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21. July 2022
“It’s A Balancing Act:” Manager, Mother, Mentor
Marielle is in a position that many young female leaders find themselves in: being a passionate executive while also managing a small family. Because this is a matter she cares about deeply, she spends much of her time as an advocate for working moms, both at Personio and through her pro bono engagements outside of the company.
At Personio, Marielle is the Head of Customer Success and looks after the company’s largest, most complex clients. To get her there, she’s gained experience from various high growth technology companies, and brought it all into her role here at Personio. Now she campaigns not only for her customers, but also to help Personio create a culture that is welcoming and supportive to working parents. (Already curious? Head to our careers page to find your next role!)
Marielle began her career in the communications industry before being recruited into Google’s publisher solutions team and moving to Google’s European headquarters in Dublin. After moving on from Google, she continued to expand her skill set in various ecommerce SaaS start-ups in San Francisco and New York, before being asked to run the European expansion of NY-based Sailthru.
When she first considered moving back to Germany, she wasn’t sure that she could find an organization with the same innovative, open-minded, and diverse professional culture she’d been experiencing in Silicon Valley start-ups. The way that companies treat working mothers was particularly relevant, given that she’d just had her second child a year earlier. But Personio’s rapid growth and strong focus on an inclusive company culture drew her in.
Now, after nearly two years at Personio, Marielle has settled in. She manages a team of around 25 people as Head of Customer Success Management, with multiple team leads reporting directly to her. The team works closely with Personio’s largest customers (companies with 500 to 2,000 employees), all of which are at different stages in their HR journey. “The audience we work with is so diverse, it is truly refreshing.”
As many of us know, leadership roles can bring unique and rewarding challenges. “Once you become a leader of leaders, you are faced with the balancing act of satisfying the needs of both the business and your own team.” As Marielle puts it, “You must be comfortable with radical prioritization and acknowledge that there are some areas you aren’t perfect or even needed in. I have gotten better at pushing back and questioning assumptions, like declining meetings I don’t need to be in.”
A typical day for members of Marielle’s team involves optimizing workflows, demoing new products, and providing personalized recommendations to ensure customers are getting the best value out of their Personio products. This broad and customer-centric role feeds into Personio’s company value of Customer Empathy, which Marielle believes has contributed to Personio’s rapid growth. “Myself and my team ensure we are vocal about our successes and our challenges together, to help us work through every issue and provide a great customer experience.”
Marielle also takes on an additional role as a mentor and role model to other Personio parents and peers considering their family planning options. She credits this informal mentorship role as a natural result of her entering the company at a critical stage for any parent: with kids at preschool age while being a motivated leader with big career ambitions.
When Marielle started at Personio she was one of few full-time working mothers, but now that number has increased exponentially. She continues to play a big role in voicing the views of working parents, ensuring Personio is continually working on further supporting and encouraging more full-time working parents to join.
“Personio gives you the flexibility to plan your work around your family. I can unapologetically take a coffee break when working from home to catch up with my children when they get back from kindergarten, or leave the office early to attend my son’s soccer training. This flexibility is the difference between me being able to work full- or part-time. It’s a game changer.” Personio today has a lot of great initiatives in place for working parents, like additional paid days off to care for sick children, flexible home office guidelines, and a kids-centric slack channel for parents to ask questions and share learnings on raising a family.
Whether you’re a parent or not, find out if Personio is the right place for you! From Marielle’s perspective, there are a few key qualities and skills that Personios should have: “Ownership is really important – you must be in the driver’s seat, delivering what you say and taking responsibility for your actions. Strong communication skills are also key, making sure you’re actively listening not just to reply, but to understand and build genuine relationships is crucial. And finally, team spirit! We have a strong team mentality here, and are always looking to hire people aligned with these values!”
Interested in joining the team? Head over to our careers page and apply today!
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