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For the panel discussion that followed in the office space of ioki, the speakers represented different phases of professional life and diverse career paths, from student to executive:
Totinia Hörner: The moderator from Frankfurt specialised in events in the mobility sector ensures, from a professional point of view, that women are noticed more. Her personal tip for more visibility: Simply adjust your LinkedIn profile and add the title Speaker or Expert. Even little things like that can make women more visible in the industry.
Mascha Margin shared her path into the mobility and especially the tech industry with the participants in the panel discussion. She is currently writing her bachelor’s thesis in computer science and works as a software developer at ioki alongside her studies. Before working in the mobility/tech industry, she worked in the social sector and sees parallels: in both industries, women are less represented than men in the external perception. For her, female role models who encourage other women in their career decisions are all the more important.
Mara Twickler, on the other hand, has a career focused on mobility and especially the automotive industry. She works as a Senior Key Account Manager Powertrain Electrification at Bosch and reported on the cultural differences when it comes to visibility in a professional setting. During the panel discussion, Mara motivated those present to find their own way of being visible. She herself prefers bilateral conversations with women in the industry to exchange ideas about career and job-related topics. She had met one of these women at the Women in Mobility Summit in 2019, with whom she continues to have regular contact. It is important to find people who inspire and support you, but gender only plays a secondary role, says Mara.
Tanja Wiesenthal, Director People & Organisation at ioki and part of the Management Board, was the fourth panelist. She shared her experience as a leader of a tech company and how her visibility has changed through her position on the Management Board. “I found my absolute dream job, which was certainly not in any job description. Simply because I asked the right questions and because I was trusted to do it.” She now passes this experience onto her employees, and in her position promotes the perception of other women in a professional context. One of her heartfelt issues is also the compatibility of work and family. Tanja creates awareness with her transparent and open approach and showed how flexible working time models are implemented at ioki.
The panel discussion was followed by a lively exchange with the audience, among other things about the fact that visibility does not necessarily have to be related to being on a stage. A satisfactory level of visibility can look different for every woman and is therefore very subjective. The question of what to avoid in terms of visibility was also intensively discussed before the conversations continued in smaller groups with live music, snacks and drinks.
The most important tips and conclusions when it comes to visibility:
- Challenge yourself and try to get out of your comfort zone,
- Know your own skills and show them confidently,
- Every person has a personal story to tell – small or big,
- Don’t be afraid to accept help and support,
- Visibility is not only about one’s own visibility, but also about recognising and nurturing the talents of others. This strengthens the collective visibility of all!
We would like to thank Sigrid Ledendecker and Anne Rückschloss as representatives of the Frankfurt chapter of Women in Mobility for the wonderful event and everyone for the inspiring talks and discussions!