3 March 2021

Female Leaders@TUI – Chalotte Wwiebe

TUI has many successful female leaders in a wide range of areas. In our series "Female Leaders@TUI" we feature these colleagues and their inspiring thoughts on the subject of equality in interview form. This time we talked to Charlotte Wwiebe, Group Director Sustainability TUI Group.

Charlotte, what is your current role at TUI?

Together with my team, colleagues and partners, I am responsible for driving the sustainable business transformation at the TUI Group and in the tourism industry overall. We develop and implement our TUI Sustainability strategy which focuses on reducing the environmental impact of our operations, services and products. It also aims to promote responsible social policies and outcomes both directly and indirectly. In addition, we create possibilities for colleagues and partners to gain more knowledge and skills in order to actively participate in driving the sustainable business development in different parts of TUI.

Who is your role model as a female leader?

There are so many but I would like to mention those who are closest to my heart:  Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States until her death in 2020, Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, my dear grandmother Signe Wiebe, who was among the first female teachers in Sweden. They all stand for believing and driving change and to challenge old values!

Another leader I would like to mention and who continuously challenges me in my role as a mother, is my beloved daughter Elin. When reading my first draft of responses to these questions, she said: “Mum, you haven’t answered any of the questions.”

Each year we ask ourselves the same, important question: Where does our society stand in terms of female leadership?

If I may I would like to twist the question a bit. There are strong, professional leaders today who take up important new positions and who happen to be women. They all have high positions on a global level and many are in finance which traditionally has been a male arena. Having women in these positions makes a difference and it drives change.

Leaders in general need to develop their communication skills to have honest conversations with their consumers and employees on all levels. This is due to the extreme power of social media which drives transparency. More often than not, women have had rigorous training in this kind of communication, from preschool and onwards, due to the expectations from the society we live in.

And what about TUI?

For me, relations and people are important. Every Friday, I summarize the week by reflecting on who I have had conversations with and what topics we have discussed. After 10 years with TUI I can clearly see that many of my professional TUI colleagues in important business positions today, are women. However, networks are also strong in TUI which affects who we reach out to for opinions, business advice and who we trust to support us for driving change. Our immediate networks can also have an effect on who is on stage and who is communicating business results and development. Here I think we all have a responsibility to reflect when recruiting, inviting to meetings or recommending to projects. To challenge our habits and think twice.

There is a lot of talk about the specifics and qualities of female leadership. How are you leading?

I would like to stress that a good leadership should be the same, regardless if your manager is a man or a woman. My ambition as a leader is to lead with a lot of trust.  I make sure to have ongoing conversations focusing on how we together as a team can turn problems into possibilities and business solutions. It is also important to set a clear agenda and communicate frame work. In addition, I constantly try to create feelings of pride and joy while driving change and delivering business results. But the most important thing for me is to encourage people to grow and find what they are passionate about.

What is your advice for young female professionals regarding growth in their careers?

Based on my experiences from different roles in my career*, I see the importance for women to be more active in who they choose as their manager. My advice to a young female professional is to do your homework and evaluate your options before making decisions. Be curious (ask questions whenever you have the possibility) and drive your own constant learning agenda! Understand the importance of networking and make sure that you build and maintain your business network, inside and outside the company. Think business, people and results, be a decisionmaker and a leader. And most importantly do not forget to have fun!

*My different roles have been: GM Ruter Dam an Executive Leadership and Mentor program for women in high positions, as Marketing Director/HRD Sunwing Resort Hotels, as HRD TUI Nordic and now Group Sustainability Director