Location: Regensburg, Germany
Education: Degree in economics from Friedrich-Alexander-University in Nuremberg, Germany
Family: Husband Ferdinand; children: Anna, 30; Ferdinand, 28
I started working in the human resources department at Siemens Automotive Group.
What is your proudest professional achievement?
I am proud to have taken some steps up the job ladder in the company. That is a goal I have focused on since 1991.
What is your proudest personal achievement?
Still to be married after 20 years. Thatís not common today and is not easy to achieve. With the work load, there is not much time to care for your family.
What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
I had to head a reorganization program in my last job. We had millions in losses over some years. We negotiated with the workers union and decided to pay the employees for the work they were really responsible for. Some of them had gotten a salary that was much too high for their job. We cut the salaries of those people back to an average market price. This affected the motivation of the team.
What is your current challenge at work?
You can read about this challenge every day in the newspaper. The powertrain division has to improve its profitability. I am part of the management team working on a plan to achieve this target.
What are the biggest obstacles facing women in the auto industry?
I do not see obstacles because I have managed to get the jobs I wanted. Of course, I had to work hard to reach this target. But this is nothing new for women. Executives from my generation had a different picture of women and of society. Women had to fulfill their role of being mother and stay at home with the family. It was not easy to convince those executives that women also have the ability to handle a management job.
If young women feel that their bosses are not supporting them they have to move.
2003 -- 2007: Vice president, human resources, Siemens Business Services, Munich
2000 -- 2001: Vice president, human resources, Siemens, Thailand, Bangkok
1997 -- 1999: Head of human resources for Regensburg site, Siemens automotive division
We have to get girls interested in technology much earlier. This is easier in the automotive industry than in another industries because cars also fascinate girls. Cars are something girls respond to.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
My first boss in the automotive industry encouraged me to focus on a career in the car business. He was a person I could talk to and go to for good advice at any time. Today thatís called mentoring.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in the auto industry?
I want to encourage young women telling them: Do it!
Are women pushed toward marketing and communications and discouraged from engineering and other technical jobs?
Sorry, I donít believe this and do not have counter-evidence. Communications is surely womenís domain because women are very good at soft skills. A womanís emotional intelligence and intuition produce an advantage in the human resources department, too.
But I donít think women are discriminated against when seeking engineering jobs.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
The job I am doing right now. I was head of the personnel department of a subsidiary enterprise of Siemens with 50,000 employees in my previous assignment. Now I am head of the HR function of a division that has a sales volume of Ä5 billion and 30,000 employees. I am very happy in the human resource area because I love to work with people.
Sometimes I would love to work for a nonprofit organization like S.O.S Kinderdorf. Some days you are terribly tired and exhausted by the pressure in the industry. It is at those times that I wish I could do more about the sorrow in the world. I would like to focus on such a task in the future. I canít imagine being at home after retirement. I would love to engage in social projects.
What do you do to relax?
I play golf -- handicap 31. There is a saying that your handicap is directly related to your workload.