Combining career and family at TIGER

Career and family - is that compatible?

At TIGER, we say "Yes!" - and have created our own leadership concept that benefits (not only) mothers in leadership positions. Our colleagues Nora and Sibylle work in a so-called "dual leadership" and shared their experiences with us in an interview.

Nora Pollmann is a mother of two kids ( 4 and 1.5 years old) and has been part of the TIGER team for ten years. After studying to become a chemist in Germany, she came to Austria and found her job at TIGER. She first worked in research, then moved to technical product management in the "Cans and Tubes" division. Since 2015, she has been responsible for global technical product management in the "Architecture" division.

Sibylle Wagner has been with TIGER since 2014. She was first deployed in the Toner division, and in 2017 she moved to the Architecture team as Senior Formulator. During Nora's maternity leave, she took over as team leader. Since Nora's return to work, the two have shared the team leadership.

Nora, how was it for you to return to work after maternity leave?

Nora: Very easy and uncomplicated. I shared my parental leave with my partner, we were both at home with our baby for seven months. While my partner was on paternity leave, I worked full time and we arranged everything organizationally for the time afterwards.

Did you miss work while on maternity leave?

Nora: Yes, very much! I am someone who really likes to work, I need the challenges at work and the variety in everyday life. Even though I really enjoy the time with my children, I wouldn't feel well without this balance.

Was it difficult to organize childcare?

Nora: At first, yes, but we were lucky. Of course, going back to work very early is more difficult, because public childcare facilities only accept children over the age of 18 months. Since we also don't have any grandparents nearby who could support us, my partner and I have to arrange childcare ourselves. However, so far we have always found good childcare places for our children that are suitable in terms of schedule.

Did you have any difficulties balancing everything when you returned to work?

Nora: At the beginning, yes, but more because I put a lot of pressure on myself. On the one hand, you want to be there for the children as best you can, but on the other hand, you also want to do everything right at work. While my partner was on paternity leave, I was still breastfeeding and always returned home at lunchtime to do so - luckily we live close to TIGER. I was always supported by the company and my team, and I'm very grateful for that.

Sibylle, you replaced Nora during her maternity leave. How are you both doing now as a dual leadership team?

Sibylle: It works very well, we are a well-coordinated team! We already worked together before Nora's maternity leave. Our team is one of the most consistent in the lab sector, and we all get along very well. Of course, that also makes it easier in the day-to-day work.

Did you split up the management tasks or do you decide everything together?

Sibylle: We have assigned the areas to each other. I think it's important that everyone has their own competences. It also makes it easier for the team. For example, we have divided the customers regionally. In addition, I am more responsible for day-to-day business and Nora for current and new projects. But we consult with each other and also represent each other.

What are your tasks in this context?

Sibylle: Roughly speaking, we are responsible for ensuring that the performance of the products for the architectural sector is in order. This involves constantly checking the powder coatings that are produced and adjusting them if necessary. We also develop new products.

When did you have the idea for the dual leadership?

Sibylle: It turned out quite well that way. Nora was on maternity leave for a year and then back full time for seven months before switching to part time. During this period, there was a change of leadership in R&D and some things were restructured organizationally. I also wanted to take on more responsibility, so we decided to share the leadership. The management was also very supportive.

​​​​​​​Thank you very much for sharing your experiences with us!

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