5 questions to Dr. Lydia Sedlmayr about the doctoral program at the University of Latvia

5 questions to Dr. Lydia Sedlmayr about the doctoral program at the University of Latvia


In 2015, Lydia joined the Sandoz HR Organization as Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion. In this role, she is part of the Novartis Diversity & Inclusion leadership team. In 2017 Lydia concluded her dissertation at the University of Latvia, Faculty of Economics and Management, Department of International Economy and Business. In the frame of her thesis, she was researching in the field of international economy and female leadership. Lydia was the founder and president of EWMD -European Women’s Management Development – Tyrol and is dedicated to the enhancement and development of women.

We asked her 5 questions about the doctoral program at the University of Latvia in Riga:

  1. Why did you choose a part-time doctoral program?
    I wanted to integrate research and research findings into my professional work environment.
  2. Why did you choose the doctoral program in Management Science at the University of Latvia in Riga?
    At the time when I was informing myself about doctoral program options, I could not find a lot of programs in Europe which enable to continue the job and do research on university. I was also fascinated to do the program in English and to write the thesis in English.
  3. What is the title of your dissertation? Why did you choose this topic?
    The title is ‘Leadership styles and the access of women to top level business positions’. I’m fascinated by this topic as we still find only a low number of women in top level business positions. I wanted to find out if certain characteristics of male and female leadership styles play a role for this phenomenon.
  4. Could you describe a typical workday during your doctorate?
    It took me 6 years to final promotion. The first 3 years you are busy with seminars on the weekends, writing papers, participating conferences and academic teaching. After the formal program of 3 years is over, the real writing of the dissertation starts. It motivated me to write page after page and I felt very proud when I finished a sub-chapter. During the 6 years I had a full time job and also a family life with. It was the time when my son started primary school, now he is in 3rd grade of gymnasium. It was important to me that I didn’t miss any family time. I’m a night bird and most of the time I was writing in the evening when my family was sleeping. This gave me the feeling that I don’t miss any family time which is the most important to me and which I didn’t want to sacrifice for 1 minute.
  5. What did you take with you from your studies?
    First thing I found out is that if you are really passionate about something, everything is possible. The second thing I learnt is to wait 1 day or 2 and a big problems becomes smaller and on day 3 you have a new idea how to handle it. So in short: never give up, if you keep going, problems will get solved.
    Klick here to get more information about the doctoral thesis of Dr. Sedlmayr.
    Are you interested in a part-time doctoral program? SMBS provides two international and worldwide regognized doctoral programs. Inform yourself know – the english version and the german version!