9 March 2022

Female Leaders@TUI – Inga Meyer

TUI has many successful female leaders in a wide range of areas. To mark International Women's Day 2022, we are updating our "Female Leaders@TUI" series and will feature more colleagues and their inspiring thoughts on the subject of equality in interview form. Our first interview for 2022 is with Inga Meyer, Business Transformation and Strategic Projects at TUI Germany.

Inga, what is your current role at TUI?

Together with my TUI CAMPUS project team, I am playing a key role in shaping the future of work at TUI. The TUI Campus will be a modern workplace of the future. There we will combine the analogue and virtual worlds of work, make the TUI brand a real experience for all employees and simply be TUI together.

Who is your role model as a female leader?

In all these years at TUI, I have been able to get to know many wonderful colleagues and managers, so it is difficult for me to highlight the ONE. Each was and is a role model in their own way. But I was very convinced recently by the book "It's now" by Janina Kugel. Janina Kugel summed up what is so important to me: with optimism, courage and passion, the world of work is changing and developing it sustainably. She is convinced that only those who actively shape change will be successful. I can agree with that 100%.

Where does our society stand in terms of female leaders? And what about TUI?

Personally, I am of the opinion that there are still not enough women in middle management, on management boards and on supervisory boards. Our working world is developing rapidly, new skills are needed, hybrid working and leadership presents everyone with new challenges at the same time, whether men or women. I see flexible working models as a big push for equal opportunities. I think with our TUI Way of Working, we basically have good opportunities to get into management positions as a woman, if you want to do so.

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

I want to be sustainably effective with my leadership. Nothing is more fatal than doing your job and having only short-term success. I want my team to drive processes and topics forward and change them sustainably. Colleagues should see the meaning of their work as a whole, feel valued for themselves and their performance and enjoy working. We spend a large part of our lifetime at work, so we should make the most of it, ideally also with fun and joy.

I believe that you can achieve a lot with authenticity and communication on an equal footing. And when there is resistance, I question it and try to understand my contribution to this resistance. This also includes understanding contexts: what is the reason for a certain behavior or attitude? What could also be a strength and what can we learn from resistance or obstacles?

I'm also a big fan of changing perspectives. We all have a history, privately and professionally. Our experiences, emotions and perspectives have a decisive influence on how we perceive and evaluate something. If we are aware of this, it is logical that you can only be successful as a team and should include many opinions and perspectives on decision-making. Experience can help, but it can also get in the way. Situations change and systems evolve (further). This knowledge makes the work a lot easier and clearly brings more fun and success.

The theme of this year's International Women's Day is #BreakTheBias – what can we all do to excel in this area and be less biased?

Fortunately, I have experienced few prejudices and unequal treatment at TUI. If we set an example across all hierarchies not to make any differences and give everyone the same opportunities, this can be an essential cornerstone for the future of the world of work.

We should not make a marketing issue out of equality, but really live this culture. Every employee, regardless of gender, should have the feeling "I could if I want to". If we can exert influence, we should set up the teams as diversely as possible. It turns out that we generally prefer to hire people who are similar to us, but we should consciously try to use the strengths of diversity. Neutrality is an important attitude in this corporate culture. It contains a relaxed curiosity about all perspectives and values – no matter how foreign to me. Neutrality is also reflected in the all-inclusive culture – i.e. in the effort to understand all people from their perspective and to value their points of view. 

We should detach ourselves from problems and set out on the path to solution and resource orientation. Let's assume that our company and our employees have the necessary opportunities and potential to solve the problems themselves (or with self-organized support). This awareness must be conveyed. "I see in you a competence, I will help you to make it visible..." (whether woman or man). Equal opportunities do not have a business case but are the recipe for success for satisfied employees in the company and a healthy corporate culture. 

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

  • Be brave and move out of your comfort zone.
  • Look for companions and/or mentors and reflect on yourself. Don't let setbacks frustrate you, learn from them.
  • Understand what your strengths are and what you enjoy, what are you particularly good at? What would you like to contribute to the company and the team?
  • Also, don't shy away from job opportunities where you feel your qualifications don't necessarily match. Through experience, further training opportunities and a large portion of curiosity and courage, you can also get ahead.
  • Make yourself visible and take advantage of opportunities to position yourself.