Suggestions
    Go directly to
      July 29, 2022

      IT Leadership Journey of a Cross-Mover: From Philippines to Germany

      Who am I?

      My name is Grace Uy and I am with Group IT in the role of Head of HR-IT Region EMEA. I am a Filipino, was born and raised in the Philippines. I consider myself truly Filipino at heart. I moved to Hannover, Germany together with my family in 2012. Prior to moving to Germany, I was working for Automotive IT in the Continental plant in Manila. I started in the field of SAP Business Warehouse leading a regional team in Asia, continued as Global Lead of the SAP BW/BI Team at the headquarters with the Group IT where I am now part of the HR-IT organization.

      Already in my youth, I wanted to be in IT. It fascinated me to learn more about computers and to first take  little steps in programming in summer school. Even though I studied mathematics in college, my passion was always in IT.

      How is it to work in Continental IT as a female leader?

      The mindset in Continental as a whole and in IT has been and nowadays is even more open for diversity. This means neither gender nor cultural background matters, but one’s own personal experience and contribution. What I find reassuring at Continental IT is having a senior management who advocates female talents in leadership positions. This encouraged, motivated, and supported me to advance my leadership career further in IT.

      As a female leader, I would like to continue this advocacy for women in technology. I offer my time as part of the mentor pool and had my share of mentees who were participants of our IT Digital Emerging Talent program.

      Why a career in IT?  What do I like most in IT?

      IT is everywhere and offers a variety of fields such as Cybersecurity, Business Applications, Infrastructure, Cloud and many more. As it is a huge field, it has many facets and is quite versatile. The projects and topics are remarkably interesting, and Continental IT is a wide area you can develop in. Learning new things never ends, even on a management level.

      As an IT Leader, what I like most is to see IT people loving and enjoying the work they do and creating value with the IT solutions being delivered for our internal customers.

      What was my biggest challenge so far?

      It was when I moved with my family to Germany. Facing a new culture, an unfamiliar environment and a new language was a big leap for me and my family. What made the adjustment at work manageable was the fact that I was working in the same field of IT the first five years. Fortunately, I have some relatives living in Europe who I meet with from time to time. This is a big support to avoid homesickness.

      On the other side, moving to Germany allowed me to gain international experience, thus opening new perspectives and angles for me as an IT Leader. This challenge turned out to be a wonderful opportunity towards leadership development.

      How do I manage work-life balance?

      I try to stick to my schedule. If there is no need to work long hours because of urgency, I keep to my plan. In the past, I did not mind the time and worked evenings or weekends, too. Today, I make sure I go offline accordingly and make sure I have time for myself and my family. It really makes a big difference on the quality of life when I have time to unwind on a regular basis – be it having my alone time at home reading a book, spending family game or movie night on Fridays, or visiting nice places here in Europe for a longer vacation.

      Lastly, to my fellow women in technology out there.

      Should a door open and present you with a leadership opportunity in IT, go for it!  Do not overthink it but grab the chance in front of you, especially when you find yourself at peace with it. We should continuously stay active and drive our own career to bring us where we want to be. The first steps might be tough and challenging, but once you are there, everything will work out.

      Grace Uy

      Head of HR-IT EMEA Region

      Cookie Policy

      We use cookies to provide you with the best experience on our website. Click on "Accept all" to allow all cookies or "Change cookie settings" to decide individually.

      Note: If you consent to the use of performance cookies, you also consent to the transfer of your personal data to insecure third countries (e.g. to the USA). These insecure third countries do not provide a level of data protection comparable to EU standards. In the case of certain third party providers, such as Google and Mouseflow, no other guarantees are offered to compensate for this deficit. There is therefore a risk that the transmission of your personal data may result in state authorities accessing your personal data without you having effective legal protection options.

      For more information on performance technologies and the transfer of data to third countries, please refer to the privacy policy.

      By clicking the "Accept all" button, you explicitly consent to this. Consent can be revoked at any time by changing the cookie settings. The further processing of data already collected before revocation by the third-party provider cannot be excluded.

      A cookie is a small data file that is stored on your device. We use cookies to provide basic and convenience functionalities, measure website performance and analyze user behavior on the website. 

      Required cookies are always activated because they are indispensable for the operation of the website and to store your cookie consent. Functional and performance cookies are optional. All optional cookies are deactivated by default.

      You can change your cookie settings at any time by visiting our Cookie Policy or by clearing the cache in your browser. 

      Show more Show less
      Back
      Required cookies Required

      These cookies are required to provide you with key functions.

      Functional cookies

      These cookies are used to provide certain functionalities to you.

      Performance cookies

      These cookies are used to measure website performance and user behavior. All collected data are analyzed anonymously.