International Women's Day: Interview with Solution Consultant Vera

International Women's Day: Interview with Solution Consultant Vera

5 min read Mar 08, 2023

This year's motto for International Women's Day is "DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality". As a global software company, BE-terna took this as an opportunity to bring women into the limelight. In our four-part interview series, our female colleagues talk about their everyday lives as women in IT and what challenges still need to be overcome in the IT industry.
This week, we are with Vera – a Solution Consultant with a focus on production, planning and asset management at the Innsbruck site.

What career path have you had so far and which of your skills can you apply at BE-terna?

I completed my bachelor's degree in industrial engineering with a focus on production, and then a master's degree at the University of Innsbruck in business informatics. The mix of these two courses of study thus gave me a good knowledge base for my current role as a Solution Consultant, enabling me to quickly understand production-specific processes and customer requirements, and then map them in the ERP system.
Through student activities and internships alongside my studies in the areas of project management and data analysis, I also developed skills such as how to structure and plan tasks independently. In my free time, I was also regularly active as a ski instructor, which certainly helped me learn how to best impart knowledge and to be confident in front of larger groups. In customer workshops, it is particularly important to have a feeling for the level of knowledge of the participants in order to find a suitable approach in the workshop.

How have you grown in your role at BE-terna, and what are some of your proudest accomplishments at the company so far?

Since I had no previous experience with ERP systems, I learned a lot in the first few weeks. After a theoretical familiarisation phase to learn the basics of the system, I could then quickly get involved in the project business. In the last one and a half years, I have primarily learned to work in a solution-orientated manner, to quickly get a grasp of the customer's processes and to design the ERP solution together with the customer. I have already had the privilege of supporting a customer during their go-live and supervising many other projects in the areas of production, planning and asset management. I am proud of the fact that I was quickly able to take on my own projects and thus also responsibility. When you get positive feedback from the customer about the cooperation, it confirms that you can also do good work as a young consultant without many years of professional experience. In the area of production, which, like IT, is still not very well represented by women, it's particularly nice to see that you can earn the respect of customers through good work, despite some initial scepticism.

What makes BE-terna a great place to work for women, and how does the company promote gender diversity and inclusivity?

I actually only have male colleagues in my team in Innsbruck at the moment. So far, however, I have never had the feeling of being treated at a disadvantage in tasks or projects. Therefore, I have always felt equal to my colleagues. Especially in the design of the career website, BE-terna takes care to address women and men equally. I am also particularly pleased that BE-terna is launching this format for International Women's Day in order to attract more women to careers in the IT industry and to BE-terna. Maybe this will give us more female support again for our consulting team in Innsbruck.
What certainly makes BE-terna an attractive employer for women are the flexible working hours. All employees have the opportunity to arrange their own working hours and to work from home 100% of the time. This makes it easier for women and men to combine both career and family.

The motto for this year's International Women's Day is "DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality." How do you think the IT industry can become more inclusive and welcoming for women, and what role can BE-terna play in driving this change?

More flexible working models, such as free time management and home office options, are certainly a start to making careers in IT consulting more attractive for women. We now conduct most of our customer appointments remotely, which has also significantly reduced travel time as a consultant.
Nevertheless, there is certainly potential to promote women more within the company. There are still few women in management positions at BE-terna. For new applicants in particular, women in management positions can be role models and make it clear that as a woman in the company, you have the same career opportunities and development possibilities as your male colleagues. Here, women could be supported even more specifically through mentoring and support programs.

What advice do you have for women who want to pursue a career in IT, and what skills or attributes do you think are important to succeed in the industry?

My job as a solution consultant for D365 may seem very technical and complex at first glance. However, if I had to evaluate how high the proportion of technical tasks and skills required for this is, I would say that this only makes up 20-30% of my work. In addition, anyone with a little motivation and enthusiasm can acquire this technical knowledge and certainly does not need any previous experience. Other qualities such as understanding process flows, solution-orientated work, designing workshops with customers and good communication skills are often much more important. In particular, the design of workshops and the research to find solutions for the customers' requirements also have very creative aspects. So you should definitely not be intimidated by the term ‘IT’, as it is much more important to bring knowledge and interest in business processes such as purchasing, sales, finance or production.

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About the Author

Verena Schneeberger

Marketing Associate