Welcome to the WU Executive Academy Female Leaders Network

By women, for women: support for business women

At the WU EA Female Leaders Network, we aim to unite WU Executive Academy female students and alumnae. We have created this platform to support each other in our personal and professional development.

Let's unite, communicate, network, share, celebrate diversity,  inclusion,... and empower each other, according to our mission statement “Together we are stronger”!

What we offer

We offer various events to meet, network and gain valuable knowledge throughout the year. Presentations with top-notch guest speakers and red-hot topics, business breakfasts, empowering workshops as well as informal after-work get-togethers give us the opportunity to network and to support each other on business ideas, during moments of change and as mentors. We want to learn from our experiences and recommend each other whenever possible, and much more.
 

Join our LinkedIn page to stay up-to-date for our upcoming events!

Female Leaders Network

Our Testimonials

Martina Ernst Portrait

Martina Ernst, Global Executive MBA

President of WU EA Female Leaders Network & Vice President IAB

Martina has 25+ years of experience in international senior management (Board-1) in the financial and language services industry. In the last 2.5 years Martina has become 500+ Yoga teacher and has founded her own business as consultant, trainer & coach in all career & salary-related topics/cross-cultural leadership/diversity & change management.

"As president of the Female Leaders Network my mission is to build a vibrant community of female leaders, to leverage on our diversity to foster our female growth, to strengthen our courage and stamina and to support our success stories… while enjoying the beauty of being a WOMAN in business."

Katarina Stanisavljevic Portrait

Katarina Stanisavljevic, Professional MBA
Vice President of WU EA Female Leaders Network

Katarina is Founder of Amazing Next and former Managing Director of Carat.

As a Vice President she wants to inspire the next generation of female leaders, provide support, create value for our members and society and give back to our Alma Mater. Katarina knows how to tackle her own unconscious bias and has a growth mentality. Her aims are to expose stereotypes and broaden our horizons in order to further equal opportunities in all spheres of an organization, benefiting both the professional and private lives of employees and managers.

She thinks that whenever women get together, it creates a tremendous opportunity to forge close bonds and support each other: “It is essential that women discuss their experiences and learn from each other. Often, we find ourselves in a tricky situation, which has been experienced and successfully overcome by another person.”

Karin Apjarova Portrait

Karin Apjarova, Global Executive MBA

Board Member of WU EA Female Leaders Network

Karin is a forward-thinking creative marketer with more than 15 years of experience with software, technology, the public sector, and entrepreneurship across local and multinational positions. Her current core competencies are in leading hyper-personalized marketing strategy and execution across strategic clients around the globe at one of the leading providers of enterprise software and hardware. Karin possesses a true passion for the latest MarTech trends, marketing insight, and innovation. Her inspiration comes every day thanks to incredibly talented and empathic people with whom she engages daily and from her loving family.

“Our diverse community of female leaders is never about competition, but about future success and development fostered by empathy, lifting each other, fostering the exchange of advice, spotlighting female-led businesses and female leaders.  Our community has a true growth mindset which empowers female leaders to be cultivated through efforts and gaining business exposure by promoting female leaders and celebrating their success.”

Priyanka Dutta Passecker Portrait

Priyanka Dutta Passecker, Global Executive MBA

Founder and Board Member of WU EA Female Leaders Network

Priyanka is a trained neuroscientist with a Ph.D. from Trinity College Dublin, with deep experience in business development, who is applying her experience in the pharmaceutical field and her entrepreneurial passion to commercialize emerging innovations by leveraging on state-of-the-art business applications. She has 12+ years of professional experience in the life sciences with a demonstrated competency to drive profitability through strategic growth and her scientific expertise. She has a keen interest in coaching and enabling women from STEM (Science, Technology, and Engineering & Mathematics) particularly from emerging nations, as she believes women are critical to the progress of a nation. Priyanka draws her inspiration from the South-African word "Ubuntu", which means "'I am what I am because of who we all are" and finds that our success is an outcome of our combined efforts.

