Victoria Ensinger
7 min read

”Each of us can make a difference by questioning our actions”

Victoria Ensinger is involved in KSB's women's network for gender equality. In September, she moved to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to take up a management position. The government there has placed the issue of women's rights high on its agenda and is taking a leading role in the region on this issue. Despite this, the country is still sometimes perceived as disadvantaging women. So how can that be reconciled with her commitment? Ms. Ensinger, you have been living and working in Dubai for two months now. What was your impression when you saw the city for the first time?

Victoria Ensinger: It's a city of superlatives. And one that never sleeps. It just blows away any preconceptions! These are dimensions that are unheard of in Germany. The buildings are bigger, taller and more outlandishly designed. You are always seeing something new. And within the city there is an incredible amount of hustle and bustle. There is something going on around the clock: traffic, honking of horns, music.

The United Arab Emirates is a country that is considered progressive in terms of gender equality compared to the rest of the region. Despite this, it bears the reputation that women have less freedom there than in Western countries. What were your feelings when KSB offered you a position in Dubai?

Above all, I saw it as a wonderful challenge. On the other hand, I wasn't sure if I had the necessary standing as a woman in Dubai or even in other countries in the region and wondered if it would work. That was a question I really wanted to clear up. We talked about this quite openly and honestly at KSB and everyone agreed that this was not an issue.

Our woman in Dubai

Since September 2022, Victoria Ensinger has been living with her husband in Dubai, the capital of the Emirate of Dubai and the largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the Arabian Gulf. As Regional Finance & Controlling Manager, she has technical responsibility for all finance and controlling issues in the Region Middle East / Africa / Russia – an area that stretches from Pakistan to Morocco and from Russia to South Africa. She is the regional contact for the finance managers and managing directors and the link to headquarters when, for example, a loan needs to be agreed or key figures need to be defined. Their team also keeps an eye on how good the financial situation of the companies is.

Victoria Ensinger in Dubai

Were there situations where you thought "If I were a man, this conversation would probably be easier"?

No, so far I have not experienced any major difficulties. But in the rounds of introduction, I noticed that some colleagues very clearly registered the fact that I was a woman. KSB had, however, also prepared me for this by means of intercultural training. So I knew what to expect and also had an understanding of why that was.

For example, nobody looks me in the eye. In Germany, it is quite normal to look each other in the face and try to make eye contact. But there it is not usual between man and woman – also out of respect for the woman. For this reason, men look down at the ground. It falls to me as a woman to reach out my hand and then most men will also respond to this.

Without the training, it would have seemed very strange to me. But since I knew that this was meant respectfully, I could understand that and then it was okay with me.

Victoria Ensinger on a business trip to Pakistan

Victoria Ensinger is also responsible for Pakistan. On her first business trip to the country, she met the Controlling team managers on site.

You are active in the KSB women's network. Can you briefly describe what the women's network is?

We have only recently established the women's network. It is one of the measures we are taking to increase the proportion of women and also to increase their visibility. It's essentially about creating a strong, global network of women for women, where we support each other, but also work together on issues. 

Statistics show that women are not as strong at networking as men. That alone puts us at a disadvantage. At KSB, we want to clear this up and give women the opportunity to exchange ideas on various topics in a protected space.

How do you think KSB will develop in the next few years when it comes to the topic of equality?

The topic of equality has been a strong focus at KSB in recent years. I think we are moving in a very good direction in this respect. However, it will certainly be some years before we can talk about real equality – not only at KSB, but also at many other companies.

After all, we are a mechanical engineering company and until a few years ago there were relatively few women in engineering professions. There are also social reasons for that. We at KSB can only influence this to a limited extent. But we are moving very strongly in the right direction.

In recent years, a lot has also happened in the United Arab Emirates in terms of gender equality. For example, there were a number of legal changes and the selection of the first female astronaut. Do you think that you can also contribute something to this development?

Yes, I think I can make a contribution. And I also believe that everyone has the opportunity to make a difference when it comes to equality. Whether it's about men and women or any other kind of equality. Every one of us can make a difference if we believe in it and also constantly question our actions.

If you first acknowledge that you have already picked up certain clichés quite subconsciously as a child, then in the next step you can start to do something different yourself - and inspire others with it.

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