Governor - Gertrud Hocke, Eastern Canada Region
My Ph.D.’s in Genetics and Human biology led me to my career as a Science Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, where I was a successful leader of a research group studying the involvement of cytokines in differentiation and in cancer for many years. As an experienced leader, I had the opportunity to work in universities, healthcare, private and volunteer organizations. Additionally, I worked as a clinical ethicist, whereby I experienced firsthand how powerful leadership can impact patient care. I realized that empowerment is crucial for personal success. As a result, I started my career as a life coach in 2012, to support others in finding and reaching their goals in life. As a certified Adler Trained Coach, my business -Tree-of-Coaching- focuses on life and leadership coaching.
I first became concerned about the situation of women in our society, as a student and started serving in various organizations as a result. As a female professor I belonged to the minority in the Science department at the university. Therefore, I was glad to serve as the representative for women in selection committees to allow for an equal chance for women.
When the opportunity arose to charter a Soroptimist club in our hometown in Bautzen/Germany in 2004, I gladly joined the charter team and have been a Soroptimist ever since. I served as the representative for health and education for several years and become President-Elect in 2008 of SI Bautzen of SIE.
When we moved to Canada, I was lucky to find new friends in SI Cambridge. I felt honoured to be chosen as President-Elect in 2012. With the tremendous support of SI Cambridge and the ECR Board we were able to charter a new club in London, my new hometown, in 2014. I served as the first president of the club 2014-2015 and was able to gain new skills as the director of fundraising in 2015-16 and was awarded Soroptimist of the year in 2016. Since the summer of 2019, I am back at SI Cambridge supporting the public relations committee. I served as Governor-Elect and Fundraising Chair for ECR 2020-2022.
I always enjoy meeting women from various clubs at our ECR fall meetings, spring conferences and leadership meetings. A wonderful experience was the attendance at the 44th biennial Convention in Orlando in 2016, where I was selected to offer a workshop: “Coaching in Leadership – what leadership type are you?” The friendship with women from various backgrounds makes working together for our common goal an inspiring experience.
My goal is to support the marginalized in our society, thus I volunteer with the elderly, the hospitalized, people with mental health issues, and women and girls. What I like about Soroptimist is that by supporting women and girls, the effect of our outreach is exponential. We are not only changing the lives of the women, but also the lives of their family members. When we as women support each other, we can introduce positive change; a lesson I am proud to be able to pass on to my three daughters and two granddaughters.
Governor Gertrud Hocke
Eastern Canada Region