DENSO's story of success is closely linked to that of its employees – as proven by Tordis Bindzau, Head of Sales Support & Export Management. In this interview, she tells us about her personal story of success as a female manager.
Did you think that you'd achieve such great success when you started your career at DENSO?
No, that wasn't part of my initial plan. I joined DENSO in 2003 as an assistant in the sales team, with a keen interest in international projects. Within the team, I was always proactive about looking for opportunities to work on international projects.
And how did you progress?
The sales management team approached me when the position of international pipeline project manager came up. It sounded like a fantastic opportunity so I applied for the position. I was interviewed, and we agreed that I'd join the project initially for a trial period. But it quickly became clear that the role was the perfect fit for me so I became the project manager.
And now you're Head of Sales Support & Export Management and manage a team of three colleagues.
Yes, that's right. After three years in project management, I was able to move on to the next step in my career. Now my role is even more varied and I have more responsibility. I'm doing exactly the kind of work that I've always wanted to do!
What does a typical working day look like for you?
: Every single day is different. Sometimes I come to work with a clear idea of what awaits me in the office, only for the day to end up going a different way entirely. This is because, in international business, conditions change on a daily basis: For example, the export regulations might be revised or the delivery terms and conditions amended in line with the latest guidelines. As I'm involved in all project planning processes and act as the interface between production and sales, my day depends on a lot of different factors.
That sounds quite taxing! How do you cope with this way of working?
The fact that I enjoy the wide range of tasks that I do really helps. And I work in a great team with wonderful colleagues. The atmosphere within DENSO is very positive.
You were the first woman to reach this level of management in the company. Have you noticed any effects of this on your role?
No, not at all. My colleagues have always accepted me. We're all aiming for the same thing – working together to make a project a success.
Does this level of unwavering acceptance surprise you?
Across the industry in general, this kind of acceptance isn't usually the norm. But at DENSO I felt valued from the very beginning: My first major task as a project manager was taking on a great reference project. I didn't feel for one second that anyone doubted my ability to bring the project to a successful conclusion.
DENSO has developed from its beginnings as a family company to the company family that it is today. But you can still sense that everyone in the company is committed to shaping its progress and future success. This shared goal brings us all closer together. The management team places a huge amount of trust in me, giving me the space I need to make decisions on one hand, while always being ready to listen to my questions and comments on the other.
How would you like your career to progress in the future?
I'm really happy doing what I do now. I'd love just to continue working on international projects and enjoying being part of the team!
Thank you for the interview!