Anja Berner
Succeed - Women in Leadership

“I am the Head of Product Management Leben Klassik (Classic Life) and, together with my team, am responsible for product management in the run-off portfolio, comprising over 5 million contracts.
I am also product owner for processes in the migration project in cooperation with IBM.

Helena Biewer

Questions for Helena Biewer

What is your job at ERGO?

“I am Head of Product Management Leben Klassik (Classic Life) and, together with my team, am responsible for product management in the run-off portfolio, comprising over5 million contracts.

I am also product owner for processes in the migration project in cooperation with IBM. A considerable portion of my duties consists of technical assessment of any implementation that deviates from the system standard, with the aim of keeping close to the standard, while also making allowance for contractual matters.

How did you start your career?

“After training as a bank clerk at Deutsche Bank, I studied International Business Management with a focus on Russia, after which I then worked for one year in Russia for Allianz and for other companies.

I next worked for four years as a consultant for BearingPoint, advising insurance companies and banks on controlling and risk management.

I began working at ERGO in 2011 in the EO as an advisor on process optimisation with a focus on customer service/life. From 2014 to 2017, I was an advisor to the manager of the Incoming Information unit.

In 2017, I assumed responsibility for product management in Leben Klassik.

What is your motto?

“There are many kinds of challenges from day to day. You need to decide which of the following two approaches is best suited to dealing with each: either "great things never come from comfort zone" or "take things step by step".

What things in particular helped you become successful?

“I came to Germany when I was nine years old and had to learn everything from scratch. Since then I am no longer intimidated by changes or challenges.

How do you switch off from work in the evening? How do you manage to keep a balance between your challenging work responsibilities and your private life?

“During my job interview, I arranged for one dree weekly afternoon as a family afternoon. My husband – also in a management position – did the same. Perhaps that doesn’t always work, but I believe the agreement and the commitment are important. In exchange, I’m happy to work through a few emails when I have time and leisure late in the evening.

I especially look forward to our pizza evening every Wednesday with all the family!

What tips can you give to women on their way to management positions?

“Take part in the ERGO Mentoring Programme, and attend the highly targeted selection of seminars.

In addition, women, and particularly mothers, should not hesitate to take on the challenge of a well-paid management position and then use the financial capacity it offers to create the necessary framework conditions/reduction in pressure to balance work and family life.

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