As a modern and socially sustainable company, we are committed to giving all employees the same opportunities and offering women exciting career prospects. For us, “equal opportunities” is more than just a catchphrase; it’s reality. Our colleague Silke Blumer has just become a mother and a member of the Syntegon management. In the following interview, she reveals how she achieved this.
Silke, can you tell us about your current role at Syntegon and what it consists of on a day-to-day basis?
There is no daily routine, thank God. I’m currently settling into new challenges, professionally and personally – and I’m growing in both: I’m a mother of a seven-month-old daughter and I’ve recently 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 finish a Ph.D. and become a member of the Syntegon leadership team at the age of 34?
I have always done what I enjoy, and I 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, but it also has to be fun in the 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, go 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 are very good at what they do, and from whom you can definitely learn a thing or two.
Why do you think women are still underrepresented in boards?
I am convinced that this 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 Sheryl Sandberg's theses in her book “Lean in” enriching. She encourages us to question our beliefs and to see the organization of career and family as a conscious choice.
What support do you think women need in order to reconcile children and a career?
First of all, from your partner, then your family, your employer – and don’t be afraid to outsource some tasks.
Do you feel that there is a “glass ceiling” for you, or women in general, that makes it difficult to get into management positions?
From my personal experience, I can’t confirm that at all. However, it could help to explain many statistics.
Is there anything you would like all girls or young women to take away from this?
You can do anything you want!
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