Career News
March 23, 2021

People Insights: Birte

Birte's career path led the engineer from the RWTH Aachen and Tongji University Shanghai to the Collège des Ingénieurs in Paris and the IMD Business School in Lausanne. Today she works as Global Director Base Petrochemicals/ Procurement in Marl and tells us in her People Insight what responsibility means for her. Moreover, she explains how she manages to master family life and work in parallel and what she still wants to learn despite her intensive career.

Which type are you: “Planning is half my life” or “Let's have a look, then we'll see”? 

It doesn't work without planning. I have clear goals, but I can be very flexible and spontaneous on the way to achieving them. Now and then it is also worthwhile to rethink goals. 

How do you deal with responsibility? 

You can only learn to deal with responsibility when it is given to you. I grew up with four siblings and thus learned early on to take responsibility for myself. As a mother of two children, I also bear responsibility for others. In my job, I have global responsibility for two of our largest raw materials, a great responsibility for Evonik. 

It is important not to avoid uncomfortable topics regarding myself, my children and Evonik. I must be able to rely on others and others on myself. You must cautiously demand this reliability in order to develop new responsible people. 

Which factors help you to keep the balance between family and work? 

The attitude of my immediate environment is key!  

In my private life: A partner who is also fully in the job but at the same time a great dad. The grandparents, who are not local but ready to travel across continents for their grandchildren. A loving au pair girl. And the most important point: my children, who grow up with the feeling that the world is great and make it easy for me to take a mental break. 

In my professional life:  An internal and external environment and a strong network, where trust and reliable commitments on both sides are particularly important. 

There are always obstacles in my way. Meanwhile, I consciously ask myself with every obstacle: Is it worth investing the energy in putting it out of the way? 

What do you want to learn in 2021? 

The list is long. Besides business topics, I am also learning Japanese on the side, as my children grow up bilingually. But I can and would like to learn most about myself and about other people. 

Which Evonik location would you like to visit and why? 

Rosario in Argentina. Together with my colleague Peter in the USA, as well as Marcos and his team on site, we have even before Corona successfully implemented joint negotiations without a single personal meeting. That was great! 

Here is our last People Insights with Joao.

More Career News from Evonik