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Embrace diversity. Challenge stereotypes. Support one another: Women at Dräger

At Dräger, many women work in technical environments with a high number of male colleagues. For some, this plays a role in their personal experience, while for others, not at all. What they all have in common is a high level of knowledge and expertise in their fields. Get to know a few of them on a deeper level and learn about their unique professional experiences at Dräger and beyond.

Frederike Schnalke

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"It’s important to encourage diversity within a team so that different perspectives and experiences come together."

 

Frederike Schnalke has been working at Dräger for three years as an intermediary between marketing and product management teams. She is responsible for the stationary gas detection systems marketing mix in Germany and surrounding regions which includes planning regional market launches and projects, product pricing, and monitoring the market environment.

What were your expectations when you started the job?

I was looking forward to a dynamic, exciting, and challenging job. Independent work and creative freedom are important to me. I was also aware that I would be working predominantly with male colleagues.

What challenges do you face in your day-to-day work?

I work with different personalities who often have very different, strong opinions and in some cases decades of experience in the product environment. It can sometimes be challenging to make your voice heard and bring in new perspectives.

Would you recommend this job to other women as well?

I really enjoy my job and would definitely recommend it to others. I consider certain personal qualities - communication skills, persuasiveness, assertiveness and empathy - to be just as important to the role to the professional qualifications.

Julia Seeler

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"I often feel like I have to prove myself, especially in terms of my technical knowledge."

 

Julia Seeler has been responsible for service sales in Northeast Germany for six years. Her goal is not only to sell services, but to adapt and develop them to meet a customer’s unique needs. To do this, she mediates between the customers and internal teams such as sales, service technicians, trainers, or marketing.

What challenges do you face in your day-to-day work?

I had to learn how to deal with many characters and different ways of thinking depending on the department or industry. Depending on the situation, I consider whether we should stick to proven views and approaches or if we should adapt them. I must also master a variety of systems and bring the information from them together.

What are the differences in how women and men do this job?

In my experience women often work very precisely, myself included. This takes a lot of time at first, but after I have gathered all the information I can examine the topic from all sides. My observation is also that women are less numbers- and prestige-driven, sometimes turning their attention to what others may consider “smaller” matters, but these can often result in medium- to long-term large effects.

Is there anything you would change or do differently if you could?

I would like to be able to say 'no' more often, especially when I’m in a large group. I'm often asked to work through something and communicate further because that's my strength as a woman, but those are skills that colleagues of any gender can accomplish.

Alexandra Bering

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"I don’t limit my focus to a product’s technical features, I also look at who is working with the product. This often results in new and valuable perspectives and insights."

 

Alexandra Bering has been a trainer at the Dräger Academy in South Germany for five years, training both internal employees and customers on our products. Her course attendees are on average, over 95% male.

Why is it good that you are in this job?

On one hand, I contribute to the further development of processes in sales with my technical expertise. On the other hand, my communication skills allow me to have good access to customers. This often results in close and personal relationships that can provide new insights. For example, I often have exchanges where customers give me ideas and suggestions which then results in improvements to our products.

Are there differences in how women and men do this job?

Yes, in my opinion there are definitely differences. My colleagues often take a very factual approach and focus on the product features - What can it do? What are the costs? How quickly can the job be done? I also pay attention to the people and emotions behind a product – Is it easy to use? Do I feel secure when using the product? How does this product affect the rest of my daily work? Thinking in this way often results in new and valuable perspectives and insights.

Is there anything you would change or do differently if you could?

No, I wouldn't change anything. My colleagues and customers are wonderful to deal with!

Renupreet Kaur

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"Women and men are equally competent, qualified and smart. The distribution of roles - whether at work or at home, should never be about gender.“

 

Renupreet Kaur has worked in the gas detection industry for 14 years, starting her career in a refinery where only two women worked per shift alongside 70 men. She is currently an account manager for stationary gas detection in the United Kingdom. Her role in business development is to build strong, long-term customer relationships. She works closely with customers to identify their individual requirements and present them with the right Dräger products and services as a solution. In doing so, she often works cross-functionally with colleagues from service, project management, customer support and marketing.

What do you like most about your job?

My favorite thing to do is meet with customers, share my knowledge and experience, and help them with their individual safety requirements. I know that everyone involved benefits from this exchange and it helps keep our customers safe. Ultimately, this benefits not only the individual workers, but their entire families.

Do you think there are differences in the way men and women do this job?

In my professional experience, I have observed that men tend to delegate more. They assign tasks and responsibilities and then rely completely on the designated person. The way the task is done is not important, only the end result matters. My female colleagues, on the other hand, tend to use their emotional intelligence and like to be involved in the entire process. They pay attention to the details to make sure everything is done right throughout the project.

What do you think about gender distribution among leadership positions?

The division of roles - whether at work or at home - should never be about gender. While I believe that men and women may approach challenges differently, at the end of the day, both can achieve a good result.

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Why Dräger?!

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