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Women In Tech – Interview with Isabella Lehner

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With their holistic approach, women are crucial for the future of software engineering. Let's amplify their visibility and motivate more female talents to pursue a career in this field. Be part of the change and make a difference!

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Christoph Havlicek

Isabella Lehner can already look back on an impressive and straightforward career at Oberbank. The 36-year-old recently was appointed as a member of the management team for Digitalization, IT and Sustainability – a career move that even male colleagues would rightfully be very proud of! Isabella started her career path at Oberbank in 2011 directly after completing her degree in economics, and only five years later was already entrusted with the responsibility for online marketing and digital services. Shortly after, she moved to the private customer department where she led the digitalization of private customer products and significantly optimized Oberbank's internal processes. After that she moved to the “Department of Strategic Organizational Development, Digitalization & IT. Having achieved all this, she now has her sights set on the management level – a fascinating career in record time! We are particularly pleased that Isabella took the time for our interview and feel that Austria can also be very happy to welcome another woman into its leadership ranks.

Hi Isabella, why do you love your job? What drives and motivates you? 

I love my job because it's varied, and I can develop new things that makelife easier for others. For example, a banking app from which you can accessyour finances at any time. I also like it when I can support employees indeveloping and growing beyond themselves. Being a role model for other youngpeople, especially women, is a great motivator for me. I hope to inspire othersto achieve their goals through hard work, competence, and passion for theirchosen field.


What personal achievements are you most proud of?

I am proud to have had an essential influence on the digital area of theOberbank. For example, I played a leading role in the development of severaldigital banking services, including Internet banking, a banking app, and mobilepayment modes like Apple Pay.


Do you have a mentor, or who is your role model?

I have learned a lot from others in my various functions at Oberbank. I wasconstantly challenged by taking on new and challenging activities and tasks.This allowed me to develop and grow myself. In my opinion, more managers shouldfocus not only on recognizing their employees' strengths but also onidentifying their development potential and actively promoting it. Someemployees may need guidance and support to build their confidence and realizetheir full potential. You have to believe in yourself. My tip: "Always beyourself and own up to it!".


Is there a bias towards women in tech and how can we fix this? Are there any difficulties that you have faced on your way?

As a woman, it often feels like you have to work harder and prove yourselfmore than men, who are often given more trust from the start. Unfortunately,women are often underestimated in the workplace. However, I've learned overtime to use it to my advantage. Having female role models is especiallyimportant in the tech industry, as they can demonstrate what is possible andinspire and encourage other women.


What advice would you give to women who would like to start a career intech?

From my point of view, it is important to have a genuine interest andpassion for the topic in order to succeed in any profession. Professionalcompetence is also crucial, especially when working among male colleagues. Themore knowledge and skills you possess, the less likely you are to be takenadvantage of. It's important to surround yourself with trustworthy people whoyou can turn to for advice and guidance. Perseverance is key, even in the faceof challenges. No matter how difficult a situation may seem, there is always asolution or a way to improve it. So, never give up and don't let setbacks hold you back!


Thank you for your time and for taking part in our interview series, Isabella!

You are also welcome to read our next interview in the Women in Tech series with Melanie Freilinger