Rita Süssmuth

Member of the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU), former President of the German Federal Parliament and the former Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Women, Youth and Health

Rita Süssmuth (born in 1937 in Wuppertal) is a German politician and academic. She is the former President of the German Federal Parliament (1988 – 1998) and the former Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Women, Youth and Health (1985 – 1988), and has previously held posts as director of the research institute "Woman and Society" and as professor at the universities of Bochum and Dortmund. An expert on migration, Professor Süssmuth chaired the Independent Council of Experts on Migration and Integration of the German Bundestag (2000 – 2001), the European Union’s High Level Group on “Social Integration of Ethnic Minorities and their full Participation in the Labor Market”, and was a member of the UN Global Commission on International Migration (2003 – 2005). She was President of the private SRH-College for Economics in Berlin (2005-2009) and since 2006 a member of board of trustees at Berlin’s Technical University which she chairs since 2010. Since 2010 she is the President of the Consortium of German Universities (K-DTU) that represents the German part of the newly founded Turkish-German University in Istanbul.

Find more information about Rita Süssmuth here

Welcome Message

Only about 20 years ago has the paragraph "men and women are equal before the
law" been added to Article III of the German basic law. However the
challenges that women in today's society have to face still remain manifold
and quite different from their male counterparts. That concerns working class
females as much as it does well-educated young scientists. The compatibility
of family and work for example has been an important issue for me personally,
in my academic life and obviously throughout my political career as well.
That is why I am so pleased to be part of the Women's Careers and Networks
Symposium in 2013 and hope that it will be as much of a success as the first
one in 2011.

There is no doubt that substantial progress has been made over the past
decades in regards to the standing of and the opportunities for women in the
workplace. Yet, in times of social uncertainty particularly in the context of
a renewed welfare system, the necessity to define perspectives and create
networks is as essential as ever. Since 2002, women make up more than half of
all freshmen at German universities. Nevertheless there is obviously still a
massive lack of women in executive positions.

The aim of the Women's Careers and Networks Symposium to inform, create
networks, exchange ideas and discuss career opportunities is part of a
development that goes well beyond the introduction of a female quota.
Networks between women are important because they can make a difference and
produce an impact. An impact that is much needed to create success:
Professionally, socially and politically. Women need to establish those
networks and use them for their benefit - something that their male peers
have been doing for centuries.

This Symposium creates the perfect setting to provide guidance to young
female scientists and help them explore the opportunities that today's
society holds in store for them - now more than ever. I am thus very much
looking forward to meeting many ambitious young individuals at the Women's
Careers and Networks Symposium 2013 and sharing my experiences.

Back to Confirmed Speakers