In the following interview Natalia Kress, Searenergy, talks about her career and about challenges being a female manager.
Renewable Energy Hamburg: Please briefly outline your professional life. Which steps did you take before coming to Searenergy? What exactly do you do at Searenergy?
Natalia Kress: “After graduating from Hamburg University, I was given a great opportunity to start in the hydraulic engineering division of a large German construction company. As a result, I was able to cultivate my enthusiasm for international project business, complex interface management and offshore wind there almost twelve years ago. Added to this was the unusual aspect of the group not only using installation vessels on offshore construction sites, but also having them built at shipyards. So I got into offshore logistics and worked with ships, shipyards, brokers and charters. This opened up a new, exciting world to me, which led me to a Norwegian shipbroker based in Hamburg. After a few successful years there, I took on a leadership role in the management team at Searenergy. As an authorised signatory, I am responsible for the ‘Sales and Execution’ department, which comprises the areas of sales, tender management, marketing and offshore project execution.”
Renewable Energy Hamburg: During the different steps of your career, did you occasionally perceive being a woman as an obstacle, or perhaps the opposite?
Natalia Kress: “I have been working in a male domain for several years: Construction, shipping, offshore wind and I have not had any negative experiences so far. “I was lucky enough to be valued for my performance, integrity and reliability.” Nevertheless, I also noticed that as a woman you have to work harder to be noticed and that acceptance among women is still one of the biggest barriers.”
Renewable Energy Hamburg: Which women’s networks are you involved in and why?
Natalia Kress: I am in close contact with many strong, successful and dedicated women both in my private life and in my professional network. I generally find networking very helpful for professional reasons. However, I have decided not to place any gender-specific focus on that.”
Renewable Energy Hamburg: How do you think the pandemic has affected women and why?
Natalia Kress: “I don’t think we can tar all women with the same brush with this question. The role of women in our society is very varied and hugely significant. The crisis has, from my point of view, exposed where the political framework is weakening in order to accommodate this significance.”