We interviewed Kira to learn more about how she feels about working in the tech industry:
Why did you choose the tech industry?
I have always found technical contexts exciting. My advanced courses in high school were math and physics. In the end, I decided to study Industrial Engineering with a focus on Electrical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University. The combination of Electrical Engineering and Economics was very helpful for my current position as a Product Manager, where I act as an interface between different departments. Now I not only know electrical engineering, but also understand how companies work.
How were women represented in your educational background?
During my studies, I was always one of the minority of women. If there was ever a female professor, she was from the business administration field. The technical lectures were held by male professors. Even in my technical internships, I was always subordinate to men.
How would you describe the corporate culture at envelio?
envelio is a very open and family-friendly company. Due to the flat hierarchies, the atmosphere internally is very familiar, which makes work very pleasant. At envelio, you work in a high-performance, dynamic and results-oriented environment. In the tech industry, you always have to reinvent yourself and adapt to change. Most of us are also privately interested in tech topics and bring that passion to our work.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My work is very diverse. Not only do I have to meet various requirements, but I’m also in close contact with different departments. As a result, my day-to-day work is very varied. It never gets boring!
Why are you a benefit to envelio and the tech industry in general?
I not only have a technical understanding, but can also put myself in our customers’ shoes. Before I’ve even talked to our developers, I’m already good at estimating how long it will roughly take to develop certain functions and ranking them according to urgency. With my organizational and planning skillset, it’s easy for me to prepare, follow up on, and moderate coordination meetings when the need arises. I also frequently initiate profitability and goal-oriented discussions.
Is there a project you are particularly proud of?
As I am the first Product Manager at envelio, it makes me particularly proud to have built up the product management area together with Philipp. We have developed a product strategy that contributes significantly to continuous product improvement. I am also proud to have significantly increased my understanding of software development.
What is it like for you to work in men’s groups?
Because it was never different in my studies, I’m used to it. If I know the people, it’s not a problem because they are aware of my knowledge. On the other hand, when I am the only woman in a new environment in a group of men, I sometimes find it exhausting. As a woman, I often have the feeling that I have to prove myself. Men are often not used to having women around who have the same technical understanding as they do and can talk on the same technical level.
With envelio, it was different from the beginning. Here I was directly taken 100% seriously and treated exactly like the male colleagues. Nevertheless, I am pleased that more and more women are now deciding to join us. Working in mixed teams is the most pleasant.
How has the envelio culture changed (from when you started working until today)?
When I started at envelio, we were only three women so our teams were very homogeneous. Meanwhile, that has changed. The proportion of women is increasing, which means our teams are becoming more diverse. You notice this not only during work, but also during breaks. Our topics of conversation are now much more varied because different people with a wide range of backgrounds sit together at the same table. Additionally, I can bring up topics with my female colleagues that I might not want to talk about with a male colleague, and vice versa. You always have someone to turn to.
Why do you think women should apply for a job at envelio?
At envelio, it’s very easy to develop technology skills because we have a lot of expertise in this area – for example, many of us have PhDs. In addition, with our technical know-how, we actively contribute to enabling the energy transition in the distribution grid. Through our work, we are making a value-creating contribution to the future. Sustainability is one of our core values in the company.
What do you wish for the future?
I would like to see stereotypes dissolve. I often get comments like “you don’t look like an engineer” – that puts many people off.
I would like to see more female role models who dissolve the negative and deterrent effect so that more girls develop an interest in technical topics at an early age.