The IT sector is still a male domain, but an increasing number of female role-models take leading positions in international business: Vera Schneevoigt, Managing Director at Fujitsu, is one of them. This year we are honored to welcome her as one of our influential expert speakers at #rethinkeurope 2018. She will be part of the panel discussion “Digital innovation worldwide – How does culture influence the economy?”. Get to know her views on Europe in this exclusive interview.
In which situations do you feel particularly “European“?
For me, life as a European is a daily implicitness both privately and professionally – I take it for granted. At the end of the 90s I worked in Aachen, Brussels and Luxemburg, while living in Aachen. This felt very European every single day.
How would you explain Europe to your children?
My husband and I have two Syrian foster sons. We have been looking after them for almost 3 years now. Most notably in conversation with them we often realize that the European Union stands for many things that we no longer perceive in this country: the ability to travel across borders easily and to work together with people from other countries easily, to pay in the same currency – even in countries that used to be at enmity.
What do you consider to be Europe’s most valuable quality in its global role?
Europe is a model of how states work together for the benefit of their citizens. However, we are currently seeing that this does not always happen smoothly and is not self-perpetuating.
Which is the item that represents Europe for you?
Firstly the passport, which enables us to travel uncomplicatedly and freely within Europe without Visa etc. and almost to every country of the world and secondly, the Euro.
What contribution do you want to make to the development of Europe as an enterpreneur, manager or simply as a citizen?
As a citizen of Europe, I generally see it as my task to stand up for and promote the European core values. Today, this is more necessary than ever given the criticism – some of it justified – of some developments in the European Union. Despite all the problems, the basic idea of European unification is fundamental to the future of our continent.
What contribution does your company already make?
Fujitsu is a global and thus Europe-wide operating company as well. Cross-border cooperation is our daily business. This promotes the acceptance of other cultural characteristics and shows that diversity within Europe does not need to be segregating. Thus, one of the fundamental tasks for me as a leader is to support our employees.
How can #rethinkeurope help shape the future of Europe?
Events like #rethinkeurope are the meeting place for representatives who are open to the European idea. However, it is the responsibility of each individual participant to defend his or her fundamental conviction, especially in conversation with those who are skeptical or even might have a negative attitute towards the concept of European unity.
Which topics would you like to discuss in a dialogue with European economy and politics?
In addition to many individual topics, I particularly find this a fundamental aspect: it is important to convey to the citizens that the European Union is not only an economic union but a community of values. There is still a lot of catching-up to do here.
We look forward to get to know Vera Schneevoigt´s views even closer and are excited for a lively discussion on October 11th, 2018 in Passau, Germany!
Senior Vice President, Head of Product Supply Operations Service Platform at Fujitsu Technology Solutions.