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My name is Marleen Benner, and I am a working student at SAP in the PLM area. This week is International Women’s Day and therefore I have some thoughts to share about what it means to be part of PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) as a woman and how I got there. The official definition of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the process of managing a product’s lifecycle from inception, through design and manufacturing, to sales, service, and eventually retirement. It covers the whole product lifecycle and my job as a working student is it to support release planning workshops, publishing innovations on roadmaps, preparing and creating product presentations, being an administrative support and maintaining processes. Additionally to my normal work, I am acquiring skills in social media and video editing.

My career at SAP started almost five years ago as a dual student in business informatics software engineering. But my career in the field of IT (Information Technology) as a woman started in school. On Girl's Day, I learned about business mathematics and business informatics and personally knew that was something for me. So, I decided to switch schools and three years later I graduated from a business school with my main subjects being economics, informatics, and mathematics. Choosing informatics in school was a decision I would never regret, and I only did it because my female informatics teacher encouraged me to do it.  

During my time at university, I was the only girl in my course at SAP. During my first practical phase, I met ilona.eirich to whom I owe the rest of my career. Without her, I would not be a part of PLM or would have made it this far. With her help, I learned so many new things and I am also able to try new things I never thought about. 

For me, it is special to have always had someone by my side who supports me and encourages me like the women who have supported me. That was also one of the reasons I decided to be part of the Trainee Women’s Network in 2019. I was one of the project leads until the end of my dual studies. In the project, our team tried to encourage and support as many girls and women as possible to be part of IT. Through various coffee corner sessions, we were able to achieve a wide range and create transparency. It is one of many projects at SAP that support women and raises awareness.  

Here at PLM, we have a great community and infinite support. All the teams I have met have great chemistry and have so many various and great women. I am blessed to be part of it. Even when the field of IT or PLM is more dominated by men, the collaboration and support you get here are unbeatable. 

Together we can create an environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Celebrate achievements, raise awareness, and prevent gender disparity. If you are interested to know more about Women in Tech at SAP, please take a look here and if you are interested in reading more about it, follow the tag. For further PLM content please check out these posts.