Claudia Löwenstein

CFO, Dentsu Aegis Network Austria

For Women’s Equality Day on 26th August, we spoke to women across our network about their experiences and where they want the experience they’ve gained to take them in the future.

In this interview, we hear from Claudia Löwenstein, CFO of Dentsu Aegis Network Austria.

I was asked to say something about women in leadership. And there it was, this white, cold and threatening document. Immediately a vast number of questions ran through my head: what can I say? What will people think? What if it doesn’t appeal to people what I have to say?

After the third question I made myself stop whining and remember. Remember my strengths. Remember that fear is not the solution.

At the beginning of my career I was everything but fearful. I was doing things and thinking of the consequences after I had done them. So, worrying about anything was not the option as it was too late. Later with kids came the fear. It was no longer just me or the issue at hand to think about. There were these two little people that needed a sound environment. At this stage I also found out that it was not only me.

That the most common thing amongst women is fear of not performing at a 100% ratio. When a man would see five points to deliver and know of only one he’d accomplish, he would say yes, I can. A woman would score four out of five and still consider herself as not good enough. And then when there is this point to decide whether or not to speak up and get the attention, women back out and again it is the male applicant to move up the career ladder. I don’t know what or when it happened with me exactly, but there came this one point in my life when I decided not to be afraid anymore. To just trust me and my guts and to raise my hand and ask for more.

And ever since the unthinkable became possible. I am in a leadership position and guess what: I still am confronted with tasks I cannot predict at a 100% rate. And does it matter? No, because nobody does and if, I wouldn’t be interested. Because where is the fun if you know everything that is lying ahead. And, those two little people I was mentioning before still love me and benefit from a sound environment with their mother doing the cool stuff.