“We are hoping to use the framework of female leaders’ network to nurture and advance the individual aspirations while creating a welcoming and sharing environment for intellectual females for future success and development”.

Lilly Sommer Portrait

Lilly Sommer, Professional MBA

Lilly has worked more than 10 years in strategic marketing and business development roles in the medical device industry and life sciences. Building on her international career as well as her experience as a start-up founder, Lilly played an essential role in establishing a new business category within the Sleep and Respiratory Care business of Philips. She currently manages the service portfolio for respiratory conditions of the new business. Lilly has a customer-first mindset and is passionate about creating businesses around medical innovations to improve people’s lives. She holds a PhD in Medicine - Cancer Sciences from the University of Manchester and an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Innovation from WU Executive Academy.

“A network of leaders and mentors has been a powerful force in catapulting my personal and professional development forward. Amongst them the WU Executive Academy Female Leaders Network, which provides an environment where women challenge and inspire each other to grow together. It’s a privilege to play an active role in fostering the network, creating value for our members and so giving back.” 

Ada Fast-Iloduba, Professional MBA Marketing & Sales

“We need more initiatives like this one. I worked myself for a male-dominated group for a long time, and I know many women who face considerable challenges in this environment.”

Olena Khlon Portrait

Olena Khlon, Global Executive MBA

Board Member of WU EA Female Leaders Network

Olena is an internationally recognized business development and sales leader with 10+ years of expertise in banking, consulting and consumer finance industries. She held senior positions different companies in CEE, SEE and APAC markets. Successfully transformed and grew business in both stable organizations and start-ups. Loves and is able to make impossible possible.  She currently enjoys her maternity leave with a little boy Mat and a charming girl Mia.

"I see WU EA Female Leaders Network as an organization where ladies can get inspiration, business and personal support, find and share new ideas and make good friends. Why all this is needed? To make a short pause and to get a proof that all what we as busy ladies do makes sense and leads us to success and to assure us we can do more than we think!"

Anita Kirilova Portrait

Anita Kirilova, Global Executive MBA

Founder and Board Member of WU EA Female Leaders Network

Anita is a passionate business leader with more than 20 years of experience in leading people and organizations. She has a solid background and proven successful track record in strategies development and deployment, change management, talent identification and improvement, project launches from the beginning to the end. She holds the “Best Woman Sales director Europe 2015” award from Woman in a Sales organization. Currently, Anita is a Distribution Head of a worldwide life insurance provider, managing B2B and B2C lines of business and taking care at a national level for 200+ people. 

“In the world when the expectation is women to work like they do not have children and raise children as they do not work, females need other females to help them. Female Leaders Network is a place for support, sharing and developing together further both personally and professionally.”

Nina Schweighofer Portrait

Nina Schweighofer, Global Executive MBA

Board Member of WU EA Female Leaders Network

Dr. Nina Schweighofer works as senior team lead banking supervision at the ECB with more than 15 years of industry experience. After finishing her studies in 2006, she has been working in academia, and then for a large European banking group in managing credit-, market- and liquidity risk with key components such as regulatory compliance, RWA, valuation methodologies, IPV, and valuation adjustments. From 2016 to 2018 she spent two years at the European Investment Fund in Luxemburg before joining the Banking Supervision arm of the ECB in 2018. She has a proven track record in leading successful teams of highly qualified experts and managing complex projects in particular with regards to the development and successful implementation of process improvements and data-driven IT tools.

She holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics as well as a Global Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA). She is a loving wife and mother of 3 wonderful kids, a certified NLP trainer, Systemic Coach, and Yoga teacher.

Ozlem Şensin Portrait

Ozlem Şensin, Global Executive MBA 2018

Founder and Board Member of WU EA Female Leaders Network

Ozlem has 18+ years of experience in increasingly senior roles in financial services industry. Extensive local and international experience in wealth management, private banking businesses - product and segment management fields.

“At WU Executive Academy Female Leaders Network, we aim to connect WU Executive Academy female students, alumnae and create a platform for the exchange of information and ideas, and support personal and professional development.”

