Corinne Ziege started her career at EPC Group more than 18 years ago as a project engineer. Since 2016 she has been working for the subsidiary CRYOTEC Anlagenbau GmbH in Wurzen near Leipzig. As Head of Project Management and Authorized Signatory she has already proved her leadership qualities and became Managing Director of the Wurzen-based plant construction company in April this year. As Managing Director, she is now responsible for the operational management.
What do you like most about your job?
The most exciting thing about my job is that every project is different. Through many years of working with a wide variety of clients from the most diverse markets all over the world, my work is very varied and at the same time very demanding - although it obviously also involves recurring processes and tasks.
The trips and work abroad are particularly impressive for me. My job takes me to countries I didn't see as such an interesting travel destination.
Have you ever been confronted with prejudices in your job? How did you deal with them?
Fortunately, I have had no experiences with prejudices on a professional level so far. However, I can tell a little anecdote from a business trip to UAE: When I entered the country, I was asked why I travel alone and whether I have my husband's permission to do so. I could not find any word for a short moment, but with the right self-confidence and patience, I explained that European women are allowed to travel without a male companion. As a result, I got my visa and the permission to enter the country without any problems.
Which skills are required to succeed in a male-dominated business?
In my opinion, the most important thing is to be authentic, to be true to yourself. In addition, active listening and asking questions are important qualities - not only in cooperation with male colleagues. In order to be accepted as a decision-maker in today's business environment, skills such as a confident appearance, a clear point of view, precise tasks, fairness and of course honesty - I emphasizes that these are requirements of people interaction. In my daily work I do not mind the difference between men and women.
What has been your most challenging experience so far and how have you managed it?
Once we had several days of project meetings in China which were tenacious and strenuous. In addition, you are confronted with different time zones and differences in cultural specificities in Asia, such as food and mentality. The first time it was a special challenge that helped me grow up as a person. I have learned to be more patient with myself, to observe issues and to gather impressions. It has made it easier for me to adapt to other cultures and to enjoy it.
How do you generally see the chances for women who apply for jobs in a technical environment? What career opportunities do you see for them, especially in the engineering sector?
From my point of view, there are good opportunities for women in the engineering sector. For instance, there is no difference in technical understanding between men and women. I also believe that women are known for their optimal perception and they are characterized by fast rethinking and combining. These characteristics are absolutely required in the engineering sector. At CRYOTEC, women make up almost 40%. We are seen as a team by our male colleagues and our female employees prove their skills in positions as a project manager or as a project assistant as well as in the field of technical process engineering.