Life on the shop floor
Daniela notes that working in a male-dominated field at AkzoNobel has never deterred her from finding her place on the shop floor.
“I feel I’ve always been treated the same as my male colleagues and relate to many successful women in other roles. Our Women Inspired Network provides an additional forum for us to connect, exchange our thoughts and promote equality.”
“Working as a German in the UK has, however, taken some adaptation,” Daniela continues. “The differences in culture, interactions and sharing your opinion take some getting used to.”
“Now after ten years in the UK, I can comfortably small talk about the weather – and when I go back to Germany, I’m shocked by how people push their way into the subway,” she laughs.
Broadening her horizon
If moving from Germany to the UK held a few surprises for Daniela, 2019 presented her a full-blown adventure. She was able to take a year of unpaid leave to travel throughout North and South America.
“I saw amazing landscapes and encountered many lovely people. I learned to adapt to new situations, sometimes go with the flow and enjoy all the facets of life – things I brought back to the UK with me.”
A bold and bright legacy
Daniela’s had many opportunities to make her mark at AkzoNobel – like being involved in designing and installing our most advanced and sustainable paint manufacturing site in Ashington. One particular story holds an extra special place in her heart.
Back in 2010, she was given free rein on a refurbishment project that required color advice for the silos at one of our sites. “It was an unconventional idea, but I thought we should consider a bold color scheme alongside the pastel options – we are, after all a company that’s known for brilliant colors,” Daniela says. “To my surprise, Stowmarket employees chose the bold one.”
“The new colors are even bolder and shinier than the mock-up, and we’ve received nothing but positive feedback from our team,” says Daniela. “It makes me smile when I see a photo of ‘my’ silos – my legacy is still very shiny, bold and brilliant.”