"There were so few women in leadership positions when I started working, let alone out lesbians that I in a way had to invent myself" - Eva Kreienkamp - The Jury Member at the RAHM Contests in Berlin 2018 & 2019
Eva Kreienkamp is the founder of the first gay-lesbian network of Allianz, and the co-founder and board member of Wirtschaftsweiber and FidAR. Since 2015, she is the Managing Director of Mainzer.
She ranked a FIRST place on this years GERMANY´S TOP 100 OUT EXECUTIVES.
Laura: Eva, you volunteered for the second time as a RAHM jury member at the Contest in Berlin. Why do you find it important to support and connect the future generation of LGBT+ leaders and to function as a role model?
Eva: Mainly curiosity. I am interested in the people who participate, what stories they tell and where they stand in life. I like the Atmosphere of the RAHM-contest, it is professional and also great fun, created on a basis of trust. I learn as much as the participants do on leadership and also different industry sectors. And with the collective wisdom of all the contest winner are will chosen. So why should I skip out on such an occasion.
Did you have any role models yourself who inspired you throughout the beginning of your professional career?
Not really. There were so few women in leadership positions when I started working, let alone out lesbians that I in a way had to invent myself. So I took to books, films and music as orientation on how to live a good life, both professionally and personally. The 1970s and 80s were very good in gay and gender liberation, so there was a of inspirational stuff out there. I think now, for younger LGBT+ professionals it is different. There are a lot more role models to turn to.
You have had some very impressive milestones in your career and are now the managing director of the traffic association in Mainz. What I want to point out is that you have always been an out LGBT+ woman in your professional career. What effect would you say did this have on your career? Was there only positive reactions?
Luckily enough, being in a senior management position protects you somewhat from the below the line discrimination within an organisation. But of course I also experience structural discrimination as a women in business especially when my status as managing director is Not known for in the first perception I am a middle aged women who is not expected in a senior role.
I mentioned your exceptional career path before and what I find especially noteworthy is that next to your daily full-time job you have always put a lot of time and effort into being active in the LGBT+ Community. For example you have founded the first gay-lesbian network of the Allianz and are a founding member of Wirtschaftsweiber and FidAR. However, many still consider sexual identity and preference a private matter. What leads you to believe that connecting LGBT+ people also in the professional world is essential?
Be the change you want to see happen. I started off, because I didn‘t want to feel isolated in the corporate world. But once I got started with network building, I found it fun and useful, so when I had a new cause I started a new network. Of course it is up to each LGBT+ individual whether they want to connect, I got to know so many different people with such diverse backgrounds that I would not want to miss any of these experiences which gave me so much insights into their professional and private lives.
Why would you recommend (future) female LGBT+ leaders out there to apply for RAHM?
Because of the exceptional learning and fun experience. It‘s a game changer for all participants and more lesbians are welcome!
Join our RAHM Community or apply for the RAHM Contest 2020: To the application form!