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Friday, November 1 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
A Seat at the Table

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In the panel “A Seat at the Table: Who is missing and how can we change that?“, we want to explore the role meritocracy, hidden biases, and politics play in the careers of underrepresented groups in the United States and in Germany and what each country can learn from the other. 

In Germany, people from the former German Democratic Republic or “East Germany” are largely missing from leadership positions. For example, there are only three East German DAX executives and not a single university in Germany is led by an East German. Similarly in the United States, more than 90% of the Fortune 500 chairmen positions are filled with white men, people of color are struggling for representation in leadership positions in business and society. 

Both countries take different approaches in dealing with the underrepresentation. Affinity groups and Executive Order 11246 (Affirmative Action) are an integral part of the professional landscape in the U.S. and are viewed as crucial in promoting the interests of underrepresented groups. In Germany, however, quotas or affinity groups are rare and seem out of reach for East Germans or Germans with a family history of immigration.

Through personal stories and anecdotes, we want to discuss how institutions like Harvard diversify their faculty, what roadblocks people from underrepresented groups face while finding their seat at the table, and how society can overcome resentment and the ever present “us vs. them” mentality. We also want to discuss how policy can create a more equal representation and what each country can learn from the other.



Social Justice Entrepreneur & Strategist
Jocelyn R. McDaniel is a Social Justice Entrepreneur & Strategist who cares deeply about education equity, eliminating the racial wealth gap and accountable & responsive public leadership. She has dedicated her career to bringing about systemic and equitable change to marginalized... Read More →
avatar for MANUEL J. HARTUNG


Head of DIE ZEIT’s WISSEN section and editor-publisher of ZEIT CAMPUS
Manuel J. Hartung has been serving as Head of DIE ZEIT’s WISSEN section since September 2019. He is also editor-publisher of DIE ZEIT’s bi-monthly university magazine ZEIT CAMPUS and DIE ZEIT’s annual magazine ZEIT GERMANY, which serves an English-speaking audience of students... Read More →


State Secretary Land Brandenburg
Thomas Kralinski was born in Weimar, East Germany. He studied Political Science, Economics and Eastern European Science in Leipzig and Manchester (UK). After graduating, he worked as research fellow for International Relations at the University of Dresden and as research assistant... Read More →


Member of the European Parliament The Greens / EFA
Sergey Lagodinsky is a German lawyer, author and a Member of the European Parliament (Alliance 90/The Greens). He is the 1st Vice-Chair of the Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs, also working in the Committee on Foreign Affairs as well as the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice... Read More →
avatar for JUDITH D. SINGER


Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity Harvard University
Judith D. Singer is Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity and James Bryant Conant Professor of Education at Harvard University. An internationally renowned statistician, Singer’s scholarship focuses on improving the quantitative methods used in social, educational... Read More →

Friday November 1, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm PDT
The Charles Hotel: Ballroom 1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA