Meet Sarah and Kerstin
They work as Heads of IT Sub-Section Run Applications EMEA at Munich Re Germany at our Munich office.
Offering efficient services colleagues can trust with joint responsibility – as co-leads
From accounting to underwriting, from services to communication, at Munich Re, a host of applications and tools enables the digital workplace. The requirements they need to meet: cost efficiency and stable performance. For Europe, part of the responsibility for their operation and management lies in the hands of the head of Run Applications EMEA. Make that four hands and two heads: Kerstin and Sarah co-lead over a dozen service managers and application support specialists.
These allrounders have been cherry-picked for their analytical and communication skills. With their help, the two experienced IT managers leverage service providers to offer reliable application services their internal customers can trust. Sarah and Kerstin work with other IT towers, such as Business Solutions and Business Technology, to transition innovations into their highly cost-effective operation.
Learn more about Sarah and Kerstin´s work
Sharing a leadership role comes with unique benefits – a built-in sparring partner, a sounding board, and a peer to brainstorm with. We share our strengths – that’s what Munich Re’s IT is all about.
An insight into Sarah and Kerstin´s working environment at Munich Re
Kerstin: Sarah and I realised we had reached the same point in our lives. We were part-time working kindergarten moms who wanted to keep up the momentum in their careers. The idea to apply together just popped up. We’re a natural fit – equally qualified, the same mindset and goals, and compatible leadership styles.
Sarah: Proactivity was the key. Kerstin and I drew up a concept to show how we would bring our shared-responsibility model to life. Of course, each of us still had to make it through the selection process on her own merit. We succeeded. Co-leading has allowed us to take the next step in our careers as mothers and professionals.
Sarah: We make the most of our 60:60 position, with time-boxed days and calendars brimming. We cover for each other on our days off and during vacations. Our colleagues appreciate the enhanced availability. With two people at the helm, they always have one of us to turn to for guidance.
Kerstin: We catch up on Monday mornings. Sarah and I take more notes than most peers to bring each other up to speed. Access to the latest tools for information sharing and collaboration keeps our process efficient. If we need to touch base in between, we find a way to make it work.
In our experience, co-leading boosts productivity. But you need to be on the same page, speak with one voice and make joint decisions.
Kerstin and Sarah’s results have surpassed my expectations by far. The co-lead model is a win-win – for all of us, and for Munich Re. It has allowed us to promote two talents and deliver proof of concept for a leadership model with the potential to improve the future of work.