Interview with Manuela Häusser – Women in Leader Positions

manuela haeusser united brands hanau

For women who are in a leadership position in companies or even have their own company, is currently a veritable hype. With the increasing presence of women in high positions, outdated leadership models, in which almost men were the major decision-makers of a company, are being replaced.

It deals with gender quotas, gender pay gaps and general equality of men and women in the job as well as in everyday life.

At UNITED BRANDS, we are very interested in promoting women and giving them exactly the same opportunities as their male counterparts. We are proud from the fact that we have 60% female employees!

For this reason, we are also very proud to have Frau Häusser as one of our managing directors. She is an important confidant for all our employees and acts as a link between the social and the business part of the company.

V & A: As Managing Partner & CHRO, could you briefly tell us what exactly your activities involve?

Manuela Häusser: Sure. I am one of the Executive alongside with my husband René Häusser and our partner Frank Rösner.

My main task is the management and support of our staff. I ensure a pleasant working environment by being the person of trust for our employees and gladly accepting your wishes and problems. This is an important part of a well-functioning company, because if the employees are dissatisfied, the rest does not work.

V & A: You’re right. Would you like to tell us something about your career in the company?

Manuela Häusser: For sure. I started at UNITED BRANDS about 20 years ago. At first, I took on commercial business half-time, and about ten years ago, I made this task a full-time job. Five years ago, I took over the Human Resources Department and it’s still my area of responsibility. At the same time, however, I am involved in all major decisions in the company, my voice is heard and has weight. This is very important to me!

V & A: Is it something that you have learned as a managing director and have translated into your private life?

Manuela Häusser:I’ve definitely learned a lot in terms of people skills. In addition, I see every day how important it is to have the right assertiveness and to be far-sighted. Of course, you transfer something like that to private life.

V & A: Do you have any activity that help you to recover from stressful working days?

Manuela Häusser: Sports. That helps me to keep myself fully fit – Body and Soul. When you physically active you have a completely different energy!

However, I like to do sports with my husband because we both like rowing.

V & A: Are you impress by women in leadership positions from who you take an example?

Manuela Häusser: I am excited about Julia Klöckner, our Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. Her eloquence is impressive, she seems to be very authentic, fair and also addresses uncomfortable issues that are often dropped under the table.

Furthermore, Angela Merkel; she is confident, rational and does not always have an easy job. Nevertheless, she is a fighter. I find her style admirable! In general, it impresses me when a woman has a lot of energy, proves assertiveness, is taff and pragmatic!

But most of all I am impressed by my own daughter. She risked a lot when she emigrated to the US alone. Now she has built a life there, started her own business and is now quite successful. It was not always easy, but she mastered it! She is very similar to my husband, an entrepreneurial spirit.

V & A: Do you also see these characteristics among your employees?

Manuela Häusser: Definitely and it’s really great to see how they evolve over time. 60% of our employees are women. I think that’s really great – a great Quote! We have now 2019 and it is sad that you have to deal with quotas, equal rights, etc. at all. It should have been just as normal for woman to be leader as for a man.

V & A: What qualities, in your opinion, do women have in leadership positions that their male counterparts do not have?

Manuela Häusser: I think that women are very empathetic and therefore perhaps fairer, unlike male executives. Moreover, I have also noticed that women are more honest, they more likely to speak out own opinions and views without any understatements.

V & A: Last but not least, what do you recommend to young women who are at the beginning of their professional life or career?

Manuela Häusser: It is important to get out of the comfort zone and have confidence to do what you really want!

You have to stay true to yourself, show commitment, gain a lot of experience and learn from it!

V & A: Thank you very much for the interview, we hope it will be an inspiration for some young women.