“I always enjoyed working with a team most, communicating with other people and having a real impact on our business.“
|Business Unit:||Henkel Beauty Care|
|Division:||Schwarzkopf Professional Asia Pacific|
|Job title:||Regional Vice President Schwarzkopf Professional|
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had a lot of ideas, from Landscape architect to journalist, but when I became a teenager languages and other cultures interested me most. And cross-cultural experiences finally led me into studies of European economics.
What has motivated you to take on a position of high responsibility within Henkel?
I always enjoyed working with a team most, communicating with other people and having a real impact on our business. My marketing years allowed me to fully exploit this and my first General Manager role added the thrill of leading a full organization – the leadership responsibility internally and externally is such a great journey.
What were the milestones in your career and are there people or circumstances that have favored your career?
A first milestone had been certainly my initial sales experience in between two marketing jobs. It provided a deeper understanding of the business and the satisfaction of a front-line sales position and helped me to integrate local marketing. Then the first important leadership role as Marketing Manager allowed me to enter the Excom of the country organization and the lead of the first bigger team, with a strong impact on my management and negotiation skills. The next milestone was becoming a General Manager, the most intensive learning curve of my career before my current position in regional management in a region that takes me out of my comfort zone completely. All these steps had been accompanied by superiors and mentors who advised and supported me, but the most important support and push was the step into the general management position which I wouldn’t have dared to do without the strong guidance and advice of my boss and mentor at the time. I am extremely thankful that he knew my capacities at that time better than I knew them myself up to then.
What is your advice to women seeking to build careers?
Dare to step up and consider positions of high responsibility even if you feel that your experience is not 100% of what it should be in all fields – nobody can be perfectly prepared, so don’t let chances pass you by. Don’t play a role or think you need to act differently because you are a woman in top management. Concentrate on doing an outstanding job and building your network at the same time. Ideally, get a mentor you trust – this is the best way to get recognized and supported.