Digital Heroine Vanessa: Between IT-leadership and family

Sarah Pfeil

January 30, 2024

Vanessa Belstler, valantic

Her superpower is her organizational talent!

As part of our digital heroines campaign, we present Vanessa Belstler. Vanessa is a great role model when it comes to changing careers into IT. Together, we want to work to inspire more women to enter the tech industry. In this blog post, Vanessa tells us about her exciting journey from studying German to becoming an e-commerce Business Area Manager.

Hi Vanessa, can you introduce yourself briefly?

My name is Vanessa and I have worked at valantic since February 2023. I’m a Business Area Manager for Digital Experience Platforms. Together with my team, I work on e-commerce shops in the B2B and B2C sectors.

How did you get to IT?

My path to IT was certainly not the usual one. Previously, I wanted to become an archaeologist or journalist. I then decided to study German. During my studies, I started working in the digital editorial office of a newspaper. That’s where I first came into contact with the digital industry. After completing my studies, I worked for KPMG in Switzerland, where I was migrating websites. I learned a lot and worked on many different topics there. I am more on the business side and not strictly an IT professional, but I always wanted to understand how the underlying technology works.

What challenges does your job present?

Working in the IT industry is undoubtedly challenging for me. But it’s a challenge I enjoy. I appreciate the diversity and continuous learning opportunities that my profession offers. My daily work requires a great degree of flexibility, as I have to jump quickly from one topic to another. It’s not always necessary to understand every technical detail. It’s more important that I capture the key points and can communicate with my colleagues on a technical level. When it comes to technical depth, I have to draw a line and make it clear that I understand what’s going on, but I am not an expert in this particular field. That’s also perfectly fine, as I can rely on my team’s knowledge and support.

Let’s talk about the topic of leadership. Which qualities distinguish you in your role as a manager?

In my role as a team lead, I practice the principle of so-called servant leadership. This means that I attach great importance to my team acting independently and confronting challenges by themselves. My trust in my team members’ skills is important to me and it’s also indispensable, as I am not a specialist in all areas. I see my job as advancing the development of my team and creating the optimal conditions for their work.

What motivates you personally in your daily work?

There are lots of things. I find it most valuable to be able to learn new things every day. For example, in my projects I get to know new industries all the time, industries into which I would never have had insight without my job. I also derive a large part of my motivation from interaction with my colleagues. They help me create a pitch in a very short time; that really causes you to bond. I also love the variety in my job – no day is like another and that always keeps the work exciting.

As a manager, how do you balance your private life and your job?

Sometimes that’s very hard. I have two daughters, aged 6 and 8. As a result, there are always new challenges arising. This only works with good organization. Since I travel a lot in my role, I schedule my family’s appointments month by month. In addition, I am fortunate to have the support of grandparents, and, in last-minute cases, I use a network of babysitters.
The flexibility that valantic offers me really helps me balance my work and family life. I always have the opportunity to design my daily schedule as I need to.

Is there anything you’d like to say to women who are thinking about entering the IT industry?

Just take that step and don’t worry too much in advance: Am I qualified enough? Do I need technical expertise? Do I need to be able to code? I see myself as a classic example. From the outside, it can seem scary at first, but it’s worth taking that step into the IT industry. This industry offers so many opportunities and each person can find their place and bring in their individual strengths. What I don’t know today, I can learn tomorrow, and soon it feels as if I’ve always been here.

And finally: What’s your slogan for the digital heroines?

“Just do it!” Don’t think about whether you can survive in this world, just do it, be there with passion and do your best.

That was a very nice closing! Thank you so much, Vanessa, for sharing your story with us!

Photo of a happy valantic CX employee participating in a customer experience workshop.

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