Women in Leadership - Saying “yes” to management responsibility

The first step on the career path is the most difficult one. A clear “yes requires an environment in which a career for women is not only challenging, but above all encouraging and - fun!

Creating a positive and inclusive environment is an integral part of ERGO's corporate strategy - both nationally and internationally. Mentoring specifically for women, work-life balance programmes and seminars to promote a diverse corporate culture are all a matter of course. Unconventional models such as temporary department management or job-sharing on team leadership level are motivating more and more women to seize their opportunities and say 'yes' to management responsibility and “yes to ERGO.

The many successful women at ERGO, however, play a special role. Through their example, their commitment and their networks, they have been an essential part of the cultural change in the company for years.

In 2024, “Succeed - Women in Leadership will present women in there various of their careers.

Caroline Meister: “Be comfortable being uncomfortable”

Women in Leadership: Do you know those phrases that can really be a game changer? For Caroline Meister, by far the youngest managing director at ITERGO, it was this one: “Be comfortable being uncomfortable”. An incentive to keep taking on new challenges.

Verena School: “Fun is not the enemy of work”

Verena School stands for a modern understanding of leadership at ERGO. She achieves the best results with her employees with a lot of energy, intensive listening and fun. Find out more about the “Woman in Leadership in our magazine.

International Women's Day 2024: A heart for diversity

For this year's International Women's Day, we invited employees to take part in a photo campaign - and this is the result: we received almost 400 pictures from all over the world. With this, ERGO is sending out a further signal that diversity is lived in the company.

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ERGO Mentoring Flyer Teaser
Developing potentials through mentoring
An important measure for the development of female employees is the ERGO mentoring programme. Participants have the opportunity to work on their personal and professional advancement for twelve months alongside experienced leaders.
ERGO Mentoringprogramm
Mentoring programme: ERGO continues to write the success story for women
ERGO aims to fill 40 percent of management positions with women by 2025. The mentoring programme is helping to achieve this: 70 percent of the female participants to date have reached a first or next management position.
With mentoring on the way to a management position

As an attractive employer in Germany, ERGO uses various measures to create an environment that promotes personal and professional growth and enables female employees to develop their potential and contribute to the appropriate position. The mentoring programme for women contributes to this.

ERGO Mentoring Portrait Oliver Willmes

Three tips for you

Oliver Willmes, COO ERGO International and long-time mentor at ERGO:

  • Believe in yourself and develop your leadership skills.
  • Build a strong network with mentors and take advantage of development opportunities.
  • Be courageous, accept challenges and stay determined

Women in leadership positions significantly contribute to the success of our company, both in Germany and internationally. We provide them with a platform through our "Women in Leadership" initiative.

For this purpose, we use videos and interviews to provide insights into the lives and careers of women who can already look back on an impressive career or who have taken the first steps on their way to the top. So be inspired and shape your future with us. ERGO. Grow together.

Erika van Dyck

Use the valuable experience of international role models and shape your own career path!

Get to know our female managers – and take a look at a wide range of careers and experiences. They have managed to overcome challenges and successfully shape their careers.

Be inspired and use their tips to start your leadership career at ERGO.

Are you ready for your next career step? Get valuable tips for your own path to success!

Whether you are already in a leadership position or just starting your career, there are certain aspects that may help you to further advance in your career. These include developing strong leadership skills, increasing your visibility in your job or achieving a good work-life balance. Combine the following tips with the insight of our female managers and create your roadmap for your own path to success!

Tip 1: Ready to take on a leadership position?

These signs show that you are ready:

You are goal-oriented.

You set clear goals and develop strategies to achieve them. You don't let yourself be put off by setbacks or criticism and you accept feedback to reflect on your own performance and abilities.

You like to take decisions.

Weighing up different arguments is one of your strengths. In stressful situations you take the best possible decision, commit to it, and you defend it against other opinions.

You can delegate.

You know the individual strengths of your colleagues and can distribute tasks and responsibilities sensibly within the team. In this way, you offer development perspectives and foster them effectively.

You are a consultant.

Your colleagues trust your advice. You often support them with questions and help resolve conflicts. You inspire others with your passion and motivate them to do their best.

You demonstrate initiative.

With courage and creativity, you also dare to tackle new and challenging tasks. You bring in good ideas and help shape discussions by contributing your professional opinion.

Tip 2: Improving your leadership skills?

With these tips, you can further develop your strengths!

Take time for self-reflection!

Regularly think about your strengths, weaknesses and goals. Reflecting on your behaviour and desires. Recognising and identifying habits, will give you important approaches for change.

Educate yourself!

Education is crucial to acquire important soft skills and knowledge for a successful leadership role. Attend specific trainings and workshops to improve your leadership skills.

Attend mentoring programmes!

When you attend mentoring programmes, you learn from experienced leaders and receive valuable feedback. You'll gain new perspectives and have the opportunity to identify and seize career opportunities.

Think outside the box!

Be open for taking on new tasks. A change of perspective strengthens your self confidence, increases your motivation, and helps to broaden your skillset.

Ask for feedback!

Ask for regular feedback from your superiors or team members. This helps to continuously improve yourself and you will learn how to handle criticism. Additionally, it will improve the way that you give feedback to others.

Tip 3: More visibility at work?

With these five tips you can increase your visibility!


Networking events are an effective way to make new contacts and get known within the professional community. There, you can exchange ideas with your peers and benefit from valuable advices and experiences.

Get positioned!

Publish articles or attend podcasts, discussion forums and conferences to share your knowledge and position yourself as an expert. This will increase your credibility and reputation.

Show your digital presence!

