“Be comfortable being uncomfortable”

Women in Leadership with Caroline Meister

Change & Culture, 29.05.2024

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.

For example, shooting the video for “Succeed – Women in Leadership”. Cool and focused in every take, relaxed and easy-going in the breaks, with a great sense of humour. Caroline Meister's burning passion for her job shines through in every situation: When she talks about her career and repeatedly takes part in calls via the button in her ear between shots. “I love structuring complex things,” says Caroline Meister.

Above-average number of women at division manager level in IT

It therefore comes as no surprise to anyone who has experienced Caroline Meister in person that she has emphatically smashed through the glass ceiling. She joined ITERGO as a Division Manager at the age of 36. “As I had already spent a lot of time in Australia, England and the USA during my studies and professional life, I was particularly attracted by the international focus here,” explains Caroline Meister, “and there are also an above-average number of women at division manager level in IT and at ERGO in general. I find a corporate culture that promotes this very appealing”. For her, a reliable network is one of the basic prerequisites for success and her most important advice to women on their way to management positions: “Find two or three female colleagues with whom you can talk openly about everything and who will support you!”

Overcoming concerns

After just under a year and a half, she was promoted to the ITERGO Management Board. Based on her experience from previous positions, Caroline Meister initially had reservations – only woman, wide age gap to other directors, how would that go down? After talking to family and friends, she found her own stance: “I have earned this position. I'm not too young, I've worked hard for it, I've put in a lot of time and effort.” How did they really go down? “My concerns turned out to be unfounded. My colleagues and staff accepted me completely.” One of the most important lessons Caroline Meister has learned along the way: “Be honest about whether I really enjoy the job and whether I am suited to it. Otherwise, a supposed career move can turn out to be a dead end.”

Your opinion
If you would like to share your opinion on this topic with us, please send us a message to next@ergo.de.

Related articles

Change & Culture 04.07.2023

Together for acceptance and against discrimination

This year's Pride Day Germany is all about solidarity, diversity and commitment to an inclusive society. Also at ERGO.

Change & Culture 16.05.2024

What are the most pressing HR issues of our time?

Four generations under one company roof. Does that work? And how can you work together successfully in times of change? Dr. Lena Lindemann, HR Director at ERGO Group, talked about this in her new format ‘HR Talk’ with her colleague Sylvie Nicol from Henkel.

Change & Culture 08.03.2024

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.