Lena, Project Manager Digitalization & Innovation
System error!!! Women and technology - still a rare combination. System reboot: here comes Lena, our queen of apps.
I had great colleagues that shared their knowledge and experience with me.
Lena's progression in DB Schenker’s IT & Digitalization department
Lena (30) loves IT. She works as Product Owner at Global IT Land & Digital Solutions (GILDS) and is responsible for mobile app development at DB Schenker, heading up an international team of 17 colleagues. But this has only been a love at second sight. She once had great respect for IT.
Lena was fortunate to grow up in a surrounding that supported technical interests. As a teenager, she attended a technical high school where she was one of two girls among 28 boys. Thereafter, she studied international industrial management which included some lectures on IT. A great basis but no – Lena was still convinced: “I will never work in IT– never! I just don’t get it.” She was annoyed by html codes. “You put the comma at the wrong place or you forget to put something in brackets and then, nothing works. You have pages with commands and have to find this tiny but important bug. I could really freak out in these moments.”
Now, she has been working in DB Schenker’s IT & Digitalization department for over four years. At the age of 26, her manager expressed confidence in her skills: “I saw Lena had the right attitude. She was tough, eager to learn and to drive topics forward. IT is no magic – it means translating the business needs into clear requirements and finding a proper solution.” After some onboarding time, she got her first project – to develop her first mobile app.
Lena still thinks of this task as a huge challenge. Being a project manager, she had to hold all the threads together. But how can you take decisions, lead a team and develop a product if you are not an expert yet? You talk to the experts. Lena asked a million questions and always got answers. “I had great colleagues that shared their knowledge and experience with me. But also a very supportive manager and a highly motivated project team”. Her team of software engineers put the comma in the correct position and everything worked out well.
Also, she visited our truck drivers and accompanied them on tour. “I had to start the project on the road to understand what our drivers’ daily life really looks like and not what we think it looks like. I wanted to create an app that simplifies their job.” There is still a lot of analog work within Land Transport – e.g. tours and updates are communicated to the drivers by phone calls. Sounds easy. But if the truck driver does not speak the language of the dispatcher, misunderstandings are predetermined. The driver might end up at the wrong location for the collection or delivery of goods.
What’s coming next? Lena is pushing digitalization to a global level. “I don’t think we’ll run out of work so fast. There is still some paperwork that is waiting to become digital. So, let’s change this!”