In the digital world, LinkedIn is an important professional network to promote yourself as an expert. Update your profile and get actively connected by sharing and commenting on posts.

Take on projects!

Sign up as a project leader. This way, you do not only gain valuable experiences but you also demonstrate your leadership skills and make yourself more visible.


Be brave and dare. Actively apply for leadership positions and emphasise your experiences and skills. Never hesitate to do so because you think you don't meet all the requirements.

Tip 4: Achieving a good work-life balance?

These tips will help you focus on what really matters.

Set priorities.

Think about what really matters to you and where you want to invest your energy. Write down your goals and check regularly if you are still on the right track.

Get structured.

A good organisation is the key to success. Create a schedule and plan your week in advance. Actively take time for family and friends. Smart apps o r to-do lists help you manage your tasks and complete them effectively.

Communicate openly and honestly.

Communicate your needs and wishes to people around you. Be open and honest when talking to your family, friends and employer.

Schedule breaks.

Take time for yourself and allow yourself to take breaks to relax and recharge your batteries. This can be a walk during your lunch break or a relaxing bath in the evening.

Allow yourself to make mistakes.

Nobody is perfect and mistakes are part of life. What's important is that you learn from them and don't get discouraged.

Tip 5: Leadership Insights?

With these five approaches, you can be a good leader for your team.

Communicate clearly and simply.

Make the effort to talk to your employees on a regular basis. Make sure that your communication is clear, understandable and coherent. This creates clarity and helps to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes.

Create transparency.

Be open and honest with your employees. Even on unpleasant topics, you should be fair and not withhold relevant information. This builds trust and shows your team that you respect and value them.

Support your team.

Support and encourage your employees to maximise their individual strengths and develop a real passion for the job. Always encourage them to develop professionally and personally.

Create a good feedback culture.

Regular feedback sessions are important. Constructive criticism helps your employees to work on themselves. Praise and recognition are signs of appreciation and important factors to motivate your team.

Focus on equity and team spirit.

You should ensure that you treat all employees the same. A work culture that promotes equity and team spirit makes employees feel included, safe and valued.

“With the initiative “Women in Leadership” we want to showcase our many talented and successful female leaders around the world with even greater confidence, in turn inspiring current and future employees to take the next step and empower them to fully tap into their potential at ERGO.”

Dr. Markus Rieß, Chief Executive Officer ERGO Group AG

Q&A - Women in Leadership

  • ERGO has various programs that encourage and support women in their career development.

    ERGO career programmes

    These programs offer special trainings, coaching, and networking opportunities:

    • EXPLORE - International Group Trainee Programme
    • ERGO GROW - for prospective and experienced managers

    Mentoring programme

    The mentoring programme for women has been an important and successful part of ERGO's career programme since 2012. It provides targeted support for female employees to enable them to get ready for a management role or to develop further in their current management role. All information on the ERGO mentoring programme can be found in our magazine article.

    Women's network women@ergo

    The international network offers women from all ERGO companies a platform to network, exchange ideas and work together on topics relating to diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • At ERGO, meeting the women's quota is firmly embedded in the "Ambition 2025" strategy. Our goal is to increase the percentage of women in management positions to 40 percent by 2025. We are equally committed to equal rights for women in professional life and to more diversity. We recognise the strength and innovation of diverse teams. We invest in career and mentoring programmes, training and networks to create optimal conditions for women at all stages of their lives.

  • Across all hierarchical levels, the proportion of women in Germany is 56.6 percent. As of 31 December 2022, 39.6 percent of management positions internationally were held by women, compared to 29.5 percent in Germany.

    83.6 percent of employees benefit from flexible working hours, 91.7 percent have access to mobile working.

  • ERGO is setting the tone for a modern and inclusive working culture with a wide range of measures:

    • Job advertisements that address diversity
    • Awareness training courses to sensitise employees to the issue of diversity
    • Offers to make the workplace and work location more flexible
    • ERGO internal nationwide parent counselling
    • Job sharing
    • Part-time management

    Back in 2002, ERGO was the first insurance company to be awarded the berufundfamilie® audit for its offers to reconcile work and family life as well as for further objectives of a family-conscious HR policy. ERGO also carries the top4women seal.

    Zertifikat seit 2009 audit berufundfamilie    Siegel "top4women"

  • Take your career in hand today, here and now! Show us who you are and get to know your future team. We are looking forward to meeting you.

    ERGO. Grow together.

  • ERGO offers women opportunities and support for their professional and personal development. Our promise: we provide the frameworks and clear the path to enable all committed and ambitious employees to advance.

    Diversity and equality are fundamental elements of our corporate culture. Open-mindedness, creativity, reliability, mutual respect, appreciation and the courage to try something new defines how we view ourselves as a brand, an employer and a reliable partner for our customers in national and international business alike.
    You can find out more about how diversity is really practiced and lived within ERGO on our Diversity page.

ERGO Mentoring Interview Rolf Mertens
Mentoring: "Our exchange is both giving and taking - very enriching"

What motivates Rolf Mertens, "Head of Advanced Analytics & Robotics" and now also "Mentor of the Year," to be involved in mentoring for over 20 years? And how does he look back on his 31-year career within the company?

Lena Lindemann and Oliver Willmes
World Women's Day 2023: "We think it's important to create equitable opportunity."
It is the first International Women's Day for Lena Lindemann, ERGO Group Labour Director, and Oliver Willmes, Chairman of the Board of Management of ERGO International, since they took over the sponsorship of women@ergo 2.0. In this interview, they talk about diversity as an important part of ERGO Ambition 2025 and what equality means to them personally.