Successful Women in SMEs

Katja Hillenbrand, Chairwoman of the Board of MICAS AG in Saxony, became the first winner of the "Successful Women in SMEs" competition. The jury chose her due to the atypical and successful foundation in the high-tech field of sensor technology. Concerning the criterion "compatibility of family and work," the chairwoman is in the vanguard. She has created more than 40 childcare places in her company with currently 80 employees.

f.l.t.r.: Kira Nordmann, Sophie von Rundstedt, Eva Reiter, Professor Dr. Nadine Kammerlander, Katja Hillenbrand, Claudia Rankers, Verena Moser und Karina Wilde (in place for Dr. Stephanie Schmickler) (copyright for all photos: WHU / Anke Kristina Schäfer)

In its 25th anniversary, the territorial Women's Council Rhineland-Palatinate [Landesfrauenrat Rheinland-Pfalz], in cooperation with WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, initiated the nationwide competition "Successful Women in SMEs" for the first time. "The goals are to make successful women visible, to motivate women to personal responsibility by providing them with career role models, and to promote the self-image for women in management. The selection of the winners was challenging for the jury, as many applications were outstanding," said Claudia Rankers, chairwoman of the Rhineland-Palatinate Women's Council.

The second prize went to Sophia von Rundstedt, CEO of Rundstedt & Partner GmbH from Hesse. All of her employees can use 20 percent of their working time for a future-proof "Innovation Friday." More than 50 percent of top management employees are female - most of them mothers. Flexible working hour’s models and career support after parental leave are a matter of course.

The third prize went to Eva Reiter, Managing Director of ITEX Gaebler-Industrie-Textilpflege GmbH & Co. KG from Rhineland-Palatinate. Her business ethics give preference to humans over the machine. Her way of managing the company addresses the needs of employees with a variety of individual solutions. An add-on is her interest-free employee loans.

Verena Moser, Managing Director of the mill bakery Rudolf Jung GmbH & Co. KG received the Special Award Rhineland-Palatinate. Moser stands for a twelfth generation run family business in the trade. Customer orientation, sustainability, and future-oriented growth are its drivers. At the end of 2017, her company took a combined block-type thermal power station into operation. Two further special awards went to Kira Nordmann (immerda DA GmbH, Lower Saxony) as well as Dr. Ing. Stefanie Schmickler (Augen-Zentrum-Nordwest MVZ GbR, NRW). Eight jury members, personalities from science and industry, including Professor Dr. med. Fratzscher, president of the DIW in Berlin, made the decision.

"The awarded women are role models, who set up their company management on a sustainable basis and as an attractive employer, offer their employees a good work-life. These are all essential prerequisites for a high level of participation of women in the professional career," says a delighted Professor Dr. Nadine Kammerlander, Head of the Institute for Family Business at WHU and co-initiator of the competition. The festive award ceremony took place on October 20, in the IHK Rheinhessen in Mainz.

f.l.t.r.:: Heinrich Lurz, Professor Dr. Nadine Kammerlander, Tanja Roolfs, Katja Hillenbrand and Claudia Rankers

f.l.t.r.: Heinrich Lurz, Tanja Roolfs, Professor Dr. Nadine Kammerlander, Eva Reiter and Claudia Rankers

f.l.t.r.: Heinrich Lurz, Tanja Roolfs, Professor Dr. Nadine Kammerlander, Sophia von Rundstedt and Claudia Rankers