Interview with Kerstin Neureuther

Kerstin Neureuther,
Electronic Engineer
With WEISS since 2008

Kerstin Neureuther started working for WEISS as an electronics engineer in 2008 after an 11-year professional break. This is how the single mother of three was able to return to her career.

Berufserfahrene | Karriere bei WEISS

What is your professional background?

I did my training as an industrial electronics engineer with specialisation in equipment technology at a major electrical appliance manufacturer. After that, I started a family, had my three children and stayed home for eleven years. In 2008, I was able to return to my career at WEISS as a single mother; first half-days, and then full-time.

How did you end up at WEISS?

When my children were old enough, I wanted to return to work. I became aware of a full-time job at WEISS via an advert in a newspaper. I just applied for this position, although I knew I couldn’t manage full time then because of my children. In an interview I was then given the opportunity to work half-days and a little later to convert to full-time.

What is your area of responsibility?

As an industrial electronics engineer at WEISS, I am responsible for the setup, parameterisation and use of control systems for coordination in electrical assembly. These are customised controls and orders for various tables such as CR tables or heavy-duty tables.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

I would say the combination of quality and quantity. Fault-free and efficient processing of customer-specific orders, so that the supply promise we give our customers can be met. This is the biggest challenge for me.

Was it difficult to get back on your feet after the time out?

When I wanted to return to work after my parental leave, I was actually convinced that I wouldn't get any more career opportunities. The electronics department is so fast-moving, the technology is constantly changing. Reconnecting after eleven years of time out in this industry is not easy. At first, I had my doubts as to whether I could really do it. But WEISS gave me the chance to get to work one step at a time. This trust encouraged me, although it was a huge challenge to gain an overview of the variety of control components and products at WEISS. I've been here for a few years now and it's going very well. Today I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me.

What is it like for a woman to assert herself in a traditionally male-dominated profession?

Of course, it is certainly the case that women in male-dominated professions always have to give that little bit extra to be taken seriously. But I never had any problems, and had none during the training either. We also have a very good working environment at WEISS, our colleagues are very nice and everything works very well in the team.

Would you recommend a young woman to train in a typically male-dominated profession?

My daughter is currently training as an teacher. However, the pay in this sector is not great. She also has a mini-job at WEISS and definitely likes the technical arena. I would advise any young woman interested in a technical traineeship not to be put off by professions that are traditionally male dominated. Of course, as a woman it’s not easy to get back into a technical profession after a break to have a baby. However, the career and earning opportunities are often a lot better. And if you really want it, you can still manage a re-entry even after a long time away. Especially if you have the support of an employer like WEISS.

What is special about WEISS?

WEISS has supported me with my re-entry into professional life, even though as a single mother of three I am anything but an ideal candidate for many companies. I would therefore say that the company’s flexibility is particularly special. For example, I could start working half-days and then move to full-time without any problems. And when one of my children was sick, I wanted to attend school appointments or when I was simply needed as a single mum at home, I was always able to do this without problems. WEISS has always been very supportive in that regard. There really aren't many companies who offer this level of flexibility.

What do you want to achieve with WEISS?

I would like to support the company's success, both now and in the future. Internationalisation is a very important issue that must be set in motion. I would like to contribute my part to the success of the company so that there will continue to be secure jobs in the region. I think it’s great that we are supported by WEISS in this regard. For example, different courses such as English courses etc. are on offer.

What do you like about your native region?

I like to live here because I grew up in this region, my family lives here and I feel connected to my roots. I like the tranquillity; city life is just too hectic for me. That's why I'm pleased to have found an employer like WEISS, who gives me the possibility of a good and secure job here.

What three terms do you think best describe WEISS?

Familiar working environment, flexibility and independent working.

Dear Kerstin Neureuther, thank you very much for the interview.