Fostering Women Leadership at IBM

By Antje Staudenmeir

My name is Antje Staudenmeir, and I am looking for a change in my career.

Antje3.JPGI have three kids under the age of 18 and two years ago, I had been thinking about the direction of my career – “Shall I start thinking about a new career now after so many years? Shall I dare pursue a management career?” With three kids that are surely not that small anymore, but still needed most of my attention, I felt that that ship has sailed.

But things have a way of surprising us. I was nominated to a talent program called “Women and Leadership” (W&L) at IBM. This internal program identifies women with leadership potential and helps them to move the next steps into this direction.

I was thrilled by the program itself, and the exchange of experience with so many women from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. I felt encouraged through this program – I had already achieved so much in my life, why not a management career within IBM as well?

This was the starting point.

I found a female mentor at IBM who accompanied me throughout the whole training series of classroom and virtual sessions with a duration of seven months. Even after the successful completion of the W&L program last year, we continued our meetings to support each other with our daily work and to expand our networks and use them more effectively. A visit to the Women Power event at the Hannover Fair offered a great opportunity for that.

At the beginning of the year, I seized the opportunity to spend a day shadowing our CFO. What a great experience to see a woman in an executive position up close and personal! That experience only validated my decision to pursue my goal of being in a management position.

And this is why, as a woman with a family, I am extremely happy with how IBM continues to foster and challenge women in the workplace! There truly are many possibilities – one only has to take her career in her own hands. Because at IBM, it is never too late for you to discover what you can do.


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