Public event

Rethinking the role of women in cultural and media professions: A European comparison

Panel discussion with Helmut Anheier, Eva Fehringer, Lisa Jordan, Charles Landry, Suzanne Pradel, and Els van der Plas

We would like to invite you to a panel discussion and audience debate on the current trends and policy developments to empower women in cultural and media professions in Europe.
Despite mainstreaming efforts by the European Union and the Council of Europe, gender inequality persists for women in all areas of the economy. In the culture and media sector, the pay and pension gaps are even worse than in other fields. There is also a significant under-representation of women among the leading positions, in boardrooms, and as recipients of awards. While there is widespread consensus that raising awareness does help to dismantle the glass ceiling, which concrete measures are most effective? What can we learn from our European neighbours?
The results of this discussion will contribute to a research project currently being conducted at the Hertie School's Centre for Cultural Policy.


Helmut K. Anheier is President of the Hertie School and Professor of Sociology. His research centres on indicator systems, social innovation, culture, philanthropy, and organisational studies. He is the Director of the Hertie School's Centre for Cultural Policy and Head of the research project Women in culture and media.


Eva Fehringer works at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Social Affairs and is Deputy Head of Unit of the International and European Labour Law and Social Policy Department. She holds a doctorate in law and has vast experience in policy-making in regards to labour law, equality, anti-discrimination law, and social policy. Eva Fehringer has wide-ranging experience in international and national negotiations and policy-making within the framework of the EU, ILO, UN, Council of Europe (CoE), and the OECD. She chairs the Gender Equality Commission at the CoE and is a member of several other EU and CoE committees, e.g. European Pensions Forum and the CSR High-Level Group. Since the establishment of a working group in 2012 for the fight against human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation, she chairs the working group, bringing together different ministries, authorities, and NGOs.

Lisa Jordan is a senior philanthropic executive with a twenty-year career focused on social justice, impact, and systemic change. She currently serves the Porticus Foundation as Senior Director for Strategy and Learning overseeing the development of programme and impact. Lisa Jordan previously served as CEO of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, a foundation that impacts over a million disadvantaged young children every year in eight countries. She served for nine years with the Ford Foundation as Acting and Deputy Director of the Governance and Civil Society Unit.

Suzanne Pradel is an international script consultant, creative content producer, lecturer for script development, and bookscout with more than 20 years of working experience in the film business. For many years she has worked as a script expert for Eurimages and MEDIA Programme. In 2009, Suzanne founded the BuchScout Agency, which specialises in novel-to-film adaptations as well as international script consultancy, developing sophisticated TV and cinematic features. She is a member of the Association of German Cinema and TV Script Consultancy (VeDra e.V.), of Berlin-Brandenburg and of the European Women's Audiovisual Network (EWA). Suzanne Pradel is the attached script consultant to EWA's first female scriptwriter residency in Berlin 2017, which is dedicated to supporting the next generation of screenwriting talents among EWA members, helping them to gain entry into the industry and progress professionally.

Els van der Plas studied art history in Utrecht. In 1988, she founded the Gate Foundation to encourage intercultural exchange in the field of modern and contemporary visual art. From 1997 to 2011, Els served as Director of the influential Prince Claus Fund for cultural development. In 2011, she was appointed Director of Premsela, the Netherlands Institute for Design and Fashion, and in 2012, she became General Director of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. Els van der Plas was a member of the Supervisory Board of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2004-2009) and the Supervisory Board of the Museum of Bags and Purses, as well as a member of the jury of the Curry Stone Design Prize in New York (2008) and the Princess Margriet Award (2011–2014). She is currently a member of the Supervisory Board of Writers Unlimited (The Hague), the Recommending Committee of the Holland Dance Festival (The Hague) and the What Design Can Do conference (Amsterdam).


Charles Landry is an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change. He invented the concept of the Creative City in the late 1980’s. Its focus is how cities can create the enabling conditions for people and organisations to think, plan and act with imagination to solve problems and develop opportunities. The notion has become a global movement and changed the way cities thought about their capabilities and resources. Landry is currently a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin.

In partnership with the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.