Keynote Speaker Interview with Marion Rövekamp, Chief Human Resources Officer at energy company EWE AG
30.08.2019 | Redaktion Zukunft Personal
Marion Rövekamp is Keynote Speaker at the Zukunft Personal Europe 2019. We exclusively interviewed the Chief Human Resources Officer at energy company EWE AG. The German version of the interview can be found in the anniversary magazine of the Zukunft Personal Europe 2019.
1. Ms Rövekamp, your keynote speech at the Zukunft Personal Europe is entitled “Shaping the energy world with the power of diversity”. What do you mean by “diversity”?
Everyone’s talking about diversity at the moment. Here at EWE, we understand diversity to be different approaches and ways of thinking, different backgrounds, horizons of experience, specialist areas, origins, interests and much more. In short – all the qualities that in their combination make a person unique.
"We understand diversity to be different approaches and ways of thinking, different backgrounds, horizons of experience, specialist areas, origins, interests and much more. In short – all the qualities that in their combination make a person unique." - Marion Rövekamp
2. You want to bring more women into management positions. How was your own route to the top and how did you handle the challenges you encountered on the way?
I always set myself goals but also had a good feeling for the sorts of opportunities that arose on the way to the relevant goal. I then evaluated these opportunities for myself and, if necessary, adjusted my goal to suit them. Women should have a clear vision of where they want to go. They should actively take advantage of opportunities or clearly signalise what subjects they are interested in. Some women also need the courage to close the gaps in their knowledge, to overcome a high level of perfectionism and any doubts they might have or instead to sometimes see the journey as the goal. I either overcame challenges or – if things sometimes didn’t work out – had a firm belief that another opportunity would come along, which was indeed always the case.
"Some women also need the courage to close the gaps in their knowledge, to overcome a high level of perfectionism and any doubts they might have or instead to sometimes see the journey as the goal." - Marion Rövekamp
3. EWE AG signed the “Diversity Charter” in 2018. What action are you taking to drive forward the issue of diversity?
We have developed our internal communications culture to encourage quite open, varied and critical discussions on articles appearing on our intranet or on our recently launched CEO blog. Here, we regularly experience surprises because a topic we may have assessed critically is discussed in a very positive way and other supposedly neutral topics have sparked very critical feedback or none at all. It is always exciting to get involved here and watch developments.
4. To what extent is the issue of “diversity” a competitive advantage when it comes to the recruiting of the best specialists?
A company that really lives diversity and whose employees identify with it because their opinion and individuality is valued, gains in attractiveness and is verifiably more successful. Future labour markets will particularly demand the willingness to engage in lifelong learning so the appropriate attitude is often more important than existing qualifications. If potential employees feel that this is the right attitude, a company is attractive for them.
5. What challenges have you encountered at EWE – and possibly former employers – concerning the digital and social transformation of the corporate culture?
"As regards digital transformation, there is a need for additional qualifications and these are offered at different levels so staff need to acquire these." - Marion Rövekamp
One of the biggest challenges is to enable all employees to develop further from where they currently are. This is a very individual matter for each employee. As the executive team here at EWE, we offer a range of training opportunities and try to embody the culture we are aiming for. As regards digital transformation, there is a need for additional qualifications and these are offered at different levels so staff need to acquire these. At EWE, we have set off together to achieve a goal and have already seen initial success in the culture of collaboration including the use of new working methods.