I believe making an impact matters most if you can do it at scale. Energy is exciting since it is one of mankind’s basic needs and the fact that we are in the midst of the energy transformation makes it even more thrilling. This transformation and working with one of the biggest players in this field enables me to do my part in creating a more sustainable future for the company and the world. Ever since I joined Siemens Energy 15 years ago, the projects became more interesting and bigger as I continued to advance my career.
Today I am the Global Head of Process Engineering for the Siemens Energy project execution group and we lead engineering teams in various parts of the world supporting all major projects across the whole energy value chain: high voltage and transmission scope, large combined cycle power plants and renewables and hybrid plants. We run complex projects shaping a new energy landscape and collaborate beyond borders, so we can’t afford to work in silos. Collaboration is key here. You might start a project, hand over a part to a co-worker in another country and get results back from a co-worker from another part of the world for you to work on. Things are changing all of the time and we adapt accordingly.
Getting to the ‘why’ is where it all starts – I want everybody on my team to understand why we are doing the things we do. My teams consist of incredibly smart people, so I trust them to be able to find the right ‘what’ and ‘how’ after they understand the direction we are driving toward. Micro-management doesn’t belong in this complex environment where everyone is expected to take accountability.
To me, being a leader means empowering people to do their best work. These are not empty words, as open communication is the foundation on which I lead. I organize ‘Let’s Talk’ sessions, send out anonymous Ask Me Anything forms on a regular basis and generally foster a speak-up culture. Like every ambitious organization in this time of great change, we sometimes have stressful days and high workloads. I try to make myself available to people needing to be seen and heard and prioritize the well-being of my team members over my own day-to-day activities. I always try to promote a professional balance to my team by not demanding an ‘always on’ mentality, but a more flowing way of working where we peak when we have to and take personal time when it’s necessary to practice self-care and be there for our families. The more we work and the harder it is, the more important it is to unplug in a way that recharges our minds.
What I do to wind down after hectic days? I might end my day a little earlier and get out there riding my dirt bike or pursue my rock climbing passion.
At Siemens Energy we need people willing to define and drive both their own future and that of generations to come. Pursuing innovation and changing the way we work requires brave people and those who can cope with ambiguity. In return, we offer freedom and flexibility, but more importantly, support and guidance along the way.
For all women engineers out there: Don’t fall in the confidence vs competence trap when seeking your next job and looking toward your future career. Just apply, even if you don’t tick all the boxes. You are able to do so much more than you give yourself credit for as we tend to be our own toughest ‘graders’. Don’t sell yourself short!