Jacqueline Lange believes that breaking down traditional hierarchical structures is absolutely crucial: “It is also indispensable in our sector. Young people have grown up differently, you can’t integrate them into a strict hierarchy.” Jacqueline Lange began studying nuclear technology in 1989 back in the DDR (German Democratic Republic) and is a qualified engineer specializing in energy technology. She admits that she never made a career plan for herself. “It didn’t matter what position I held, in the first instance I always wanted to just be good at I what I was doing.” However, the company did have a plan: When her name was put forward in 2019 to be the first woman to hold a key position in upper management, “it was clear to me that it was time to do it. And I haven’t regretted it at all.”
Irrespective of gender, the new structures must, of course, be managed differently and more freely. Lange says: “People without a title and shoulder epaulets also have to take responsibility and this is something that we expect. But not everyone who can do a good job is used to taking on responsibility. We have to support and encourage them.”
Lange is also a member of the Global Management Board (GMB), in which the top managers regularly meet to exchange ideas. The GMB used to be a group of 60 high-level managers but today has more than 100 members who are more international and diverse. It acts as a superordinate body, which discusses and develops themes related to the corporate strategy. These themes are then bundled together and disseminated by the members in their respective areas of the company. “The aim is to identify any opportunities for improvement at an early stage and introduce initiatives for the benefit of the company,” says Jaqueline Lange.
Kauffeld, Lange and Burgstahler all agree that self-efficacy, the willingness to change and trust in your own abilities are fundamental for how we will work in the future. These are also qualities that can be trained.