“In September 2007, I had the chance to start my training as a laboratory chemist at the Chemiepark Marl. In summer 2010, I was then employed as a laboratory chemist in the department of fluid process engineering where me and my colleague made a significant contribution for building up the laboratory.
Until the birth of our daughter in July 2015, I worked full-time, and thanks to my supervisors and colleagues, I had the opportunity to return to my old job with reduced hours after parental leave. During the parental leave, my colleagues and I did not lose sight of each other and continued to keep in touch. For example, I took part in the summer team event, the Christmas party and our Christmas waffle baking, which my colleague and I started almost 10 years ago. In addition, I continued to have private contact with my colleague from the laboratory, who regularly updated me about news and changes and we also got along well in private.
Getting back into working life was not always easy. But especially the external circumstances made it easier for me, as a working mother, to find a balanced way between work and family. The childcare allowance that Evonik pays in the first years, the flexible arrangement of my working hours and the flexible pick-up times at the kindergarten made my working life much easier, especially at the beginning. Since my husband, who works as a teacher, is not flexible with his working hours, I take our daughter to kindergarten most days of the week before work. At 7:15 a.m. we are standing in front of the kindergarten door so that I can get to work on time for our 8 a.m. meeting. A normal working day lasts until about 2 p.m., so I can pick up our daughter from the kindergarten at 2:30 pm after work. On days when my husband doesn't have to go to school early, he takes our daughter to kindergarten and I can start working earlier.
Of course, there are also situations where it is necessary to start work earlier or work longer, as for example on days we attend training courses. In this case it is always helpful to have a good network of helpers at home!
As I look to the future, I am looking forward to the new tasks and challenges that working in process engineering brings with it and I hope that I will continue to be able to organize my working hours as flexible as nowadays.”