An Interview with Dr. Silke Blumer, Vice President Strategy and Product Management at Syntegon, about Women in Leadership positions.
As a modern and socially sustainable company, we are committed to give all employees the same opportunities and offering women exciting career prospects. For us, equal opportunities should not just be an expression, but reality. Our colleague Silke Blumer has just become a mother and a member of the Syntegon management. In an interview, she reveals how she managed it.
Silke, can you tell us a little about your current role at Syntegon and what it consists of on a day-to-day basis in the business?
There is no daily routine, thank God. I'm currently settling into a new challenge, professionally and personally – and I'm growing in both: I'm a mother of a seven-month-old daughter and I've newly taken on the role of Vice President Strategy and Product Management. In my new role, I am responsible for strategy development and implementation in the Food Business.
How did you manage to have a PhD and be a member of the Syntegon leadership team at the age of 34?
I have always done what I enjoy and have had and still have great companions along the way.
What are your personal career tips for young women?
Keep your eyes on the horizon, but put your heart and mind into it: I think you need a long-term goal, yet it has to be fun here and now. In addition, young women can get even more involved in career exchanges, with peers and other relevant people. In my personal experience, mutual support in career planning and development is more prevalent among young men. Where possible, get help and accept help.
Who or what inspires you and why?
I am inspired by my immediate environment: I have colleagues, family and friends who do things very well and from whom you can learn a thing or two.
Why do you think women are still underrepresented in boards?
I am convinced that this picture will change in the next few years. Nevertheless, there are of course reasons for the current situation, such as social role models and in some cases still institutionalized discrimination. For me personally, I found Sherryl Sandberg's theses in "Lean in" enriching. She encourages us to question our beliefs and to see the organization of career and family as a conscious decision.
What support do you think women need in order to reconcile children and career?
Number one, the partner, the family, the appropriate employer and not being afraid to outsource some tasks.
Do you have the feeling that there is a so-called "glass ceiling" for you or women in general that makes it difficult to get into management positions?
For me, I can absolutely not confirm that. However, many statistics can be explained by this.
Is there anything you would like to give to all girls or young women?
You can do anything you want!