VAIVA GmbH - Safe Mobility


Women’s Week at VAIVA – Interview with Raphaela

Theresa Ley,

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

Hello Raphaela, you are a Compliance Officer at VAIVA. How did you come to VAIVA and what excites you about your role?

I’ve been with VAIVA since last summer. A friend drew my attention to the job advertisement and asked me whether it would be something for me. She had already been working here for a while at the time and – knowingly or unknowingly – had nothing but good things to say. That simply convinced me. I had already worked in a similar field before, but with a different focus, and wanted to work in my original “learned” field again. So it was also a welcome change of subject to work as a Compliance Officer, which is why I applied and was fortunately accepted.

And – now I come to the second part of your question – I haven’t regretted it either. I really like my role. As a lawyer, you can’t do without an affinity for rules. And to be honest, I don’t find that bad or stuffy, on the contrary: I’m convinced that adhering to rules and customs is what makes a society work. We follow rules every day without questioning them, for example in traffic or in our dealings with each other. In my opinion, rules have a social function. This also includes speaking up when something is not right, or taking action when it becomes necessary and my inner compass tells me to. You are not just the person affected, you are a participant. This, too, is not an invention of compliance, but is closely linked to working together: For example, when we provide first aid, show moral courage or hold a voluntary position, this is the glue that holds a society together. Which also requires courage. But I think that courage is more important today than ever and we all bear responsibility every day. As Compliance Officer, I would like to transfer this idea to VAIVA. Everyone makes a contribution to the success of the company and this is also achieved by adhering to certain guidelines.

What do you think about the theory that women have a harder time in their careers?

In my view, that depends on two things: Firstly, the corporate culture and secondly – partly linked to the former – the role in which a woman performs. In a culture that is very traditional, you will find it very difficult to assert yourself as a woman, especially if key positions are held by men and/or male colleagues predominate and these naturally contribute significantly to perpetuating the culture, as they benefit from it. In this respect, organizations can also be compared to self-contained habitats. Each one functions according to its own rules (there they are again, the rules), which determine the success or failure of each individual.

And these rules do not even have to be written down anywhere; it is quite sufficient for them to exist as phenomena. This is linked to the role that women play in the respective organizations. If a woman appears in such a traditional organization as a manager or with a claim to leadership that arises from her area of responsibility, she will more quickly provoke incomprehension among her colleagues than if she is in a professional field that is generally associated with a woman, without me wanting to judge that. This also has something to do with learned viewing habits, as in past generations women have predominantly occupied professions that are read as female. Now they no longer do this exclusively, so it’s clear that some people find it difficult. As a woman, you can only look for a company that welcomes women in general and especially for management roles. As a company, you have to actively define diversity as an integral part of your code of values and also constantly propagate it by placing women in prominent positions in your company, letting them shine as thought leaders and, on the other hand, taking action against any form of discrimination. And that is the case at VAIVA.

What makes VAIVA so attractive to you?

First of all, I like the authentic openness that prevails in the VAIVA team. No matter who you are and what background you have, you are part of the team from day one. You don’t have to prove yourself first in order to somehow belong, but you are immediately accepted in your respective role and your role is also promoted to third parties. For me, this is a sign of the highest esteem. This also includes the respectful interaction between team members. Then comes the absolute freedom of how you want to carry out your tasks. This applies to the question of presence or home office as well as the daily time window when you want to tackle your tasks. Of course, you should discuss any dependencies with your colleagues beforehand. All in all, I don’t have the impression that obstacles are being put in your way as you develop. On the contrary, your wishes are prioritized and, in my experience, implemented.