Successful 2016 workshop for Daughters of Themis in Greece

Twenty-four degrees Celsius and Greek hospitality laid the groundwork for a very fruitful workshop on corporate sustainability and gender.

Ten female business scholars from different European countries participated in the second annual workshop for Daughters of Themis: International Network of Female Business Scholars. The workshop took place in the island Kea, Greece, and lasted a week.

The theme for the workshop was ‘Corporate Sustainability and Gender’ and the participants were selected based on their response to a call for papers. Topics for the presented papers included policies for promoting women leadership in corporations, an analysis of female workers’ status in the textile industry in Bangladesh, the significance of feminist theories in corporate law, and the gendered consequences of companies’ business in developing countries. 

Enthusiastic participants

Roseanne Russell, lecturer at Cardiff Law School, UK, was very pleased with the workshop. She found the workshop to be full of interesting papers from a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches.

  • The main highlight is the time that is given to each presenter with supportive discussions, it is such a refreshing departure from the standard academic conference model, she exclaims.
  • The network is a wonderfully supportive group of scholars from different backgrounds, approaches and experiences.

Another member of the network praised the great arena for feedback that the network offered through this workshop. Rosalien Diepeveen, Lecturer and Junior Researcher at Nyenrode Business Universiteit in the Netherlands, was very happy with the venue, as it provided a good opportunity for feedback from the other members of the network on her paper.

  • With the mix of disciplines and experiences you can get answers to all your questions, she says.

Academic thoughts between palm trees and the sea

During the week, the participants of the workshop discussed corporate sustainability and gender in depth. A relatively small participants and no strict schedule made it possible for the scholars to properly present their papers in depth, to coherently follow long trains of thoughts, with lots of time for questions and discussions. The average time spent on each paper was over one and a half hour, much than conventional conference presentations.

There was also time for social activities. A taverna a few hundred meters away from the workshop site offered traditional Greek food, tzatziki, horta, fresh fish, octopus and a variety of pies and salads, both for lunch and dinner.

Kea is an island which has been inhabited for millennia, with several historical sites available. Some visited the island’s famous lion sculpture, a large sculpture of stone, carved to resemble a lion by islanders centuries ago. Others visited an old temple ruin at the end of a long, steep and rocky hiking trail through beautiful nature on the side of one of the island’s many hills. Lack of tourism and urbanism had preserved the old ruins quite well, and it was as if we were walking amongst the ancient inhabitants of the long gone village.

Idoya Ferrero-Ferrero, doctor at the University Jaume I in Spain, highlights the good atmosphere of the workshop, and in the network.

  • I appreciate being a member of this network, and a participant of this workshop, because of the good atmosphere, in a broad sense. The people, the knowledge and the nice place are all dimensions that contribute to making this network and workshop so successful. Here, we meet interdisciplinary experts, and have time for the proper feedback. I also feel like there is a low threshold with regards to language, and as a non-native English speaker I feel comfortable with language in this workshop, Ferrero- Ferrero says.

Plans ready for the 2017 workshop

Founder and head of the network, Professor Beate Sjåfjell, is very content with this year’s workshop. In addition to strengthening the network through the setting up of a steering committee, the topic and dates for the 2017 were decided. In 2017, the workshop theme will be ‘interdisciplinary research and transdisciplinary outcomes’, where members of this transdisciplinary network will get the opportunity to learn about different approaches to research, how we can work together and how interdisciplinary research can be disseminated and communicated across disciplines.

As coordinator of the interdisciplinary project Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART), Beate Sjåfjell is especially happy with the chosen topic for the 2017 workshop:

  • The 2017 workshop will undoubtedly contribute to the SMART Project, as well as to the broader academic community. Interdisciplinary research is highly topical and significant in an era where we are beginning to recognize the problems compartmentalization of disciplines, and within disciplines, has created. Beyond that, the Daughters of Themis network is also crucial to ensure the integration of gender perspectives throughout the SMART Project, Sjåfjell says, adding that she is delighted to get to know and collaborate closely with so many thoughtful and knowledgeable colleagues.

A call for papers for the 2017 workshop will be prepared by Associate Professor Maja van der Velden, lecturer Roseanne Russell and Professor Beate Sjåfjell.

Female scholars who are interested in the network are welcome to contact Beate Sjåfjell.

Published Aug. 29, 2016 11:51 AM - Last modified Dec. 12, 2016 8:36 AM