What’s your job at Xella?
Right now, I'm working on opening the new company in Slovenia, for Construction Services. It's quite a lot of work to do as we want to establish a fully operating company this year, and it means gathering all the necessary papers, documents etc.
Also, I am currently in the process of interviewing potential new talents for our department, and I hope we will find someone very soon. Working for Xella is always interesting and never boring.
Where did you work before you joined Xella?
I started to work in a bank but just one year as I wanted to move back closer to my home. And then I found this job as a deputy finance manager in a company in the automotive industry with 300 employees. After my boss retired, I took over his position. As I was quite young, it was a challenging but valuable time for me. But the moment came that I was ready for a new challenge.
What was the job like when you started in 2011?
I joined Xella in September 2011 at a time when the construction industry was still suffering from the financial crisis. Back then, my job involved finance, administration activities, human resources, purchasing, and IT.
Throughout the years, a core responsibility of mine was to optimize the way we work. We optimized our processes, always trying to find innovative approaches to work even more productively. Sometimes these changes were painful, because we had to make tough decisions. But we always knew why we made the changes.
You moved from the automotive industry to the construction industry.
Yes, it’s a completely different industry, but the job is always about figures, balance sheets, profits and losses. When you understand the concept of finance, it's easy to move from one industry to another.
To what extent does your job offer variety?
In 2012/13, I was also given the opportunity to take on additional temporary responsibilities as managing director for Xella porobeton HR in Croatia and managed the company in liquidation. In 2021, I took over the same additional temporary responsibility as managing director for Kosovo. It was also a very, very interesting experience for me, as the daily communication was different due to the travel restrictions and cultural issues.
What do you like about Xella as an employer?
For me, my closest colleagues here in Slovenia are almost like a family, we really trust each other. On average, we are eight hours together, which I guess cultivated a greater familiarity among us than is often seen in larger companies. This is a main driver for me.
Xella also really cares about its employees. I see Xella in a very good position to attract new talent. Last year we were looking for new people in production. Having a brand like Ytong helps a lot attract people. I know that this building trust and brand recognition is something that takes years to build, especially if you want to do it sustainably.
It looks like we're doing something right. The turnover rate is low - people like to stay with us. That is very positive.
What role does sustainability play in your daily work?
It's important that we leave our planet in good shape for future generations. At Xella, we are always looking for better processes to make our products circular. In the last few years, we have been able to really reduce our waste in some plants. And recently, we have started to use solar energy in our production.
You are part of the group of female high potentials at Xella. What does this mean to you?
I'm happy to be part of this program, connecting with all the other members and learning from each other. I am also in regular contact with my mentor and coach. It's an interesting experience, a huge learning process. I really see this as my personal development.
For me personally, the biggest benefit is the networking with the top managers and the other women. It's great to bounce ideas off each other. It makes things so much easier. As we are part of the quarterly leadership calls, we get a broader picture of the operations and what kind of projects are going on, and it helps find synergies.
How do you relax?
I live in a small town and what I really like after the job is to go in my garden to relax in the nature. This is really the good part of living in this area.