Meet Britta Fuenfstueck

Member of the Clariant Executive Committee

Britta Fuenfstueck has her first official day as part of Clariant’s Executive Committee on April 1, 2016. We asked her three questions to find out more about her and her motivations for joining Clariant.

»I believe strongly in being passionate about what you do in life.«

We are curious … why Clariant? Please tell us more about your recent role and your motivations for joining Clariant’s Executive Committee.

I spent my recent career in Siemens Healthcare as CEO of Clinical Products, which is a division that produces medical diagnostics equipment. As CEO, I was responsible for the various business units within the division.

Siemens Healthcare, while part of the broader Siemens Group, is comparable to Clariant in terms of size and revenues and in some aspects there are several parallels between the two companies. There are certainly also differences. Clariant has gone through a very successful but also a very steep improvement over the last few years, and enormous changes in its portfolio. This is a company that is clearly acting in a very change-orientated way, in a very dynamic environment. It’s this impressive trajectory, in combination with a very convincing and ambitious strategy going forward, that really caught my attention and enticed me to take up the role. 

In addition, innovation plays a major role at Clariant. I studied science (engineering physics) and am particularly drawn to organizations that have the opportunity to differentiate and create value through technological and scientific innovation and leadership. I have always found it heartening to know that what you do can make a real difference to people. 

My perception is that Clariant has enormous potential to do a lot of good. Sustainability is clearly very much embedded into the organization and I think that companies, like Clariant, that act in a very sustainable way, developing solutions that enable others to operate more sustainably, can have a true, lasting impact on the world. There is a huge opportunity for Clariant to develop solutions that are very customer-orientated, through looking at emerging trends and by working very closely with customers. These factors make Clariant as an organization and the specialty chemicals industry in general a very exciting place to work.


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Britta Fuenfstueck, Member of the Clariant Executive Committee

You were one of the first women at Siemens in a senior role. Now also at Clariant you are the first woman to join our Executive Committee. What has been your experience, over the years, as a woman in a senior role? 

I think that’s probably true, that I was one of the first, certainly the youngest, in a high-ranking role within Siemens in terms of profit-and-loss responsibilities. I can’t tell you any fantastic, unusual stories. Keeping in mind I studied physics, a female among many male students, I can’t say I was ever very conscious of being among a minority in a male environment. My experience has been that people appreciate the different perspectives and new behavioral patterns women in leadership roles bring to an organization. Ultimately, I have found that in the work place a track record speaks for itself.
  
At the end of the day it is more a question of diversity, and gender is just one aspect. This trend to bring more diversity into an organization – be it more women in senior positions or more people from different cultural or professional backgrounds – is generally positive for an organization.


If we were to ask you, what are the most important things to you, what would you say?

I believe strongly in being passionate about what you do in life. I consider myself an easy-going person but also someone that is extremely passionate about what I do, be it family, friendships, hobbies, or my work, and I am sure you will see this eventually at Clariant as well. 

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