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If there‘s something Dr. Angelika Berger-Sodian is certain of it’s that female leadership is pivotal in advancing business.
Dr. Berger-Sodian is a long-time automotive expert and CEO to electric startups, including now very successful Chinese carmakers, as well as an experienced business builder. Her latest venture has taken her to Lisbon where she works with Portuguese Stealth Mode Mobility, yet another startup.
“Today, every company wants to prove that they are well aware of diversity and do all the right things,” she says. Dr. Berger-Sodian’s journey as a higher-trier employees began in 2015 when she began working for electric car maker Nio. Then, she was hired by CEO William Li. “Li put people in key roles as country heads all over the planet. They just mostly happened to be women.” Dr. Berger-Sodian recently had a conversation with Roger Atkins, also an EV advocate, show host and founder of Electric Vehicles Outlook on behalf of the Women Automotive Network. They discussed the need to diversify hiring and evening out the gap between men and women. “Truthfully, in my more than 20 years in the automotive world I have never had a female leader. It’s even rare to say that I got to work with many women that were a level below me.” She told Atkins, that she has had plenty of experience with working with male leadership. However, she believes times will soon change.
“In the past two to three years it’s become obvious to me that there is a need to focus on what I call female entrepreneurship.” This, she says, appears to come easier to men. “I don’t want to over-exaggerate but I have experienced many power plays and I always got the sense that my male colleagues enjoyed it. That’s just something I don’t believe we women have.” As the automotive business environment continuously adjusts, the only constant is that business leaders and employees face disruptions. Dr. Angelika Berger-Sodian sees great opportunities in this – especially for women.
“I’m not a fan of quotas. I’m a fan of mind-set, capabilities and cultures that focus on performance, speed and the right values.” Whether it’s working for a well-established company that looks back on vast experience or a startup operation with creative drive doesn’t matter in her opinion. What it comes down to is great leadership. “The gap between new and established businesses narrows over time. However, entrepreneurs forge the way forward as they work for a good company with good values and they take the ego out of operations.”
You can watch the recording of the live event on LinkedIn here
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