Shining a Spotlight on Women Pursuing Careers in Technology and Engineering

Published on in Company, Working at KNAPP
03:00 minutes reading time

Innovative technologies and long-term partnerships with customers are important success factors for us as a company. We bank on research and development, first-class service and the expertise of our 6,300 employees. They all have diverse backgrounds, qualifications and points of view – and we are proud of it. What unites us is the passion we feel for our daily work: our KNAPP spirit.

Our positive corporate culture and the diversity of our employees is what makes our company stand out. We are particularly proud of the talented women working at our company. Our female colleagues pursuing careers in technical professions are innovators, progressive thinkers, shapers of the future and sharp minds. We are thrilled to have them as part of our international team. In this post, we would like to feature some of them to show how diverse careers for women in technology and engineering are at KNAPP.

Innovators: a career as group leader in Customer Service

Our colleague, Jana-Alena Hochsteger, completed her apprenticeship as an IT technician and joined KNAPP in 2015. She started her career in Technical Improvement Management, then spent a few months at a KNAPP customer installation site in Sweden as a commissioning engineer. After returning to Austria, she took a job in the technical Service Desk Support. In the meantime, she has become the group leader of two teams in the service area at KNAPP in Leoben: “We help our customers stay flexible after the project engineering phase. If new demands arise in the warehouse, such as higher throughput performances or new operating elements for better monitoring and optimization, Customer Service is the first to detect these and plan a solution with the customer. Our technicians make a conscientious effort to address the issue, discuss possible solutions with the customer and forward the information to the right departments within our company,” explains Jana-Alena.

Choosing the latest technologies in customer service is not the only factor needed to implement the optimal solution for our customers. Our positive corporate culture is also key to successful collaboration, as Jana-Alena Hochsteger says:

“One thing that makes KNAPP stand out as an employer is the spirit within the company and beyond when it comes to collaboration with our customers and partners. It’s the solidarity among the individual departments, the way we tackle challenges together and celebrate successful solutions. Everyone’s thoughts and ideas are heard, respected and valued. This is what KNAPP stands for and what makes us successful.”

Jana Alena Hochsteger
Jana-Alena Hochsteger
Head of MSCC SRC Support, Customer Service, KNAPP Systemintegration GmbH, Leoben

Progressive thinkers: a career as team leader in Software Development

German, English, Javascript, SQL, ABAP: Susanne Baumgartner’s daily routine is multilingual. The software company SAP’s proprietary programming language ABAP sets the tone. As Group Lead SAP® EWM Development, Susanne heads a team of eight developers at KNAPP IT Solutions in Raaba-Grambach. She supports companies in mapping and optimizing their warehouse processes in the SAP® software module Extended Warehouse Management, the SAP® EWM. Currently, her team is working on a large project. She is responsible for the project’s content and serves as the main technical contact person. “What fascinates me about programming is solving complex problems and diving into new topics. And what’s especially interesting about SAP is the process orientation. Almost every business process can be mapped in SAP® modules. Finding unique solutions and elaborating concepts for customer-specific processes is particularly exciting. However, the highlight for me is seeing how our solutions work in a real environment. I’m very proud when an installation is put into operation and the automation solution works exactly how we programmed it in SAP® EWM. Furthermore, SAP continuously develops its product range and publishes new features. You have to stay on top of things, so it never gets boring,” explains Susanne.

Susanne’s enthusiasm for technology, especially computers, started early in life. After receiving her Higher Vocational Diploma with a focus on IT, she decided to go to university to study a combination of business administration and software development. During her studies, she completed a three-month mandatory internship, where she got to know SAP’s main product SAP® ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and ABAP. There are many benefits to being immersed in the software world of SAP, as Susanne says:

“After mastering the technical basics, it’s very easy to switch between SAP® products. Since I had experience with SAP® ERP, it wasn’t difficult to start working with SAP® EWM and warehouse logistics. Although SAP is one of the largest software companies in the world, ABAP is less widespread than Java or C# because it’s proprietary. That means SAP® development jobs are usually better paid than comparable software jobs. Specializing in this area is a good decision.”

Susanne Baumgartner
Susanne Baumgartner
Group Lead SAP® EWM Development, KNAPP IT Solutions, Raaba-Grambach

Shapers of the future: a career as commissioning engineer

A career as a commissioning engineer is varied and exciting. Commissioning engineers work at our customer installation sites around the world and, in doing so, get to know different countries and cultures.

This is precisely what our colleague Bettina Pretterhofer is interested in. She started her professional career after receiving her bachelor’s degree in industry logistics and joined our KNAPP subsidiary in Dobl as a commissioning engineer in January 2022.

“I’ve always been intrigued by technology, which is why I opted for a program of study in this area. I chose to work as a commissioning engineer for two reasons: I thought it was interesting and it fit well with my training. My main tasks are configuring and testing the software that is required to control an installation. I particularly enjoy working with my colleagues and traveling the world. You always see something new on international business trips. Plus, seeing the products in operation at our customer’s location is really cool.“

Bettina Pretterhofer
Bettina Pretterhofer
Commissioning Engineer, KNAPP Industry Solutions GmbH, Dobl

In September, Bettina will head north and spend several months at our customer installation site in Sweden, where she will put the software into operation.

Sharp minds: a career as metal technician apprentice

To constantly outdo ourselves as we set new standards in logistics, we need sharp minds. We not only rely on the know-how of our current employees in different areas, but also on our next generation of talent: our apprentices. Currently around 100 apprentices are enrolled in our apprenticeship programs (metal technology, metal engineering, mechatronics technology, application development, information technology and industrial office administration) at the KNAPP locations Hart bei Graz and Leoben. The apprenticeship program will be expanded in the coming years.

One of our emerging talents is Annakatrin Pechmann. She is a metal technician and will start her fourth year of her apprenticeship in September. The focus of her apprenticeship is on mechanical engineering. “I have always been interested in technology, which is why I wanted to do an apprenticeship in this field. An older apprentice had told me all about the job as metal technician. After three trial days, an acceptance test and an interview, I could start working at KNAPP,” explains Annakatrin.

From the very beginning, she was thrilled by the variety in the job: from construction in the production halls to detailed insights into office work and exciting assembly assignments at installation sites.

“For me, my apprenticeship is the perfect combination of mental work and handicraft. One special highlight of my training was my internship abroad at a customer installation site in Ireland.”

Annakatrin Pechmann
Annakatrin Pechmann
Metal Technician, Apprenticeship, KNAPP AG, Hart bei Graz

Besides the first-class training program, she also appreciates the benefits offered to our apprentices, such as weekly sports courses for apprentices, participation in international apprentice competitions, internships abroad, free tickets for public transport and support for vocational school and the option to pursue higher education. In the fourth year of her apprenticeship, Annakatrin will learn about automation technology. This will open many professional prospects and job opportunities within our company for her in the future.

Vier junge Kolleginnen gehen auf die Kamera zu und lachen freundlich.

Girl power: careers in tech with ample opportunities for advancement

We are particularly keen on cultivating girls’ interest in technology and inspiring them to take up technical apprenticeships or to pursue university degrees in technology. KNAPP is a founding member of the MINTality Foundation, which supports women pursuing an exciting career in mathematics, informatics, natural sciences or technology (MINT).

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Then join our team of innovators and progressive thinkers, shapers of the future and sharp minds! We are looking forward to welcoming new colleagues in software, engineering, project management, commissioning and many other departments. Find all job openings here.

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