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Blog > June 2021 > Writing My Own Story as a Woman in Tech

Writing My Own Story as a Woman in Tech

Growing up in the socialist part of Germany, I finished the “A-level exam” just a few months before the wall came down. In that moment, we were given the freedom we never expected to have in our entire life. We were able to meet family members living in West Germany again, and step by step we slowly discovered the “new” world. Just imagine, you move into another country and are given the chance to develop a new storyline for your own life. So here is my story:

After studying politics and economics, I started my career in the consulting domain with eLoyalty, a premier provider of business transformational solutions, headquartered in the U.S. During the past 20 years, I developed into a strong and independent woman and became the mother of three wonderful daughters.

While living far away from my family, I considered applying for a part-time job, but during the years when my girls were younger there were no part-time qualified jobs being offered. Eventually, I did not have a choice and decided to stay in my full-time role, which was a balancing act for many years. As a project manager, I had to orchestrate a large team of colleagues and deliverables from nearly all time zones, and one day I realized how exhausted I felt. It was my long-time friend and (male) mentor who educated me about re-defining work-life balance. Now, even when I’m facing a stressful day, I force myself to take a short break between my meetings. I grab the dog for a short walk, put my face in the sun, enjoy my coffee and live in the moment.

Over the past two decades, I have been surrounded and empowered by male managers who believed in me – in the power of my skills and my personality, in me as a person. They never questioned the fact that I was a working mum or asked how I’m able to deal with the kids and my job. They simply believed in me and my capabilities and had one goal in mind: the success of the project, which equals success for our customer and, of course, the success of our team!

Now with COVID-19, a new wind has raised in the tech industry. Companies have started to wake up, offering remote work opportunities and considering more part-time opportunities. At the same time, women have started to stand up and raise their voices, more and more realizing the need to network and the benefits of supporting each other.

My three girls are growing up, and my eldest, Lilian-Margarete (17), has been accepted into SAP’s virtual summer student internship. You can imagine what a proud mother I am. For my daughters, I wish they will find a friend and a mentor in their professions like I did; that we will have companies granting everyone the same opportunities; and that companies will have at least 50% women at every level, including Vice Presidents in Software Development and General Managers.

In ASG’s last Women Leaders in Technology (WLIT) Coffee Talk and Book Club, Debra Christmas and Kelley Irwin, co-authors of “Please STAY – How Women in Tech Survive and Thrive,” gave me fresh motivation. We need to remind ourselves that we just have this single life; there is no second option. Let’s create a new culture of supporting each other, where you are allowed to be what you are: a human being. 

To end this post, I would like to thank some key people I met during the beginning of my career. Thank you for your support and for believing in me; without you I would not be where I am today: Johannes Untied, Andreas Gerlach, Bernhard Reiter, Mark Levinsohn, Paul Schaffrath and Franz Reichl. You were my role models!