Women in Business: Your Confidence Influences Your Career Success
Interview with Sravya Maturu, Senior Consultant at E.ON Inhouse Consulting GmbH
Sravya Maturu is a Senior Consultant at E.ON Inhouse Consulting and a graduate of the full-time MBA program. With a career in chemical engineering, she moved to Germany to extend her skillset with a degree in general management. Today she is able to use her professional expertise in her consulting work. Sravya is passionate about empowering women in business to see their full potential and bring their unique strengths to the workplace. We talked to her about leading an authentic life, speaking up with confidence and learning to lead (and work) with empathy.
I’d like to share three pieces of advice with my female business peers – speak up confidently, be authentic and be empathetic.
How has studying at HHL influenced your career up to this point?
HHL’s full-time MBA program offers a great platform to gain practical insights into different business functions (e.g., Strategy, Marketing) and practice working in diverse, cross-functional teams to achieve specific goals. The emphasis on data-driven problem solving has greatly helped me in my current career as a management consultant.
Also the HHL MBA is a great blend of an international MBA experience within the German business context, and this helped to prepare me for my current professional experience. The amazing peers in my MBA cohort continue to act not only as a source of inspiration but also as sounding boards to test new ideas.
Tell us about your work as Senior Consultant at E.ON Inhouse Consulting.
As part of E.ON’s internal management consultancy, I have the opportunity to work on key strategic projects for the E.ON group. In my ~2.5 years at E.ON, I have worked on a wide variety of projects:
- the integration of the IT & Digital functions
- future governance model design of the Customer Solutions business area (as part of designing how to integrate innogy) and recently,
- transition to a new cloud hosting provider, a key project to realize E.ON’s digitalization ambitions.
As a Senior Consultant, I assume complete ownership of my project modules from Day 1 and collaborate actively with key stakeholders to create value for our company by identifying and addressing key issues.
Do you believe it is important for women to have female role models? And if so, who is yours?
I definitely believe having female role models is beneficial to women at different career stages. Female role models are the trailblazers before us who have made a place for themselves in a largely male-dominated business world and thus, have plenty of valuable advice to share with women at early career stages.
One of my role models is Sudha Murty, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, because of her professional excellence, philanthropy and humility.
Having female role models offers women a chance to look up to someone who probably has had to deal with similar issues and has concrete advice to share. Personally, I do not have one specific woman as a role model and instead I look up to different women and learn something new from each of them.
One notable role model I would like to share about is Sudha Murty, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation (large Indian non-profit) because of her professional excellence, philanthropy and humility. Also being an engineer myself, I find her exceptionally inspirational because she was the first female engineer hired by a large auto manufacturer in India – thus setting a precedent for countless Indian women who pursued engineering as a profession after her.
5 Tips for Success for Women in Business
What advice do you have specifically for women in business?
My professional experiences working for large European multi-national companies have taught me many valuable lessons, of which I hold three close to my heart and would like to share with my female business peers – speak up confidently, be authentic and be empathetic.
#1 SPEAK UP WITH CONFIDENCE I have realized that women tend to be perfectionists, wanting to be 100% right before speaking up; however, this means women don’t speak up often enough and every time we do not speak up, it could be a lost opportunity.
#2 BE AUTHENTIC The next important lesson I’ve learned is to always be your authentic self at work which helps to bring your unique perspective without giving in to the pressure of conforming.
#3 SHOW EMPATHY And last lesson and probably one of the most value-adding qualities that women contribute to the workplace – empathy.
In this fast-paced world, especially given the current circumstances, I believe empathy is key to forging and maintaining long-term productive working relationships.
Defining clear boundaries between professional and personal time helps me deliver on my professional commitments without compromising on personal priorities.
What has helped you build confidence and build a successful career?
My MBA experience at HHL was a great opportunity to practice speaking up confidently. Be it case study discussions in the classroom or team-work with peers from 25+ countries, the chances to develop and speak confidently were plenty. My current employer also offers an open and collaborative environment, where I am actively encouraged to provide constructive feedback on different topics.
In terms of leading an authentic life, for example, one way that I put this into practice is by defining clear boundaries between professional and personal time, which helps me deliver on my professional commitments without compromising on personal priorities.