Iris Niendorf’s working life is varied. Sometimes she is in the office answering e-mails and talking on the phone, sometimes she goes to the customer’s site and stands in the mud in safety boots to attend a machine demonstration or delivery. “In my job, the objective is to provide the customers with added value in their current waste disposal situation. I listen to the problems, try to identify the need and offer the suitable solution in the form of machine technology“, she explains. She is particularly glad to have a lot of contact with very different people and that she must adapt constantly to new contact persons. Customers and contact persons, in turn, also adapt to her. Occasionally there is still some confusion. “Sometimes I really feel that the customers are surprised at first that a woman is on the phone or standing in front of them. Bus as soon as they realize that they can expect as much expert knowledge as from my male colleagues, any prejudices that may exist are quickly eliminated.“
“Being the one among many – a real good feeling “
In her daily routine with her co-workers it makes no difference for Iris Niendorf to be the only woman among the area sales managers. “I was very well received. But I would lie if I said that I had never thought about it before I started my job. It was of course a strange feeling to know I was the only woman in the whole team.“ Her co-workers‘ reactions made it easy for her to get started, especially since she had also worked together mainly with men in her previous workplace. “I was sure that I would stand my ground and perform“, she says today. From her point of view, gender role models that influence career decisions are outdated. “Every woman and every man can exercise any profession if they are ambitious and inspired enough, no matter what gender, origin or body shape they have“, she emphasizes and adds that this should also be reflected in the salary.
Iris Niendorf’s advice for female junior professionals: “Believe in yourselves and don’t be afraid. You are in no way inferior to men and you can acquire any knowledge if you are interested in it! If you are a woman working in a male-dominated industry and doing a good job it is a big advantage to be the one among many and it’s a real good feeling!“