind Podcast

16:30 Uhr

Female Finance Study Deka: Female Finance – More than a trend!

Nina Stapf, Leiterin Fondsmanagement Deka-Immobilien Europa

17:00 Uhr

Kaffee Pause

17:30 Uhr

Skyscraper Safari – A View over Frankfurt!


17:45 Uhr

Female Finance – Panel Discussion

Moderation: Sabine Hansen

19:00 Uhr

Networking Dinner

Wir freuen uns auf den gemeinsamen Austausch. Es besteht noch eine Möglichkeit der Teilnahme, melden Sie sich bei bis zum 17. Oktober 2022 an.

You can download an English Version of the invitation here.

5-jähriges Jubiläum IWiL bei Interhyp in München

Am Mittwoch, dem 7. September 2022 feierten wir gemeinsam mit unserem Mitgliedsunternehmen der interhyp Gruppe unser 5-jähriges Jubiläum in München. Zusammen mit Mentees, Mentoren und Gästen, sowohl von der Initiative Women into Leadership e.V als auch der interhyp Gruppe, traten wir in den Austausch über unser 5-jähriges Jubiläum, und durften einer spannenden Diskussion zuhören zum Thema „Female Empowerment starts with building your own wealth“.

Mirjam Mohr (Interhyp), Annika Juds (Künstlerin) und unsere Gründerin Sabine Hansen tauschten sich in dieser spannenden Diskussion darüber aus, wie man sich als Frau das eigene Vermögen aufbauen kann. Dabei ließen die drei Power-Frauen ihre Perspektive aus der Immobilienbranche, Kunst- und Gründerszene miteinfließen.

Nach der Diskussion durften die Gäste etwas mehr über unsere ehemalige Mentee Annika Juds erfahren – von ihrem Weg als Anwältin zur erfolgreichen Künstlerin. Wir freuen uns sehr, dass Annika ihre künstlerische Gabe für uns eingesetzt hat und uns ein farbenfrohes und aussagekräftiges Jubiläumsbild gestaltet hat. Auf Anfrage kann dieses auch noch im Nachgang der Veranstaltung von Annika selbst als digitaler Print erworben werden.

Sie können Annika Juds unter erreichen.

An dieser Stelle möchten wir uns bei Mirjam, interhyp, Annika und allen Beteiligten herzlich bedanken.


On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, we celebrated our 5th anniversary together with our member company the interhyp Group in Munich. Together with mentees, mentors and guests, both from the Initiative Women into Leadership e.V. and the interhyp Group, we exchanged ideas about our 5th anniversary, and were able to listen to an exciting discussion on the topic “Female Empowerment starts with building your own wealth”.

Mirjam Mohr (Interhyp), Annika Juds (Artist) and our founder Sabine Hansen exchanged ideas in this exciting discussion about how to build your own wealth as a woman. The three power women shared their perspectives from the real estate industry, the art scene and the start-up scene.

After the discussion, the guests got to learn a bit more about our former mentee Annika Juds – from her journey as a lawyer to a successful artist. We are very happy that Annika used her artistic gift for us and created a colorful and meaningful anniversary picture. Upon request, this can also be purchased as a digital print by Annika herself after the event.

You can contact Annika under

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mirjam, interhyp, Annika and all those involved.

Wild Card 2023 – Bewerbungsstart jetzt!

Ihr seid auf dem Weg nach oben und möchtet ein Teil der IWiL Community werden? Dann werdet jetzt Mentee 2023 und bewerbt Euch für einen der zwei Wild Card 2023 Plätze. 

Auch für das kommende Mentee Jahr vergibt die Initiative Women into Leadership e.V. erneut Wild Cards an Führungsfrauen für das Cross-Mentoring Programm. Ihr seid hochqualifiziert, erfolgreich und auf dem Weg an die Spitze? Neber Euer gewohnten Unternehmenswelt möchtet Ihr auch von außerhalb Mentoring genießen? Dann bewerbt Euch jetzt bei IWiL, um eine der zwei Wild Card 2023 Plätze. 

Wild Card 2023: Female Entrepreneurship und Role Model for Non-Profit Volunteer Engagement 

Gründerinnen und Frauen mit einer Rolle im ehrenamtlichen Dienst (Non-Profit) können sich bis zum 15.09.2022 (ggf. in Absprache mit Deinem derzeitigen Arbeitgeber) per E-Mail an mit folgenden Unterlagen für eine Mentee Wild Card 2023 bewerben: 

  • CV 
  • Referenzschreiben 
  • 5-minütiges Video 

Das Video sollte eine kurze Vorstellung von Deiner Person und Deiner Funktion beinhalten und folgende Fragen beantworten: 

  • Warum sollten wir Dir die IWiL Wild Card geben? 
  • Was ist die größte strategische Herausforderung, die Du in den nächsten 12 Monaten bewältigen muss? 

Weibliche Führungskräfte, Diversity und ehrenamtliches Engangement sind für Initiative Women into Leadership e.V. sehr wichtige Themen. Deshalb fokussieren wir uns bei der kommen Wild Card Nominierung auf zwei ganz besondere Kategoiren: Female Entrepreneuers und Roles Models for Non-Profit Volunteer Engangement. 

Für mehr Informationen könnt ihr euch hier die Wild Card 2023 Informationsbroschüre herunterladen: 

Wir freuen uns auf Eure Bewerbungen und sind gespannt auf die Spitzenkandidatinnen, die es in unsere Mentee Klasse 2023 nach oben schaffen werden. 

English: Wild Card 2023 – Application starts now!  

You are on your way to the top and want to become a part of the IWiL community? Then become a Mentee 2023 now and apply for one of the two Wild Card 2023 places.  

For the upcoming mentee year, the Initiative Women into Leadership e.V. will again award Wild Cards to female leaders for the cross-mentoring program. Are you highly qualified, successful and on your way to the top? Would you like to enjoy mentoring from outside your familiar corporate world? Then apply now at IWiL, for one of the two Wild Card 2023 spots.  

Wild Card 2023: Female Entrepreneurship and Role Model for Non-Profit Volunteer Engagement.  

Female founders and women with a role in volunteer service (non-profit) can apply for a Mentee Wild Card 2023 by Sept. 15, 2022 (in consultation with your current employer, if applicable) by emailing with the following materials:  

  • CV  
  • Letter of reference  
  • 5-minute video  

The video should include a brief introduction of yourself and your role and answer the following questions:  

  • Why should we give you the IWiL Wild Card?  
  • What is the biggest strategic challenge you face in the next 12 months?  

Female leadership, diversity and volunteerism are very important topics for Initiative Women into Leadership e.V.. That’s why we are focusing on two very special categories for the upcoming Wild Card nomination: Female Entrepreneurs and Roles Models for Non-Profit Volunteer Engagement.  

For more information, download the Wild Card 2023 information brochure here:  

We look forward to receiving your applications and are excited to see the top female candidates who will make it to the top of our Mentee Class of 2023.