Welcome to the WU Executive Academy Female Leaders Network

Who We Are: Empowered Leaders, Connected Minds and Hearts

At the WU Executive Academy Female Leaders Network (WU EA FLN), we are dedicated to uniting WU Executive Academy female students and alumnae. We have created this platform with a vision to connect and support members of our network on their professional and personal journeys. But our mission goes beyond that - we are a dynamic and diverse community of almost 2,000 members from over 70 different nationalities that welcomes and empowers individuals of all genders to make a meaningful impact and more equitable future for all. 

Our mission is clear: "Together we are stronger” which is based on our values to inspire, care and connect. We are driven by the desire to foster growth, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among WU Executive Academy students and alumnae, creating an inclusive space for collective success.

What We Do: Empowering Growth and Collaboration

Events That Inspire, Open to All 

We take pride in organizing thought-provoking events on various themes, covering hot topics in today's ever-evolving business world. Our events are inclusive, inviting participants from diverse backgrounds and genders to contribute to meaningful discussions and professional development. We are bringing industry experts, influential speakers, and leaders under one roof, creating a unique space for insightful conversations.

Some of the topics we've covered so far: Embracing Equity, Future of Healthcare, Personal Finance, Sustainable Leadership, Digital Transformation, Promoting Diversity in the Workplace.

How to connect with us?

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

Are you a WU Executive Academy student or graduate eager to make an impact and connect with like-minded professionals? We welcome you to join our thriving network, where inspiration, collaboration, and empowerment converge.

Join the Female Leaders Network on WU EA Connect!

Female Leaders Network

Our Testimonials

Katarina Stanisavljevic Portrait

Katarina Stanisavljevic, MBA Marketing & Sales
President of the WU EA Female Leaders Network

Katarina is a senior marketing and media executive with over 20 years of experience in Austria and CEE. She was holding leadership positions in the areas of business development, strategy and general management with her last corporate role being Managing Director of Carat in Austria. In 2021 Katarina has found Amazing Next marketing and media consulting company focusing on future proof marketing organization, the optimal partner selection and media efficiency.

As a President she wants to inspire the next generation of female leaders, provide support, create value for our members and society and give back to her Alma Mater.  For Katarina WUEA Female Leaders Network is enormous source of energy and a true enrichment of both professional and private life.  “I have always experienced exceptional sparing, empowerment, generous support and care in our community. Witnessing and celebrating success of our members who are changing the world by founding biotech companies, writing books and just being emphatic leaders against all odds is fuelling me with the greatest energy and motivation.”

Connect with Katarina

Ozlem Şensin Portrait

Ozlem Şensin, Global Executive MBA 2018
Vice President and Founder of the WU EA Female Leaders Network

With 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, Ozlem has excelled in increasingly senior roles both locally and internationally. Her expertise lies in the realm of consumer banking, with a particular focus on digital banking, wealth management, and private banking.  

As one of the co-founders and vice-president of the WU Executive Academy Female Leaders Network, Ozlem plays a pivotal role in fostering connections, exchanging ideas, and supporting personal and professional growth for WU Executive Academy female students and alumnae.

“At WU Executive Academy Female Leaders Network, our mission is to empower, connect, and elevate. We foster meaningful connections among WU Executive Academy female students and alumnae, providing a dynamic platform for the exchange of invaluable information, ideas, and insights. Together, we support each other's personal and professional development, paving the way for growth and success in our diverse fields.”

Martina Ernst Portrait

Martina Ernst, Global Executive MBA
Board Member of the WU EA Female Leaders Network

Martina has 25+ years of experience in international senior management (Board-1) in the financial and language services industry (as GM and Head of People) and serves as career partner and lecturer of the WU Executive Academy where she also leads a course in People & Culture Management. 

Since 2019, her consulting companies www.salarynegotiations.at, www.colourfulcareer.com and www.fairandequalpay.com have supported:

  • companies on their way to DEI as well as fair and equal pay,
  • individuals to get the salary and career they deserve.

"As board member of the Female Leaders Network my mission is to encourage our 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."

Priyanka Dutta Passecker Portrait

Priyanka Dutta Passecker, Global Executive MBA
Founder and Board Member of the WU EA Female Leaders Network

Priyanka, a neuroscientist with a Ph.D. from Trinity College Dublin and over 15 years in life sciences, is a fervent innovator driving impactful change for patients. Her unique blend of science and business prowess shines through years of global leadership in pharmaceuticals, biotech, and startups. Beyond her achievements, Priyanka is committed to empowering emerging-nation women in STEM, reflecting the spirit of "Ubuntu."

