Our Experts

Role Model

Patricia Castejón Fernández

“Higher responsibility positions always offer an expanded perspective on the whole story.”


Business Unit: Adhesives Technologies
Division: Consumer Adhesives
Job title: Global Head of Household Repair & Loctite

Question 1

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to become a stewardess, because of the opportunity they had to travel all around the world!

Question 2

What has motivated you to take on a position of high responsibility within Henkel?

The opportunity to further contribute to the company’s development and to further develop my own management skills. Higher responsibility positions always offer an expanded perspective on the whole story (helicopter view of the landscape) as well as larger responsibilities for people management. These two aspects are enormously enriching and at the same time extremely demanding.

Question 3

What were the milestones in your career and are there people or circumstances that have favored your career?

The first milestone was the opportunity to switch from a technical area to the marketing department, where I stayed for eight years. Second milestone was the move to the sales area, several years after, without former experience in sales. After the job rotation in sales, I was nominated as Marketing Director. Around four years later, I was appointed Country Manager. There have always been key people, offering me the opportunity to take a step forward, behind each of the milestones that have shaped my career at Henkel.

By the way, I announced my first pregnancy at the time of my first job switch, and my third daughter was just born when I was appointed Marketing Director. In both cases, my maternity did not change the company’s decision and I could enjoy motherhood and new challenges at Henkel.

Question 4

What is your advice to women seeking to build careers?

In general terms, I would say there should be no differences between women’s and men’s careers. But when you have a family, the reality – at least in my society – is that women still have to fulfill a larger share of family-related responsibilities than men. My two key pieces of advice to women with family responsibilities are to (No. 1) apply a good dose of organization both to family and job-related aspects, meaning good management of one agenda only (my agenda includes both a KP presentation appointment and my 5-year-old daughter’s Christmas Festival, which are equally important in my two worlds), and  (No. 2) flexibility both from a professional and personal perspective (I may leave the office to attend the Christmas festival and begin working very early in the morning at home, before anyone gets up).

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