Femme Lead
Femme Lead
May 10, 2021
#17 CFO Story with Simone Menne: The career path to top management. Creating long-lasting impact.
Play • 52 min

CFO Career Story | Leadership Advice | Top Management | Women in Leadership | Finance Career | Lufthansa | Lead with Impact |

In this episode, we converse with Simone Menne, former CFO of Lufthansa AG and Boehringer Ingelheim. Simone Menne is a member of the supervisory board and non-executive director in various companies including BMW AG, Deutsche Post DHL, Johnson Controls International and runs an art gallery in Kiel.

We discuss with Simone her impressive career, what are her pieces of advice for people looking into top management positions and what does she believe about the new workforce generation. 

Career Path: From 1999 to 2004 Simone Menne was responsible for commercial administration and human resources, initially for the Southwestern Europe region until 2001, and later for Europe as a whole. From 2004 to 2010 Menne was in charge of finance and accounting at Lufthansa Technik. In 2010, Menne switched to the former LH subsidiary British Midland as CFO and accompanied their sale to the International Airlines Group. In 2012, Simone Menne was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Deutsche Lufthansa, becoming the first female CFO of a DAX group (most important German stock index ).

Key points:

📍The importance of quota for women in leadership: The world is diverse in business, customers are diverse. It would help if you had a diverse team to do the right things for a sustainable future for companies and take on different perspectives. 

📍Role Models: Having a career-mom and strong female role models inspires women and will increase their self-esteem. You will continue to build your self-esteem as you grow older, and that will also boost confidence and trust in others. Representation is key. 

📍Career Advice: We touch upon starting up knowing that being ‘bold’ is a decision and becomes a requirement as you progress in your career. 

Follow Simone Menne on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simone-menne/

Check out Simone Menne's website:

Check out Simone's podcast - Die Boss [in German]:

Episode Timeline:

02:30 Simone's Podcast Die Boss and promoting female role models. What is the mission behind Die Boss?

04:55 Why is it important to embrace diversity?

10:05 Who were your mentors? Who influenced your career

12:50 What do you tell women who do not have the confidence to “go for it”?

18:01 Looking back, would you have done anything differently?

21:25 Career path: what do you see as the key accomplishments in your life? 

26:05 What is your advice to graduates?

29:50 Characteristics of younger generations in the workforce.

34:30 Prior to becoming CFO, what were the lessons that helped you reach this milestone in your career?

38:00 Challenges in navigating your career path: How do you advise listeners to navigate difficult situations?

41:05 How do you think the corona-crisis affected the way the traveling industry?

44:12 How do you see the world has changed in the airline industry?

50:00 What do you wish you knew at the beginning of your career? 


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