Upheld by this ethos, she envisions the platform nurturing growth, fostering inclusive knowledge-sharing, and championing future success.

Karin Apjarova Portrait

Karin Apjarova, Global Executive MBA
Board Member of the WU EA Female Leaders Network

Karin is a forward-thinking creative marketer with nearly two decades of diverse expertise in international markets with software, technology, public sector, and entrepreneurship across local and multinational positions. Her current core competencies are in leading the development of global marketing strategies and execution for the telecommunications customers, at one of the leading providers of enterprise software and hardware. Prior to that, Karin led account-based marketing strategy across strategic clients in EMEA region. Karin possesses a true passion for the latest MarTech trends, marketing insight, and innovation. Her inspiration comes everyday 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.”

Connect with Karin

Olena Khlon Portrait

Olena Khlon, Global Executive MBA
Board Member of the 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!"

Nina Schweighofer Portrait

Nina Schweighofer, Global Executive MBA
Board Member of the WU EA Female Leaders Network

Nina is a strong leadership personality in the field of risk and regulatory compliance. As trained mathematician, she has an affinity to new technologies, digitalisation and data driven decision making with her early career being always at the intersection of IT (incl. programming) and area of expertise.

Moving into managerial and leadership positions across countries and multinational institutions she has developed a sustainable inclusive leadership style focusing professionally on global investment banking and capital markets activities.

She offers a unique combination of embracing emotional intelligence as well as an affinity to numbers and logical thinking. Her working style emphasizes on empowerment, and motivation through vision and a strong team spirit. At the same time, she maintains her proactive “Start-Up” mentality and focus on precision, efficiency, and lean process design.

As she loves to share her knowledge and experience with the community, she acts as a lecturer for corporate finance and speaker at conferences.

She holds a PhD in mathematics and a global executive MBA degree. In addition, she is a yoga teacher, systemic coach, mother of 3 wonderful kids and never gets bored…

Lilly Sommer Portrait

Lilly Sommer, Professional MBA
Board Member of the WU EA Female Leaders Network


Lilly is a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in business development and strategic marketing roles in health technology 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 Philips and now leads the business development team that focuses on establishing long-term partnerships with hospitals in Europe. 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.”

Natalia Villanueva García Portrait

Natalia Villanueva García, Professional MBA
Board Member of the 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 working as a Feel Good Coach, where she helps people to be more self-confident in order to develop and grow professionally and have healthy relationships in their lives.

“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.”

Portrait Ivana Zmikic

Ivana Zmikic, MBA Finance
Board Member of the WU EA Female Leaders Network


Ivana is a finance professional with more than 20 years of experience in domestic and international finance, controlling, and audit across different industries. She values integrity, personal and professional growth, and positive interpersonal connection, and these values guide her in her career path.

“It seems to me that, more often than not, many alumni lose contact and engagement with the WU EA after they graduate. Ultimately, they have minimal contact with only a few former colleagues. This should not be the case. I think WU Executive Academy Female Leaders Network is an excellent platform for strengthening the community of alumnae. My personal motivation is to build long-lasting connections and partnerships and to support community by creating content and building opportunities for growth and development.”

Voice of our Community

Portrait Ada Fast-Iloduba

Ada Fast-Iloduba

  • 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.

The One Who Inspires, Cares and Connects Us

Barbara Stöttinger Portrait

Barbara Stöttinger, Dean of the WU Executive Academy

"The Female Leaders Network is the perfect showcase of how students and alumni can leverage their 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 a learning journey.”

Our History and Contributors

The WU Executive Academy Female Leaders Network (WU EA FLN) began its journey in September 2018 as an informal, self-organized initiative, driven by the vision of our founding board members Anita Kirilova, Christa Gschweitl, Ozlem Sensin, Priyanka Dutta Passeker.

As we look back on our journey, we are thrilled to recognize and honour the individuals who have been with us from the very beginning, playing a pivotal role in shaping the foundation of the WU Executive Academy Female Leaders Network. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Christa Gschweitl (Global Executive MBA), co-founder and former board member of WU EA Female Leaders Network, Anita Kirilova, (Global Executive MBA) co-founder and former board member of the WU EA Female Leaders Network, Elisabeth Ebner (Global Executive MBA), former board member of WU EA Female Leaders Network and initiator of the LinkedIn page, and Adela Mehic-Dzanic (Professional MBA), former Vice President of the WU EA Female Leaders Network.

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

Would you like to get in touch with us?

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