Barbara Stöttinger Portrait

Barbara Stöttinger, Dean of WU Executive Academy

"The Female Leaders Network is the perfect showcase of how students and alumni can leverage their MBA network to the fullest. The initiative comes out of the network of our great female students and alumnae, is powered by them and grows every day with every initiative to become stronger and stronger. We at the WU Executive Academy are proud to facilitate and happy to see this seed growing so fast. What is really crucial for this network is that we create a forum for like-minded females, who share not only the experience of being a woman and female professional but also the transformative power of an MBA learning journey.”

Natalia Villanueva García Portrait

Natalia Villanueva García, Professional MBA

Board Member of WU EA Female Leaders Network

Natalia is a dedicated and highly skilled entrepreneur with a variety of talents. In 2012 she founded the Max Steiner Orchestra, the first symphony orchestra specialized in music for film and video games in Austria. She has received several awards for her outstanding achievements by the Colombian Government, the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, and other institutions. Parallel to her company, she has also worked as a Project Manager and Music Supervisor in the music industry with world-renowned artists including Hans Zimmer, Anna Netrebko, Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Newman, and Danny Elfman. 

Since 2017 Natalia has developed a special interest in human development and has done several certifications in this field. Natalia is currently studying Counselling Psychology in Vienna; she offers counselling and coaching for individuals and companies.

“The WU EA Female Leaders Network is a great avenue to integrate a more humanistic and person-centred approach in the way we build relationships with our stakeholders.”

Adela Mehic-Dzanic Portrait

Adela Mehic-Dzanic, Professional MBA

Former Vice President of WU EA Female Leaders Network

Adela has 8+ years of international experience in leading sales and business development in the telecommunication and Internet of things (IoT) industry. Adela is currently leading the business development team at the software company specialized in the IoT industry for the largest, Tier-1 telecom operators in the world. Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation accelerated her career and opened new opportunities to expand my professional network, enhance her leadership skills and management know-how.

She is committed to serving the WU MBA Alumnae across the globe and finding the right tools to support them on taking their career to the next level.

Elisabeth Ebner Portrait

Elisabeth Ebner, Global Executive MBA

Former Board Member of WU EA Female Leaders Network and initiator of the WU EA Female Leaders Network LinkedIn Site

Elisabeth is an energetic and passionate leader with more than 15 years’ experience in B2B marketing in technical industries. Currently, Head of Marketing at the global market leader for online water quality monitoring systems s::can, she is known for her willpower and making the impossible possible. Next to her corporate career, she loves to teach Yoga and to help other business professionals finding balance in life.

“With our network, we are providing a platform to exchange with fellow female leaders. It is a vibrant community of unique, outstanding individuals, willing to support each other on our professional journey and help each other grow.”

Christa Gschweitl Portrait

Christa Gschweitl, Global Executive MBA

Founder and former Board Member of WU EA Female Leaders Network

Christa is a hands-on, results-oriented legal advisor and capacity builder in mobility and infrastructure project realization with 20 years of experience in cross-section working with strong technical understanding; her recognized expertise also comprises quality control and business development.

“Female Leaders Network is defined by our motto “Together we are stronger”. We are contributing our experience and sharing our professional expertise as alumnae and students of WU Executive Academy in order to enhance a vibrant community of female leaders. Combining lifelong top-notch professional education and practical, down-to-earth advice by female leaders for female leaders is our aim.”

Our history

The WU Executive Academy Female Leaders Network (WU EA FLN) was formed as an informal, self-organized body in September 2018 by the founding board members to unite WU Executive Academy female students and alumnae. The initiative kicked-off during a get-together event with the participation of international branding and innovation expert Professor Carmen Abril as guest speaker. The event was extremely well received and followed by further events and gatherings with Career Expert Doris Hofmeister, Diversity & Inclusion Expert Josefine van Zanten and many more. Less than 1,5 years after the founding the network already has grown to 240 members, and still expands every day.

Are you a student or graduate of the WU Executive Academy?`Come join the Female Leaders Network on WU EA Connect!

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