Melanie Kempelmann has been working for our IT Support at EPC Engineering & Technologies GmbH in Rudolstadt since 2006.
Her responsibilities are very wide-ranging and challenging. The IT-team, which is dominated by men is responsible for IT-related questions and problems, in particular, monitoring of the existing computer systems and a quick bug fixing service.
What do you like most about your job?
What I really like about my job is the regular contact with many different colleagues and the pleasant working atmosphere.
Due to the variety of the different tasks and requests of the employees, there are always new challenges to deal with. These range from ordering hardware, telephone and mobile administration, desktop support, system preparation and configuration, remote maintenance to on-site service such as exchanging hardware.
What I also appreciate is that the IT sector is always changing. There is scarcely another industry that changes as rapidly as information technology - and this is exactly what makes my daily work exciting and interesting.
Why did you chosse this career?
After graduating from a technical college with focus on social work, I first completed a course in another area. During this time I started to be interested in technical contexts, computer-controlled processes and analytical thinking. In my private life I often helped family and friends with computer problems or difficulties with modems, printers etc. At some point it was clear to me that I want to turn my hobby into a career.
Can you name any person or company that has influenced you in your professional life?
No I have no role models. Every person has his own expectations of oneself and the ambition to make the best of it. You cannot transfer your attitude to one single person and say that's exactly what I'd like to be.
Have you ever been confronted with prejudices in your job? How did you deal with them?
No, so far I have not been confronted with prejudices. You always have to assert yourself, whether among women or men. Gender is immaterial in this case. I always look at the person itself. In fact, there are only a few women in the IT, but I've never considered it as something negative. I am sure that this will certainly change over the next few years. When I was a child there were no technical toys like Lego for "girls". Dealing with technology was not provided for girls. Nowadays it has changed. Every individual should and can realize himself and to concentrate on one's core competencies without gender playing an important role. I think that is a good thing.
Which skills are required to succeed in a male-dominated business?
From my point of view, it takes a sense of humor to survive in male-dominated industries. But also a "thick skin" and stamina are important qualities.
Which tips would you like to give prospective female engineers?
First and foremost, you should be assertive, trust your own abilities and remain true to yourself. But this is also important if you work in a female environment. These skills are always required!