Diana Schnetgöke


Women@Technik : As a part-time manager

In our series, we present individual stories about female employees at Deutsche Telekom Technik GmbH. Melanie Häberle started her apprenticeship as an office communications administrator, completed her certification as a Scrum Master, worked as an Agile Coach, and is now a successful manager. She has been Chapter Lead at Telekom Technik for two years.

Melanie, what challenges have you had to overcome?

Portrait Melanie Häberle

Melanie has already taken on many projects in Technik. © Deutsche Telekom

Melanie: Well, there’s the old cliché that mothers who work part-time don’t have any serious job or career aspirations. For me personally, it took a while before I had the confidence and the mindset to stand up to this cliché. Putting myself forward for exciting projects and tasks despite working part-time took courage. But I soon learned to vociferously and assertively address the things that I value, the things that are important to me, and the topics I’d like to drive forward. Since then, I have been getting more offers with interesting tasks. 

What makes you tick?

Melanie: I’m a good planner and organizer, both at work and at home. I can’t live without my calendar, and I also use a Kanban board. I block off times when I can focus on work and I leave space between meetings. In the Tribe, we generally start meetings at “5 past” and we have introduced a regular no-Webex day. The feedback about this has been good, because it helps us to leave free time for creative work. There is a lot of scope for creativity in our company.

Set targets, take opportunities, but always remain true to yourself. Melanie Häberle

As Chapter Lead, are you making Technik “more female"?

Melanie: I started in technology early in my career and never had a problem with the teams that had predominantly male members. So I don’t behave differently. I don’t have a “female” management style, but just my own personal style. I’m an empathic person with a lot of energy and joy. I don’t have to pretend and come across as extra “tough” just because I’m a woman. I can be empathic, communicate on an equal footing, and yet still be clear on my stance. In my Tribe, we have a culture that suits me very well.

What tips do you have for colleagues who want to be successful in their jobs?

A young woman sits in an armchair.

As a manager, Melanie has been with us for more than 10 years. © Deutsche Telekom

Melanie: The most important thing is to first figure out for yourself what you want to achieve. Everyone has a different definition of success and a career is something completely individual. Know your own objectives, tell as many people as possible about them, implement them step by step, and find an environment that supports you. I’m a fan of networks. They are great for regular exchanges, getting inspiration from outside, and sometimes even finding opportunities.

Set your own limits. Be successful, but not at any cost. For example, I turn some jobs down because I want to be there for my children and I don’t want to be sitting in meetings until 7 p.m. every day. Time with my family is more important to me than that. I don’t make promises I can’t keep. I’m open in communicating what people can expect from me and what not. In return, I’m 100% dedicated and absolutely reliable. 

What were the three most important steps on your career path? 

Melanie: Every change has been an important step, because I had to leave my comfort zone with each change, and learn new things. If I had to limit it to three steps, I’d say:

  1. "Try out management” as an acting team leader, because it was only by trying it out that I realized how much I enjoyed it. Before, I couldn’t really imagine what it would be like. 
  2. Certification as a Scrum Master and the associated work as Agile Team Coach, because once again it was something new, and I really had to study for the certification. 
  3. The third step was the most difficult, namely the change of Tribe. It meant I not only had my first functional management role, but also an entirely new environment that I wasn’t familiar with at all, but in the end that’s what helped me to grow the most.

Melanie Häberle’s story is just one of many that demonstrate the career opportunities that are possible in the company. Do you want to start your career with us? Click here for jobs at Technik. We look forward to meeting you. And you can look forward to the next story about Women@Technik. Stay tuned! ☺️