VAIVA GmbH - Safe Mobility


Women’s Week at VAIVA – Interview with Nicole

Theresa Ley,

To mark International Women’s Day 2024, we are introducing some of our female colleagues in person.

Hello Nicole, you are currently the only team leader at VAIVA. What is your team working on and what has your professional career been like?

My team develops in the areas of ADAS, tool development, automation and our own product development. Both classic software algorithms and AI-based algorithms are used here.

I started out as a C++ developer in the ADAS area. As I progressed, I specialized further and further, via SW architect and functional safety management in environment perception, product owner of an automated valet parking function, various project manager roles, including in the field of ADAS. Project Manager roles, including in the area of video HiL and Lead of an autonomous driving platform development, through to Team Manager for software and AI development at VAIVA.

It was always important to me to discover new things and to keep learning.

Why do you think it is so difficult to inspire (young) women for technical professions or perhaps even a leadership role?

I think a lot has changed in recent years and will continue to do so. When I was studying, the proportion of women was 10-15%. There were always more men than women in my teams, both during my studies and later in my career. I was often even the only woman. But that wasn’t a bad thing for me, I always found it enriching both for myself and for the others.

My childhood experiences certainly also played a role. My father was a software developer himself. He actively brought this into the family. So I had access to it very early on.

A leadership role in a technical environment is another level up. You don’t just get a managerial role. It’s hard work, including on yourself. And yes, you also have to assert yourself, especially in front of your male colleagues. But it’s definitely worth the sometimes lengthy investment.

And what is going on at VAIVA, or what makes VAIVA stand out for you?

A lot has happened thanks to the revision of career levels, role and competence definitions. I also think the comparative discussions are very good, where we team leaders support each other in the evaluation and development of our employees, for example. This makes further development possibilities and opportunities even more accessible for every employee.