I'd swipe right instinctively. As a member of the leadership team, I am probably not the best person to take a legitimate stance on the openness of our conversation culture, because I can only speak for all employees to a certain level.
Within my team, however, I can confidently state that there are no topics on which we avoid open discussion. It's particularly important to me that every team member, whether a intern or a Senior Marketing Manager, is willing to discuss openly about difficulties as well as new ideas. That often means disagreeing with me. As we know from home, expressing different points of view can also open the door to conflicts. This is beneficial to everyone on the team, including me, because it lets us grow. We learn to put ourselves in the shoes of others, which is a key skill in marketing.
Defining role models based on talent rather than gender takes me back to my inner feminist, and to clarify, I do not preferentially look for women. I also do not preferentially hire parents. However, I would not hire someone who thinks female coworkers are less competent than male coworkers or who believes parents are less capable on the job.
My biggest interest is my colleagues' mindset and whether they add character traits to the team that we haven't yet covered. Is this consistent with the values of Swisslog Healthcare? Definitely. Fortunately, due to males on parental leave, women in management positions, and, most importantly, a well-thought-out and adaptable SMART Work program, this is not even a topic that needs to be explained in such a long paragraph.
Where do we have room for improvement?
For a company of our size and with a mechanical engineering background, I believe we are already a big step ahead with our SMART Work program, strong performance management, and flexible office formats.
In the future, I want us to have an even more flexible job profile. I’m not thinking of engineers working as designers, but the possibility of a lateral move as part of personal development.
Why can't someone from field sales work in a different area, such as recruitment, if their family situation changes? They do have the core competency of persuading people. Tools and processes are always new and can be learned.
Before you started your purple journey you worked at KUKA. Why did you switch from KUKA to Swisslog Healthcare?
Pure gut feeling, which was reinforced by two situations I encountered prior to my change:
- Instead of questioning whether I could handle the forthcoming work while being a mother, I was asked in what ways Swisslog Healthcare can support me.
- I got to know the product development team for software and application. Both Product Management and Development teams were led by women. To this day, I’m proud to be working for what appears to be the only company with women in top roles other than HR and Marketing. I never imagined I'd be influenced by role models, but I am.
Thank you, Julia, not only for your time and insight into your work and private life, but also for inspiring us to reconsider traditional concepts.
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